Monday, July 26, 2010

In Which I Whine About My Carpet

I have a love/hate relationship with my carpet. Actually it’s more of a like ok/hate relationship. I nearly went berzerk a few years ago and ripped it out. But then I got a new vacuum cleaner and didn’t hate it so much. Now I’m back to the point where I might just rip it out again. If I wasn’t fairly certain that there was nasty, painted on, marked on “construction concrete” underneath, I would. And if I had a few thousand bucks just laying around, I’d re-floor it. But since that is not a likely scenario, I’ll have to figure something else out.

Here are a few things I have learned about flooring.

1. I never ever again want to have wall-to-wall carpet in my living areas. Bedrooms, ok. Living areas? No way.

2. Dogs track in more stuff than you ever thought possible.

3. Children cause more random spots and stains than you can keep up with. A spill is actually just a good excuse to clean the floor. Because otherwise, it’s not even worth it.

4. The best color for your floor is the color of dirt.

Oddly enough, the carpet in Caedmon’s room is probably the worst. Before he was born, that room was the “spare room” – you know, where a lot of junk was collected. During some crazy phase, Argus and Criket would pee all throughout the house. They did that twice in this room, and the stains never completely came up and they keep rearing their ugly heads now and then. We also had that carpet professionally cleaned and those guys were unable to get them up. I’ve done better with them myself.


Also, there are random dark spots on Caedmon’s carpet. They come up fairly easily, but I don’t know where they are coming from. The only thing he’s allowed to have in his room is water (and that’s been cut back lately), so unless he’s licking the carpet, they’re being made by some magic stain fairies. Fairies that are no longer welcome. I regularly take my carpet-stain-remover-stuff in there and clean the spot, just to have more reappear.

And then there’s the glider. It was free. It has served us well. But not only is it pretty uncomfortable and squeaks uncontrollably, it has stained the carpet big time. I have been unable to get these stains up and am really frustrated with the whole thing. What in the world do you use to get grease stains out of carpet?


From my previous experience, I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in carpet cleaners when it comes to stains. So here’s my next move. Unless anyone can offer me any better suggestions, I’m going to find someone with a shop vac I can borrow, and try a mixture of dish soap and water. I’ll use the soapy water, vacuum that up, then “rinse” with clean water and vacuum that up. I don’t figure it will hurt that carpet any more and it might help.

And then? I’m going to find an inexpensive rug to put in the boy’s room. One that I can use to catch most of the stains, roll it up and take it outside to clean it if necessary, and when it gets too gross, just throw it away.

Now, that’s about #79 on my to-do list, so don’t expect a report back on that next week. It may be like his wall art – that I’m actually getting pretty close to finishing. For now, I’ll just keep dealing with the stains.

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  1. I can't give you any suggestions for cleaning carpet...I hate the stuff myself. When we moved into our house last year we didn't have the $$ to replace the HORRIBLE navy blue, yes, I said navy blue carpet in the LR, Bedrooms, and hallway...but the funny thing is - as much as I HATE the color, it doesn't show stains! LOL! As for the rug in C's room, do you guys have an Ikea near you? They have some great prices on rugs and have some really cool kids ones as well, just a thought. Good luck!

  2. The best thing I have found for carpet stains is to mix 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar with 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Works great. There are also a few products like "goo be gone"...I have heard good things about Oxyclean but haven't personally used it. You can google "getting stains out of carpet" and get a million different solutions--that is where I got the vinegar/baking soda thing. There were also a ton of people claiming that hairspray is a miracle worker. Some just sprayed the hair spray on the stain and others sprayed the hairspray on the stain, covered it with a cloth and then ironed the cloth. Didn't try it but it sounded interesting. That is all I've got!

  3. I use oxyclean to clean my cushions on the couch and chairs. I don't have carpets to clean but I imagine it would work well on those.

  4. Anonymous1:51 PM

    I use Capture..found at Lowe's/Home Depot. Expensive ($20) but has worked on every stain I've ever had--even old ones that the previous owners had. I have also had good luck with Woolite Oxyclean (blue bottle with red trigger)

  5. Mandy, I've seen a cute rug at Target that I think will work for Caedmon's "new" room (coming this fall, hopefully), so I'm thinking about getting that one. It may not be big enough, but I'll definitely check IKEA. That's a great idea!

    Sara, I use vinegar/water to clean my carpet all the time, but I've never mixed baking soda with it. The plain vinegar didn't touch the grease. I'll definitely give it a shot.

    Angela, I tried Oxyclean on those nasty stains that are still there. Because I couldn't totally rinse it, they keep coming back. So I'm not a fan of it on carpet.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I can't wait to try to get those stains out now. Ha! Sad, I know.

  6. Eeek, I know exactly how you feel! My daughter’s bedroom is the only one in the entire house that’s completely carpeted, so it does take really long to clean. I have a good friend who runs a cleaning service though, and they do great with that carpet, so I breathe a little easier. I’m able to get small stains out with shampoo or a really good liquid soap. I also make sure that my daughter doesn’t tread on the wet spot until it’s dry. Haha!

    -- Samuel Eldred

  7. I don’t know if you’ve managed yet to find out what’s been making the magic stains appear on Caedmon’s carpet, but just in case you haven’t, I suggest checking the floors underneath the carpet. There might be something there that’s causing the stains. Like Samuel, I usually turn to shampoo and an old toothbrush for my spot cleaning, but I call on professionals about once a month to do the general cleaning.


    1. I managed to get the grease stains up with the above mentioned technique of a shop vac and a mixture that included Dawn dish soap. But we've since sold the house and those mystery stains are someone else's to deal with. We now have hardwoods in the living area and I couldn't be happier!