Almost everyone I know owns a vacuum cleaner. It’s because they have a home that is carpeted all over and even if carpet flooring is not anymore the ‘in’ thing today in household interior design (in my humble opinion, I just want tiled flooring better), my mom is a fan of it since I was a toddler.
Back then, she didn’t have a vacuum cleaner but now, she has one on each floor – one for her basement, one for the ground floor and the last one is for the upper floor. She even has that robot thing that roams around the house and checks the carpet if it is dirty. Yes, it is the digital age right.
Vacuum cleaners are bulky and noisy. Most of these machines are not storage-friendly meaning it is so difficult to hide. You must have a machine room to hide all your cleaning tools at home (because I don’t). But if there is one thing I can say about a vacuum cleaner is that it can be a very efficient cleaner. If you buy the expensive ones, there would be no dirt, no stain and no dust ever in your home.
For those who don’t have the budget for a top of the line vacuum cleaner, they are forced to do the cleaning manually. Hey, it’s an adventure to do and it can be a weekend project for you and your spouse, kids or friends. It can be fun!
So, I had to ask her, my mother, the superwoman in the family – Mom, how did you clean your carpets back then when you didn’t own a vacuum cleaner?
She smiled at me and motioned me to sit down on the chair while she opened the freezer and took out a pitcher of lemon iced tea. She also grabbed two glasses as she sat in front of me. She said, “My child, you are in for a treat.” My mom told me of several ways on how to clean carpet without vacuum.
Getting down and dirty!
1- Pick up the dirt.
What do you do when there is not vacuum cleaner or indoor broom? Well, the only thing you can do is pick up the mess! You need to pick up the dirt on your carpet.
I am not saying that you have to pick up the microscopic dirt on your carpet, no. The large pieces that you can easily get rid of when cleaning the carpet – that’s what I am talking about. Crumpled paper, candy wrappers, plastic seals from jars, and everything else that your big eyes can see; you have to bend down, get on your knees and pick it up.
Even if you have a vacuum cleaner, the big pieces of trash within your home needs to be eliminated first before you run the machine, right? Bring a small trash bag with you and literally sweep the carpet flooring of dirt. Don’t be afraid to bend down and look under the chair and tables especially the cabinets. Trash is lurking under it.
If you noticed, after doing that, your carpet will look at least 30% cleaner.
2- Give it a shake.
Now, some people have rugs on top of their carpet. Don’t ask me why they do it but they just do. It may seem redundant, yes, and I can’t explain why people like it that way. To each, his own, I guess and it’s ok.
Now, if you have rugs within your carpeted home, you can always give it a “shake”. Don’t ever attempt to clean your rug inside the home especially when it’s on top of your carpet. Roll it from end to end and bring the rug outside. Once you have it out on your lawn or the driveway, start shaking it. The dirt will expel itself from the rug like magic.
But first, before doing so, you have to wear a mask. This will protect you from inhaling the dust from the rugs. There is also a big chance that the dirt from the rug will be blown back to your house. Keep your distance while cleaning the rugs if you don’t want that to happen.
You can also do this for removable carpets too.
3- Use packaging tape for difficult to pick up dirt.
A roll of tape can be your best buddy if you have a carpeted home. Why? Well, the things that you cannot pick up while cleaning your carpets (or rugs) can be stripped off by the packing tape. It is a Godsend and my mom swears by it!
It doesn’t cost much at all and everything will be gone in a snap – cat hair, dog hair, your hair, dirt, dust, and everything else! Prepare at least one roll of tape per room for your carpet cleaning. It doesn’t even cost a dollar; it’s so cheap!
When the tape loses its sticking ability, you’ll know that it has served its purpose. Get another strip and start pressing the carpet again.
How to make this fun? Clean the carpet using the packing tape in sections. And while you’re cleaning, use house clothes and kick off your shoes. Expect to get dirty when you’re done, ok?
4- A small brush can do wonders for your stained carpet.
And so it cannot be prevented at all times. There will be a situation wherein your carpet will get stained. Your son may spill his drink or your husband, the clumsy clown that he is (cute clown, anyway), drops a bowl of chili con carne on your carpet. Oh, men! Don’t fret. It can be fixed.
Go to a home goods store and look for carpet brushes or carpet sweepers. Buy brushes that have short and firm bristles. This will work for carpets that have short fibers too. If the carpet fibers are longer, you can use the regular brush and clean the stain like how you would brush your hair. It would work even better if you use a stain eraser together with the brush.
Some people use steel-teeth brushes. Just be careful with it as it can damage fine carpets. There are also long-end brushes (more like a broom for carpets) and if you use that, you don’t need to bend down while cleaning it.
When stains attack!
Certain stains require a specific way of cleaning it. Here are some ideas on how to clean carpet by using various cleaning solutions.
- Do not rub stains that tend to blot.
- If all other things fail, use scissors and trim the stained part.
- For bodily fluid stains like blood or urine, hydrogen peroxide is the best stain remover for that.
- Commercialized stain removers or stain erasers are perfect when it comes to food stains. Just make sure that your carpet is compatible with the cleaning solution that you are going to use so as not to damage the carpet.
- If you spilled beer or wine on your carpeted flooring, get a rag and pour some club soda on it. Use this to remove the stain.
- Sometimes, sticky stuff like bubble gum or other light adhesive stick on the carpet. The best way to take it off is by using a plastic but jagged knife. Be gentle while you do it, though.
- In some miracle your carpet is stained by grease or something similar to that, the only cleaning solution that can take it out is a dish detergent for grease stains. Put the solution inside a spray bottle and pump some on the affected area. After that, you can rub it until the stain is gone.
Dry clean for detachable carpet works!
Yes, you can easily dry clean your carpet without problems. It cannot be denied that carpet flooring will get stinky and if it is detachable or removable, there is a waterless for you to take the funny smell off but to dry clean it. (Removable carpet can be washed with specific and detailed instructions. Just so you know. This will be discussed next.)
Anyway, first you have to put baking soda, flour or cornstarch on your carpet. Which powder is better? In my opinion, the best powder that can relieve smell is baking soda but for my mom, she loves using cornstarch. It really depends upon the choice of the person using it.
Next, leave the powder on your carpet for at least 30 minutes. It would be best to let it sit for 60 minutes, though. When done, bring the carpet outside since it is detachable. Beat it up to release the powder, the dust and dirt. You’d be surprised on how clean and stink-free your carpet is.
Wash your carpets!
If you don’t feel satisfied with dry cleaning your carpet, then, do it the old fashioned (and most difficult) way – wash it! This is recommended for carpets that can be removed only. If your carpet is not detachable, don’t wash the entire carpet floor inside your home or you will regret it.
As for how it can be washed, different types of carpet fibers require specific washing requirements. Check your detachable carpet for instructions before washing it. Also, you can always put vinegar to make it bacteria-free while cleaning.
There are many ways to clean your carpet even without using a vacuum cleaner. It may require more effort on your part but that’s how it is. It can be an enjoyable home activity, too. Good luck on your carpet!