The internet is awash with DIY guides for all manner of activities. There are videos promising to teach you another language on YouTube, and there are gardening blogs explaining how to grow the best strawberries.
Cleaning seems to be another subject that draws huge attention. There are blogs dedicated to nothing but cleaning, and making your own recipes that are better for the environment, or are gentler on human skin.
Some articles are aimed at deep cleaning homes, and others are more specific, and aimed at such things as upholstery, or curtains.
One other popular area is carpets and rugs. And there are plenty of recipes on the net to make carpet cleaners and softeners. But, do they really work, or are you mixing up recipes for potential disaster?
Do home cleaning solutions ever really work?
There is a belief in many that there are literally only two things you really need to clean a home completely. There are some great home cleaning tips every pet owner ought to know, such as using a lint roller. However, there is one item that individuals with or without pets seem to agree on; that is baking soda.
Apparently, to the initiated, the only things you need in your cleaning armory are baking soda and vinegar. Mixed together, some people swear, create the best cleaning solution that you will ever want.
Sometimes the two ingredients are used separately rather than mixed. And one way to use them is on rugs.
Can you remove stains from rugs with home cleaning recipes?
There are plenty of easy hacks to remove stains from carpets and rugs, and one is by using the magic ingredients listed above.
Firstly, vinegar should be poured over the whole of the stained area. This liquid starts to work at softening up the offending mark before you add the next magic ingredient.
After the vinegar has soaked into the stain, sprinkle baking soda completely over the stained area too. This is when the magic apparently will start. As the soda hits the vinegar it will begin to fizz. There is no need to be concerned as this just shows that the soda is doing its thing.
You can then leave this overnight to completely dry out. The next day, simply vacuum up the baking soda. Proponents of this method believe that baking soda is excellent at removing odors too, which is why pet owners like to have this around the home.
Should you be using professional cleaners for your rugs?
Fans of home cleaning recipes may tell you that baking soda and vinegar are all you need. However, carpets and rugs can be extremely expensive and may need special care.
Hiring a professional rug cleaning service may be needed in some circumstances. Especially where experience is needed for an expensive rug. Imported carpets and rugs might not be so simple to clean, and you could damage them if not careful.
Professional rug cleaners should understand different materials, weaves, and dyes. They will have cleaning products that will have been tested, and the company themselves will hopefully be experienced in different techniques.
What are the risks of cleaning your rugs yourself?
Of course, there is nothing to stop you from cleaning your own rugs if that is what you should wish. There are, however, some risks involved.
When cleaning anything yourself for the first time, it is often worth doing a spot test. This involves finding a small area that is not so visible. For instance, if you wanted to try cleaning a sofa with homemade cleaning solutions, first try a small area at the rear. If anything goes awry at least it won’t be visible.
Some of the cleaning suggestions for the home include items such as hydrogen peroxide which has many uses. This can be bought over the counter and can be used for such varied things as unblocking ears, to antiseptic. It can also be used in cleaning solutions.
However, hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties to it. Using this or a solution with other homemade recipes could end with your rug being permanently damaged.
Any money saved from not using a professional rug cleaner may be completely negated by the need to replace the whole of your flooring. Or find ways to hide the damage made.
Are there advantages to using professional rug cleaners?
One of the advantages to using professionals is that they are experienced, and will hopefully not damage your precious rugs. Nevertheless, accidents do occur, which is why professional cleaning companies are insured.
At least if something does go awry, the cleaning company will be insured and can replace the rug or carpet in question.
Other advantages are that they will have specialist cleaning equipment that can go much deeper than vinegar and baking soda. And this might even bring about some health benefits and make your rug last longer.
Why would your health benefit from a professional carpet or rug clean?
Carpets attract all manner of dust and grime. For a start, the build-up of dirt looks awful. The color and clarity of your flooring will diminish over time, but also the rug will become damaged.
Rugs and carpets are made up of fibers weaved together. The accumulated dirt will wear against these fibers and reduce their lifespan. Not only that but other nasties are lurking in rugs and carpets.
According to the NCHH, dust mite waste contains an allergen that can have severe reactions in humans. Rugs can easily become infested with dust mites and you won’t know because they are microscopic.
Professional rug cleaning means that more of these dust mites will be removed than by regular vacuuming. Thus, the quality of the air in your home will improve, and quite possibly your health too.
Homemade cleaning recipes can and do work. There is too much evidence online to suggest that stains cannot be removed with simple household ingredients. Nevertheless, sometimes a professional service is needed.
Expensive rugs need care and proper attention. Also, deep cleaning carpets and rugs can mean that they last longer, and your family’s health remains as it should.