Tips and Tricks Tuesday #12- Cleaning your Carpet

This summer is going way to fast, and with the record soaring heat, I can't get a lot of paint projects done outside.  Heat and paint don't work well together. The paint can be finicky and bubble up. All the furniture I thought would get done by now hasn't even been touched.   Praying for cooler days.

Today, though, is Tips and Tricks Tuesday.  I usually put a few tips and tricks together and post them for your ewws and ahhhs, as in "that's so easy; why didn't I think of that?"  If you've missed that last couple of Tuesdays, check out the sidebar for the most popular post.

When it comes to cleaning, I like to use natural cleaners, as in make it yourself without chemicals and on the cheap.  Some people think home made cleaners don't work, but if you stop and think about it, our grandmothers and great grandmothers did just fine before the emergence of product placements and marketing.  They used things like vinegar, baking soda, and good old fashioned elbow grease.  Hey, I have all that!  I've been using my own home made version of cleaners for years now. 

 Laundry detergent

Stain remover

and Shower cleaner

   Whenever I hear about another way to clean using all natural products and your own home made version, I'm game for giving it a try.

So that's how I came to cleaning my own carpet.  About two years ago, I read from Mary Hunt about keeping white carpet clean.  WHITE CARPET??? Are you kidding me?  I have kids, I have a dog, and they all come with feet- usually dirty.  White carpet would never, ever, ever work for me, but I was intrigued.  I had "light" carpet at the time, so getting it cleaned every six months was necessary.  If I could clean it myself though, I could keep some moolah in my pockets, and I like that.

So I bought a Hoover Steam Vac off craigslist for about $75. (not sure of the amount but I know it was under $100)

Hoover SteamVac Carpet Cleaner with Clean Surge, F5914-900
Hoover Steam Vac
 I found the manual on line and just downloaded all the information I needed.

The trick to cleaning carpet on your own is to NOT use carpet shampoo.  The shampoo builds up, stays in the carpet, and can leave an even dirtier carpet over time than what you started with.

Instead, I boil my water.  The directions say to use hot water, but I boil it and my steam vac works just fine.


Following my steam vac's direction,  I allow the hot water to get into the carpet without soaking it, then I go back over the carpet area to suck up the excess water.  

And you can bet it does get it cleaned.
Look at how dirty the water can get when it's sucked up into the container.  

When I had lighter carpet, the water was close to black.  This isn't too bad compared to that.

 I love having those clean carpet lines on my floors.

 This is newer carpet but not the best grade.  Cleaning it every couple of months is also going to be necessary.

I open all the windows and turn on all the fans to get the carpet dried as quickly as possible.  If we have to walk through a section of clean carpet, I set an old/ clean towel down and we all go bare foot until the carpet is completely dried.

My steam vac has been a really good buy for Lewisville.  With the lighter carpet, I still had it professionally cleaned once a year still, but light carpet needs that kind of cleaning. Dirty carpet just gives me the willies.

So there you have it, cleaning the carpet yourself.  I would prefer dark hardwood floors, but until that happens, my steam vac remains my friend.