Summer is in full swing and it’s time to clean out my house! We have a dog, Piper Baby Piper Dilly, and despite how cute she is, she still smells like a dog. Despite regular baths and all the fancy cleaners and deodorizers, by the end of winter, you can’t escape the smell of dog lingering in the air. Lucky for all of you, I have found some tips and tricks to help me rid my rugs of the smell in a cheap, easy way and keep it smelling nice and fresh.
-A few back to back rain-free days, the sunnier, the better.
-A large enough area to leave your rug outdoors to dry.
-Vinegar in a spray bottle (get an amber spray bottle if you want to add essential oil scents to the vinegar to cut down on the odor) vinegar)
-scrubber brush (like this one)
You can find your supplies at the dollar store, or (BONUS!) maybe in your own cupboard, minus the weather and space, of course. If you have kiddos that love to help you clean, like mine (don’t be jealous 🙂 ) then grab an extra scrubber brush or two so they can join in.
The Cleaning Process:
First things first, vacuum, and then vacuum again, especially if you have pets. Common sense, I know, but I said it anyway. Next, take your rug outside and put (preferably hang, if you can) it in the sunniest place you have access to. I draped mine over the railing on our deck, with the longest side running parallel to the railing. I find that it dries much faster this way for me because gravity helps pull the water down and out. Keep that in mind whenever you are looking for a spot to lay out your own rug.
It’s a huge pain, but if you have pets, it’s really best to use a lint roller at this point to get up any excess hair your vacuum might have missed so it doesn’t get embedded into the carpet during the cleaning process. Now, for my absolute favorite “outside tool”, the water hose!! I have a nozzle on mine, like this one, and adjust it to the most powerful setting, it’s “jet” on mine, but yours might be different, just play with the settings a bit to figure it out. From top to bottom, back and forth, spray the rug, angling the water stream at about a 45* angle. Do this several times to get as much ground in dirt out of it as possible.
Next, lift the edge of the rug and generously sprinkle baking soda over the surface until it’s covered. Cover as much of the rug as you can, but don’t worry about it being perfect. You’re going to be working the baking soda in, so whatever isn’t covered in it after this step, will be soon. 🙂 Be prepared for some of it to fall off. It won’t hurt anything, but you can hose it away later if you’d like. 🙂
Next, use the vinegar in your spray bottle to start hosing the rug down. The vinegar and the baking soda will most likely react and bubble, that’s perfectly fine, they are working some magic. If they don’t, no biggie, the baking soda probably soaked up the water faster than you got the vinegar to it but it will still work. Use the scrubber brush to work the mixture into the rug’s surface and then allow it to dry fully.
Helpful tip: Hold the brush upside down to get more leverage and keep your arm from tiring out quickly.
Baking soda and vinegar are known for their odor eliminating and disinfecting properties. Not to mention, they are so much safer than nearly every other cleaner on the market. Once dry, bring the rug back inside, vacuum up any dried baking soda left on the surface and voila! A much, much, much cleaner and fresher smelling rug! If you’re rug is like mine, it will be a little wrinkly on the edges for the first couple days after you deep clean it but once it sits the wrinkles will fall right out. Just keep this in mind if you are preparing for guests.
I like to keep my home smelling as clean and fresh as possible, so once a week I use a baking soda/carpet fresh combination. I sprinkle it over my rugs before leaving for our family outings and then vacuum it up when we return. During the winter months when it’s too chilly outside to have the windows open I also febreeze the rugs before going to bed. My favorite part of the morning is coming down to a fresh and clean smelling house in the morning. Not only does this help keep my house smelling fresh, it keeps the vacuum pet odor free too! Woot Woot!
I didn’t use an amber spray bottle for this cleaning session because I wasn’t using essential oils. However, next time I will add lemon, mint, and orange essential oils to give it a fresh scent.