4 tips to cleaner and greener carpets and rugs

Keeping carpets clean and stain free is a challenge, especially in high traffic areas that become the stomping ground for winter’s mix of slush, sand dirt and stains.

Before you know it, your carpets are shades darker than they were just one season ago. Here are my favorite natural spring cleaning tips to liven up your carpeting:

1.Vacuum first
It’s important to vacuum regularly – try for once a week if you can – which keeps deeply embedded dirt, sand and dander to a minimum. Use the changing of the seasons to do a thorough, detailed vacuum of the nooks and crannies: Under furniture, around furniture legs and across your baseboards.

2. Clean stains
While we all do our best to deal with carpet stains as they happen, there are always those pesky spots we didn’t have time to tackle or that take several treatments.

  • Throw a solution of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water into a spray bottle and spray the stain.
  • Place a damp rag on top of the spot.
  • With your iron on the steam setting, iron the rag for about 30 seconds.
  • Voila!

Depending on how long the stain has been there, you might have to repeat these steps.

3. Steam clean

Mix equal parts water and vinegar and add to your steam cleaner just like you would any cleaning solution. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you’re concerned your carpet’s going to smell like salad dressing. For high traffic areas that need more power, use a higher ratio of vinegar to water. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, rent one.

4. Keep your carpets fresh
Between deep cleans, you can prolong the freshness of your carpet by creating your own carpet freshener. Mix the below ingredients and store in a shaker:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil

Before your subsequent vacuuming sessions, lightly sprinkle the mix onto your carpet, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and vacuum as per usual (just make sure to do this on a dry day so the baking soda doesn’t pick up any moisture).

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Candles.. Are They Toxic?

I am often asked about candles. Candles can be toxic. Many are made with paraffin wax..which is a petroleum by-product..which then releases carcinogenic soot when burned. Soot can cause respiratory problems and will aggravate the conditions of those who already have asthma, lung, or heart problems. Many are also scented with synthetic oils which can irritate your lungs and could cause other health problems. Some candles have lead in their wicks which can be even more toxic. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone disruption, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and numerous health problems.

What are the options you ask?

There are soy and beeswax candles and even GMO free ones. Make sure it says 100% because some manufacturers still use paraffin and mix it with beeswax or soy to save money. Stay away from paraffin! Look for ‘scented with natural essential oils’ and ‘lead free wicks’ and ones made with cotton.

One company to check out is way out Wax and many of their products can be found in stores across the country (use their store locator tab).