3 HACKS FOR KEEPING YOUR CARPET CLEAN AROUND PETS
Messes are simply a fact of life for people who live with animals, but they do not need to ruin your carpet. You can do a lot of good by training your pets well, but no amount of training will completely eliminate the risk of a mess on the carpet due to a sick or stressed animal. People who take the time to learn how to take care of their carpeting can prevent most of the damage to it, even if their pets are unusually messy. It isn’t a very difficult skill to master, and it can save a lot of money on replacement carpeting, so most pet owners will want to keep these tips in mind and learn to keep their carpets clean.
1. Avoid Rubbing
You may be tempted to immediately take a paper towel and start rubbing and scrubbing at the mess when you see it, but that is a mistake. Using too much motion will simply spread the mess around and make the situation worse without adding any additional cleaning power.
When you first see the mess, you should take a rag or a paper towel and gently blot the fluids to absorb them. Keep working at it for as long as necessary to get rid of all of the fluids that will come off the carpet. You should use as little force as possible to make sure that you don’t press the fluids into any parts of the carpet that are difficult to reach. You won’t get all of the mess up with this method, but it will make the rest of the cleaning much easier and contain the damage to the greatest extent possible. That makes it an excellent starting point, but one that you do need to follow with a couple of other techniques.
2. Clean with Vinegar
While most of the cleaning solutions on the market will do a reasonably good job at getting pet messes out of your carpet, they are rarely necessary. Instead you can usually get good results by using vinegar. Almost any type of vinegar will do the job, but you should normally pick a type that doesn’t have a strong odor. That won’t change how well it cleans up the mess, but it will prevent the smell from lingering after you finish cleaning.
Start by filling a spray bottle with an equal mixture of vinegar and water. Simply spray it on the mess, and give it a few moments to stick in. This vinegar will loosen any residue that sticks to the carpet and moisten the entire area so that it is easier to clean. If you are cleaning up animal urine, it will also neutralize the ammonia in the mess, which eliminates the vast majority of the smell.
Once you have soaked the area, you can simply scrub to get rid of most messes. You want to scrub thoroughly to make sure that you get deep into the fibers of the carpet. If any of the mess remains in place, you can switch to using pure vinegar to get it up. If that still fails, you will probably need to find a specialized cleaner to deal with your mess, but that is a very rare event.
3. Finish with Baking Soda
Most people know that vinegar and baking soda react when they come into contact, but few people realize that the reaction can be useful when you are cleaning. After you have finished scrubbing, apply a little a layer of baking soda and a little bit of your diluted vinegar to the wet spot. If you do it right, you should be able to hear the reaction happening. Once it starts, take a brush and rub the baking soda into the carpet to make sure it hits the entire length of the fibers.
Leave it in place until the carpet is dry. That might take as long as a day or two. If it does, try to keep your animals away from the area so they don’t knock the baking soda out of place. Once the carpet is finally dry, you can simply use your vacuum to get rid of the baking soda and the last remnants of your mess.