Having two kids, and two dogs, and a whole lot of in and out foot traffic, I hate having carpet. It makes me feel grimy and dirty and it holds pet odors, dander and hair like crazy. Unfortunately, when we bought our house, 3,000 square feet of hardwoods were just not affordable. So, we replaced the old worn carpet for new, just so that my new baby didn’t have to crawl around on other people’s funk.
Fast forward three years later, and my carpet, well, it smells like dog, and dust. Our carpets are cleaned regularly but you need something to keep them smelling fresh in between. And you can do that safely and effectively with this quick tip:
What you’ll need:
A large shaker container. You can re-purpose your old grated cheese container, which would be perfect for this, or an old spice container that has larger holes.
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil.
That’s it. Put the baking soda into the container, add the essential oil, and shake to mix it all up. Sprinkle it on your carpet and rub it in. Let sit for maybe five or so minutes to let it absorb the odors and then vacuum up. Your carpet shouldn’t smell overpoweringly like essential oil, but it definitely shouldn’t smell like stale dog, either.
Another quick tip is to make sure you clean your vacuum regularly. We live in a day and age where vacuums are so disposable. My mother blows through one every six months to a year! That’s insane to me. I think of all of those vacuums piling up in landfills. You can make your vacuum last so much longer than that. We bought our Dyson Animal 5 years ago. Sure, you say, for the price you pay, it should last that long. Yes, it should, and it was entirely worth the price we paid for it, but it’s not without a little elbow grease.
Every six months, I not only clean out the hepa filter, I disassemble most of the vacuum (anything that has tubes or anywhere dirt gets trapped), and I give each part a good scrub in super hot water and soap. Any tubes, I soak in hot water and a little bit of bleach. Not a lot, just a little. I let the parts soak over night, and then give everything a good thorough scrub. I have a vacuum that looks and works as good as the day I bought it. I don’t have to waste money on a new vacuum, and I keep another one out of the landfill. It’s a win for everyone. You don’t have to have the Dyson to do this. Just remember:
- Clean or replace HEPA filters according to the manufacturers recommendations.
- thoroughly wash all tubes and hoses at least once a year.
- always inspect the brushes every six months to make sure there’s no lingering hairballs that are making it work ineffectively.
- Never let a bag or canister go beyond the fill line. The vacuum has to work harder, putting strain on your motor.
Got any other tips to keep your carpets fresh or your vacuum running smoothly? Leave ’em in the comments.