Let me begin by saying that I know that nobody comes to this blog for cleaning advice. Like, not one single person in the history of the internet has ever had the thought, I need to get my house sparkling clean. Let’s see when Jen Fulwiler has to say about that!
But I made a huge cleaning discovery this week, and it’s so cool that I would have my blogging license revoked if I didn’t tell you about it.
I’ve mentioned before that our carpet is a disaster. The previous owner of our house installed gleaming, ivory-white carpet shortly before he moved out, and let’s just say that that has not worked out so well with six young children trampling over it all day, every day. It’s almost to the point that Resolve is a line item in our monthly budget, and so I always take note when I see do-it-yourself carpet cleaning formulas on Pinterest.
I never had gotten around to trying out any of these concoctions, and I was a little worried about what they would do to the carpet if they turned out to be as disastrous as some of my other “found it on Pinterest!” efforts. So I did what I always do when I need to get some major project done that requires intensive thought and labor: made it a homeschool project! (The Fulwiler homeschool, treading the thin line between “hands-on education” and “free labor” since 2010.)
I ordered four carpet samples, then did some research to find four of the most popular pins that offered homemade carpet cleaner formulas (and got to experience the immense satisfaction of having Joe see me surfing Pinterest and being able to say with a straight face, “I’m doing research.”) These were the four that made the cut (with links to the original pins):
- Hydrogen peroxide + dish soap
- Shaving cream
- Club soda + vinegar + dish soap
- Ironing a towel laid over a carpet sprayed with ammonia + hot water
I figured that all of these recipes would work pretty well for light stains that had recently happened, but I wanted to see if they could handle Fulwiler-level disasters. So we doused the four carpet squares with chocolate, wine, coffee, and Sharpie ink.
Then we stomped on them for a while.
And then we let them sit overnight. The next morning, they looked like this:
The next day, we set out to clean up these four carpet samples with the four different formulas I’d found on Pinterest. We had our work cut out for us.
We followed the instructions on the original posts that the pins linked to, and each of the three big kids mixed his or her own formula. Here is where you probably expect me to say that while they were working, we talked about why each of these chemicals might work to remove stains. Unfortunately I used my extra prep time repinning fall cocktail recipes, so I told them to Google it.
After spraying and spraying and a lot of hard scrubbing, we let our samples dry and beheld the results:
- The clear winner was #3, mixing 1 cup each of club soda, white vinegar, and blue Dawn dish soap, as described in this pin.
- None of them worked very well on the Sharpie. It seems like getting that kind of stain out would require a separate effort.
- Truth be told, formula #4 (ironing over an ammonia and hot water mix) might have worked better if I’d had more time. The stains were continuing to come out, but after five minutes of ironing and trying not to pass out from the seriously noxious fumes, I had to quit. (A spray bottle battle had broken out on the back porch, and I was not interested in seeing how well these chemicals cleaned eyeballs.)
For those of you who prefer visuals, here it is in one image:
I tested our winning formula on our carpet o’ doom, and am happy to report that it did just as good of a job as the most expensive supermarket cleaner, for a fraction of the price. To get it to work well, I sprayed a lot of it on the trouble spots, then let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it up.
I hope that’s helpful! Now I’m going to get to work on our next homeschool science project, where we’ll discover whether it’s possible for three children to sweep the kitchen floor without getting in a broom fight.