As a parent, you know it can be almost impossible to keep up with the mess your kids are always making around the house. You also know how awful it is to find a carpet stain that's days old and just now coming to your attention. Teaching your kids how to deal with their own carpet stains isn't hard. Some parents worry about letting their children use commercial cleaners because of the possibility of mishandling chemicals or even bleaching the carpet. Fortunately, these all-natural cleaning solutions are just as effective as commercially available products and are also nontoxic. If your children are old enough to clean up their own messes in the kitchen, they're old enough to learn these basic methods for spot treating and deodorizing.
Blot, Don't Rub
Show your kids how to blot a carpet stain without rubbing it into the fibers. Use a clean, light colored rag to soak the liquid from carpet, starting from the outside of the stain and working your way in. As the rag becomes saturated, demonstrate the way that folding the rag over to expose a clean side can make the rag last longer. Emphasize that it's okay to use more than one rag to blot a stain. It's better to dirty extra rags than to transfer a stain from a dirty rag to a clean part of the carpet.
Stain Clean with Vinegar and Water
Keep spray bottles of vinegar and water in various parts around the house, and show your kids where those spray bottles are located. Best to keep many spray bottles on hand, just in case your kids are feeling too lazy to retrieve one from a remote part of the house. Spray the stain with the vinegar and water solution, then blot, blot, and blot again. Rinse the stain with a fresh damp rag. If the stain is still present, instruct your kids to come get you, or show them how to repeat the process.
Deodorize with Baking Soda
Kids have a way of spilling milk on the carpet. Even though it doesn't stain, milk will produce a cheesy, sour smell if it's not properly deodorized. In this demonstration, show your kids how to sprinkle baking soda over a smelly area and leave it overnight. In the morning, instruct your kids to vacuum the baking soda and repeat if necessary.
Get Help in Emergency Stain Situations
Some stains can do lasting damage if they're not handled properly right from the start. These stains include urine, grape juice, and acrylic paint. Make sure your kids know when to seek help rather than handle a stain on their own. This way, you'll know right away when it's time to break out the industrial strength cleaners, or call for a cleaning crew like Power-Kleen.