Keeping the carpets clean when you have pets is an adventure in itself. Between shedding, muddy paw prints and the occasional accident your carpets can take some serious abuse. Keeping them clean is essential not just for looks, but for sanitary reasons as well. If you have pets you don't want to be using harsh chemicals that aren't good for them, so natural remedies are a must.
Vacuum often. Especially in summer when your pets are shedding their winter coats, you carpet will need to be vacuumed at least a couple of times a week. Dirty paws can track in all kinds of dirt that will only get pressed deeper into the fibers of your carpet if you let it sit for too long.
Clean up spills or accidents immediately using paper towels or old designated cloths for the job. Remove solids and dispose of them and blot up liquids. It comes in handy to have a spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water on hand. Vinegar is quite useful in both removing stains and eliminating odors. It's natural, so it's pet safe. They just won't care for the smell. Vinegar doesn't necessarily smell good, even when it's diluted, so you may want to open a window. The smell will go away and it will help to prevent unwanted odors, too.
Occasionally you may want to freshen your carpet. Sprinkle baking soda all over the carpet and leave it overnight. This will of course mean keeping your pets off it by closing the room if you can. In the morning, vacuum it all up. Baking soda absorbs odors but it needs a few hours to do its thing.
There are also several commercial products available that say specifically on the label that they are pet safe.
If you don't own a carpet cleaner, you can rent one at your local grocery store. Be sure that the carpet cleaning solution you purchase is pet friendly and follow closely the manufacturer's instructions for both. If you prefer to clean the carpets by hand, use a solution of warm water with dish soap and a cup of white vinegar. Scrub the carpets well with a sponge or cloth dipped in the solution and rinse it with clean water and a clean cloth. Use a squeegee to help expel any excess moisture and place a fan nearby to help the carpet dry. Do not saturate the carpet; if the padding underneath gets soaked it may cause it to mold which can be harmful to you and your pet.
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