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Everyone should consider replacing wall to wall carpets in their homes. Wall to wall carpets and their parts are reservoirs for dust mites, molds and pollutants. They are especially problematic in bathrooms, kitchens, basements and bathrooms. Due to the fact that wall to wall carpets are reservoirs for dust mites, molds and pollutants, asthmatics should not have them in their homes. Furthermore, throw rugs, tile, wood and other non carpet materials are easier to clean. Wood and tile floors may be covered with machine washable throw rugs.
One way to keep carpets clean is to place doormats at all entrances in your homes. Secondly, encourage family members and guest to wipe their feet upon entering. Large mats cover two or three strides and will ensure that even those who refuse to wipe their feet will leave most of the dirt clinging to their shoes on the mat rather than your carpet.
Another way to keep carpet clean is to encourage family members to remove shoes upon entrance into your home. Pesticides, pollutants, and dirt come indoors on shoes and are tracked onto carpets. If going shoe less is unacceptable for your family members, suggest they wear house shoes (that they would not wear outside), slippers or socks. In fact, bare feet can deposit natural skin oils on carpet. Natural skin oils may attract dirt.
Next, it is wise to vacuum your carpet two or more times per week. Frequent vacuuming helps reduce the level of dust mites. Dust mites trigger and increases chances of asthma and allergy attacks. It also means getting rid of surface dirt on carpets before it has a chance to soak into carpets. Using vacuum cleaner with strong suction, rotating brushes and a HEPA filter prevents dirt from being blown into the exhaust, works best. In order to retrieve all of the dirt and dust, it is best to go back and forth over the same spot several times, particularly in high traffic areas.
In order to prevent stains on carpets clean up spills immediately. Liquid spills maybe cleaned by covering them with clean white (or light-colored) towels or paper towels. Sticky substances are cleaned by scratching them with a spatula or spoon. Do not rub the spill because it will damage carpet fibers and make the stain spread.
To clean carpet stains, mix 1 cup warm and ½ teaspoon mild liquid soap such as dishwashing liquid or fine fabric detergent. Apply a small amount of solution, blot by pressing a clean white towel into the carpet and lift the towel. Repeat this process until the stain is removed. Be patient and do not scrub the carpet.
Once stain is removed, rinse with a solution of a few teaspoons of white vinegar to one cup water and blot with another clean towel.
Household ingredients are also great to clean carpet stains. For example, club soda removes red wine stain, ice cubes removes harden gum and candle wax. Sprinkles of baking soda, corn starch or corn meal can remove greasy stains. Allow it to stand six hours overnight and vacuum. Vinegar can also clean stains. Mix 1/3 cup vinegar with 2/3 cup warm water and apply to stain. Blot clean with a clean towel and repeat until the stain comes clean.
Carpet stain removers should be used as a last resort. First, test on a hidden spot on the carpet. Stain removers may lighten or bleach the carpet. Apply a small amount to stain, blot with a clean with towel. Repeat until the stain is gone.
Baking soda may also remove odors from carpets. Carpet deodorizers and freshness often contain fragrances that merely mask the smell. Baking soda actually soaks up the odor. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the carpet. Let it stand for 15-30 minutes and vacuum. While applying baking soda, ensure that kids are kept away so they won't inhale it.
Carpets should be steamed using plain water and not detergent. Use water and operate the machine as directed. The hot water will remove considerable amount of dirt without detergent. Alternatively, use a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar and 21/2 gallons of water. For a stronger solution add an additional cup of vinegar. This is an effective way to remove any shampoo residues from earlier cleaning attempts. However, if it is necessary to use soap or detergent, use a mixture of no more than 3-4 tablespoons of mild liquid soapy or detergent with at least one gallon of water. Mix solution slowly and gently to prevent any suds that may clog the machine. Do not steam carpets, during times when you cannot open windows such as the winter and very humid days during the summer.
Ventilate well during and after carpet cleaning. In order to speed up drying time, use fans and keep windows open. Avoid carpet cleaning on humid or damp days. Although research is still inconclusive about the connection between carpet cleaning (with or without chemicals) and Kawaski Disease, CHEC recommends that children are kept out of the house for at least four hours after carpets are cleaned.
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