Carpet Cleaning... bliss?

I love my dogs, Harold and Kumar, and while they have comical and endearing names, what they left for me on the carpet this morning was neither comical nor endearing. My semi-conscious ‘dance’ to avoid stepping in dog puke was probably hilarious to the outside observer, but ended in my hitting the wall, tripping, and stepping in yet another ‘doggie present’.
Harold the Brave
Normally this would have been like any other Tuesday morning, I clean my foot off, clean the mess up, scrub away at the carpet in a vain attempt to get it back to its previous pristine self, and I move on with my day, but today, I realized was not a normal Tuesday.

Today was the first day in about a week that I've woken up with clear nasal passages, and apparently I haven't been able to smell anything for a week.

Kumar the Coward

This morning I could smell, and I wasn’t exactly greeted with the scent of roses and freshly baked bread.

Problem: Smell coming from downstairs carpet, that is beginning to permeate to the rest of the house. Anyone who knows me, or the house I live in, knows this humble abode came with more than a few problems, not the least of which was the fact that the previous owner was a well-to-do, but terrible handy-man, who made rookie mistakes, and dangerous repairs!

Final Solution: The Rug Doctor!!

This of course wasn’t my first solution, because my inner thrift queen always tries to come up with the best at home, cost free solutions.

While this homemade fabric refresher worked wonders when I forgot a whole load of laundry in the machine, and it ended up smelling like mildew it’s just not strong enough to combat the odor making skills of my dogs digestive tracts.

Second Attempt: Baking Soda Scrub
The technique is simple, albeit time consuming and not as easy as spraying some mist over the culprit carpet. It simply involves sprinkling baking soda on the carpet, scrubbing it in on the tough and particularly smelly bits, leaving it for about 15 minutes and then vacuuming it up. While this worked for some of the smell it does little to remove the stains, and also involves kneeling on the carpet, not ideal.
Tips: Wear clothes you don’t care about as you'll be down on your hands and knees scrubbing away. I also suggest you wear some kind of eye protection, because as you scrub at the mess with the bristled brush, the baking soda starts to clump together, and it has a tendency to flick back up. I believe the scrubbing technique is all in the wrist, and I have yet to master it. I manage to ‘aim’ those little clumps of powder and urine straight towards my face.
Third attempt: Screw this at home stuff, I need professional help!!

While I’d never go so far as to hire someone to do work I can do myself, I am in this case referring to the professional help of an industrial strength, carpet cleaning wet vacuum, ie. the Rolls Royce of vacuums. The Rug Doctor, easily rentable at most Safeways or Home Hardwares, comes with all the bells and whistles, provides some deep carpet cleaning wonder, exudes luxury (in the most vaccumy-envy sense of the word), but can still be operated by a newbie like me.
There are three main types of carpet cleaner available for rental of purchase:
  • Upright extractors – These are by far the most common carpet cleaning machines for home use. They involve the use of a clean water reservoir and a gray water reservoir. Clean water and soap are sprayed onto a carpet and then extracted back into the machine.
  • Steam machines – Carpet cleaning machines that profess to be steam models for home use generally do not operate at quite the right temperature to produce steam. Instead, they rely on the use of hot water to help loosen and lift dirt and debris.
  • Hand-held devices – This type of carpet cleaning machine is a portable version of a larger model. *


Today I felt I needed the big guns, and rented the Upright Extractor from my local Home Building Centre.

It cost about $45 CDN to rent the machine for 24 hours, and that included the name brand carpet cleaning soap that comes from the same company, Rug Doctor. If you’re cleaning carpet, there’s no need to get the anti-foam, that’s only needed if you’re using the machine to clean upholstery.

  • When they say move slow, they mean move slow.
  • Hold onto the handle with both hands, because when the spay is going and the brush is spinning the whole things buzzes, and it really started to hurt my wrist when I was holding it with just one hand.
  • Go from the outside edges of the room toward the middle
  • When you move the furniture back you MUST put tin-foil under the legs of the furniture because it can stain under the the legs where the carpet is still wet, and those stains are SERIOUSLY difficult to remove!
  • The machine MUST be grounded, so make sure you have it in a three pronged plug! 

Other than my little bits of advice, and hilarious antics while trying to do things around my home, it is amazingly satisfying to see the stains cleaned right before your eyes!!!

         designing a life that is clean and stain free
                   Anna Felicity

*Information from:

1 comment:

Robin said...

You should blog more! I love reading them!