Old carpet - how to clean? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 12-18-2006, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a carpet that is very old - it is about 25 years old but is still in good shape. It is wall-to-wall and we do vacuum it every week. We are trying to find the best way to do a "thorough" cleaning that is non-toxic since we have a puppy running around.

Any natural suggestions would be greatly appreciated - I am hoping we can avoid removing it or replacing it, so suggestions for how to do a thorough cleaning would be most welcome.

Thank you so much.
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#2 of 14 Old 12-18-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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Pile your furniture and rearrange furniture so you get the maximum carpet area to clean. Vacuum first to get rid of the typical crumblies and hair.

Rent a water/steam vacuum from Publix or Kroger. Purchase some OxyClean and use 2-3 scoops per full tank of super hot water. I pre-mix it in a bucket and swirl it with a wooden spoon so it dissolves and then I pour it into the machine (since the machine is too heavy to lift and fill). It takes a while to clean the house, especially lugging the dirty water to the sink or tub for disposal and you do a few long strips of carpet at a time and then dispose the water, but at the end it's worth it since your carpet looks brand spankin' new.

You usually rent it for 24 hours, but if you have a big house, try a few days.

Wear flip flops for a few days since it takes a day or two for the carpet to dry (and you don't want wet socks or pruney bare feet).

I've got cheap apartment carpet and it has taken pet stains out too! I could imagine it would do even better on higher quality carpet.
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#3 of 14 Old 12-18-2006, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Spastica - is it safe for my pup to be walking on the wet carpet that has the Oxyclean in it? My pup likes to lick his paws, especially if they are wet, so I am just worried that he will ingest some Oxyclean by mistake.
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#4 of 14 Old 12-18-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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Yeah, when it's diluted and used in cleaning, it's not much of an issue. I have a dog and he licks every darn thing in the house usually, and he didn't lick the carpet after it was done. Just don't keep the box of OxyClean anywhere near the dogs or kids, it's harmful if ingested in that form (straight up powder).
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#5 of 14 Old 12-18-2006, 03:33 PM
 
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If you have a dehumidifier, that really helps in getting the carpet dry quickly. Borrow a couple if you can. If your carpet is still in good shape after 25 years, I'll bet you it is wool or a wool blend. We bought a house with 40 yo shag and I was amazed how well it had held up to renters and pets, as well as just general wear and tear.

Read the fine print at rental places. The frequently don't let you use anything except their cleaners. I've used Simple Green in my Hoover with good results. Really, I would just buy a home model since you have a puppy. It will quickly pay for itself and you can use whatever solutions you want.
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#6 of 14 Old 12-18-2006, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks - is Simple Green safer than Oxyclean, in terms of the dog and fumes?

Thanks so much again.
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#7 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 12:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milopup View Post
Thanks - is Simple Green safer than Oxyclean, in terms of the dog and fumes?

Thanks so much again.
My guess would be that OxyClean would be safer than Simple Green to clean carpet with, and I LOVE ME SOME SIMPLE GREEN. Simple Green, dish soap and water is the best stain pretreat/carpet cleaner/impossible mess cleaner I know of, but to shampoo the whole rug, I would probably spot clean with Simple Green first, and then do the OxyClean thing like Spastica said.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
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#8 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Super dumb question - if the carpet doesnt seem too dirty, would it help to just clean it a bit by using only hot water, or would that be useless? Or maybe just one scoop of Oxyclean, versus 2 -3?

I am trying to use the least amount of chemicals as possible.

Thanks again for your replies, and your patience in answering my questions.
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#9 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 10:02 AM
 
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You'd be surprised how much dirt comes up when you do the steam cleaning and Oxy. It's trapped dust and dirt. You'll need something to help lift the dust from your carpet, something to make the dust/dirt not cling to it. You can use plain baking soda, but I just loved how spanking clean the Oxy made my carpets.

If you're worried about the detergents in Oxy (which are mild, by the way), you can get an oxygen cleaner that doesn't have any detergent in it. The only chemical compounds in this version would be sodium carbonate and sodium percarbonate.

This creates hydrogen bubbles to clean (it blasts away stains) and is perfectly safe. The only reason that it shouldn't be ingested directly is because the pH is so high (basic) that it would completely hurt your stomach and tear your insides out when indiluted. But when used in cleaning and it's diluted, it's nothing to be worried of. It's like how vinegar is so acidic. You wouldn't drink a gallon of vinegar because it would hurt your insides straight up or munch on borax (pH basic), but it's good for cleaning. I actually used Oxy rather than use the carpet solution that was being sold alongside the carpet cleaner. The girl behind the counter mentioned that if I had Oxy that I wouldn't need the cleaning solution. I did have a bunch of Oxy at home and I tried it and won't use the carpet solution ever again!
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#10 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Spastica - as usual you are so so helpful - any suggestions for a non-detergent oxygen cleaner??

Thanks again.
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#11 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 12:15 PM
 
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I don't know of any brands off-hand. You'll have to look in the store and compare brands and look at the ingredient list. Here's a comparison article:

http://oxygenbleach.homestead.com/files/

Here's some oxygen bleach uses:

http://www.hytechsales.com/oxydirections.html

You might be able to get sodium percarbonate by itself at the hardware store, maybe you can call Home Depot.


Here's a homemade Oxygen Cleaner, though I'm a little skeptical about the hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach things and take the color out. Sodium percarbonate releases hydrogen, but it just knocks out the stain without taking out color. Peroxide is what people use to bleach their hair (though household antiseptic peroxide has nowhere near the concentration of the hair bleach peroxide). I would use this recipe with caution on your carpet - do a spot test first.

http://www.recipezaar.com/32716
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#12 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again - maybe I will just use the Oxyclean, but use 1 or 2 scoops and try to keep it very diluted.
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#13 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 02:42 PM
 
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Yeah, you won't be displeased - you can use Oxy in a lot of applications.

As mentioned, once you put it in gallons of water in a bucket and put a few scoops, it's not harmful, it just turns into fizz with a little soap at that point which isn't harmful to children or pets.
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#14 of 14 Old 12-19-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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I would say the Oxy is probably safer than the Simple Green. I just don't keep Oxy around, so Simple Green was always on hand. I never read about trying Oxy until after we had moved to a house without carpet.
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