Green Carpet Cleaning – Prevention, Preparation and Resources

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,344
    Professor Liz Goldsmith shares some green tips on prevention, preparation, and resources.

    Liz Goldsmith: Hi, I'm Liz Goldsmith, a Professor of the Family Resource Management of Florida State University and we're talking about removing spots and spills from carpet using Green method, and I'm going to focus on preparation.

    Now the first thing you'll have to do is use welcome mats at your door and try to keep the dirt outside. The second thing you can do is try to take your shoes off at the doors. The next thing you'll have to do is think about your carpet, and 65% of carpet, this broad loom, wall-to-wall, is going to be made of nylons. Most of you probably have this in your home. Another choice might be polyester; this is about 30% of the market and then 5% of the markets what's left which is going to be Berbers, and then your natural fiber, your wall's next.

    So if you know your carpet first then you're going to be more successful in knowing how to remove spots and stains.

    Next, I'd like to talk about Green Cleaning Lit, so I made a homemade one over here that I've put together from things of my house, and the number thing you're going to need is white paper towel, not with a print on, because the print will transfer onto the carpet sometimes. So white is best. So that's your number one thing to grab, alright.

    Now another thing you might want is club soda that works quite well on red wine and some other things. Perhaps the scrub brush, but only in kind of extreme cases, a spoon or something like a spatula to scoop up solid waste, and then there's vinegar. It can go straight on certain kinds of carpet, but most likely you're going to dilute it, half a cup of water, half a cup of this, so we have weaker solution.

    So the process is always to go weaker and then work your way up to a stronger solution. And then you've got dish washing liquid, so you can use this to clean carpet, you can also use it for your dishes and wash your hands. Then you've got baking soda often used to remove oily kinds of stains, but also good for odor. So, you might use some of these and then later on sprinkle on some baking soda, wait 15 minutes and vacuum it off.

    I've got a sponge in here, because sometimes if there's quite a bit, you might want to use that besides this. And the last thing I've got in here is I cut up a men's T-shirt, made sure it was 100% cotton. So if you don't want to buy clothes, you can just use something you've got in your house, and that's very green.

    Now we talk about resources, there's The Carpet and Rug Institute where you can find all this kind of information. Also the IICRC has information as well, and I'll tell you the best resource really is your local carpet store. Someone who has been in business for five, ten, twenty years; they will know the best carpet cleaners in town and what to do if you need a professional resource.

    Typical spots and stains are things like paint, especially non-latex paint. So if you're going to paint a room, I would cover all the carpets very carefully first, and then with kids you have all the juices, with adults you'll have red wine and coffee, lots of drinks tend to stain. Another thing of course, is all the pet stains and with that also comes odor.

    The other really bad stains are cough medicines and acne medicines, so if you've got some teenagers in your house, and you might kind of really watch where they apply it, and of course, I'd suggest the bathroom over the sink rather and in their bedrooms where there might be carpet.

    When can you no longer clean the carpet yourself or when there's really ingrown dirt, permanent stains you just can't get out, that's when you got to call the professionals and the best thing to do is call your local carpet store, ask them who they would recommend, and they usually have a good list of cleaners, and you could ask for a cleaner who would be more green and that's a consideration.

    Up next is Heidi to talk about homemade green cleaners.