punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Filthy carpets

Man, the trouble with having pets are filthy carpets. Some take the easy way out and never have carpeting. But I hate non-carpeted floors in a house. They feel poor, cheap, and institutional. I don't care of you spent $$$$ on solid, hard wood oak floors, your house feels somehow transitory like you are renting an apartment or living in a museum.

But when you have a lot of traffic and pets, you end up with really ratty carpeting. The previous owners had three teen boys and two dogs, so they got this hard-core "berber" carpet which his like of like AstroTurf, only not as soft. I suspect it's also because they didn't have carpeting until they tried to sell the house. I think the floors are a little uneven in spots, and I really don't want to know why, and carpeting may have covered some stuff up.

After all, these were the same people who removed the entire floor in my old den without any reasoning. "They were asbestos-based," they said. Uh huh. So you just ripped them up in that old room to be nice? Since they signed a contract they'd leave the house in the same condition when they left, we made them put in a new floor. That always irked me, because that's a really weird thing to do in a 4 month period you are moving from your old house.

I wonder what they were covering up in there? There are ghosts in our house, and one inhabited that room, but it wasn't a "bad" ghost (just wandered around like it was bored), so I doubt it's the spirit of someone who was murdered in some blood sacrifice for Amway or something.

Sadly, carpeting holds stains and smells that are difficult to remove. Last year, we bit the bullet and had some professional company steam clean the place as opposed to me spending days and days doing it myself. The carpets looked great... for about a week. For the last few weeks, I have been cleaning them myself with a trusty Hoover rug cleaner, and they looked great... and still do. Of course, it takes me nearly an entire day to do a whole room. The order goes like this:

1. Vacuum: Hair and paper clogs the carpet cleaner.
2. Pre-soak: Get the carpet wet by doing the room once with no cleaning fluid. This removes huge dried puddles of whatever, and about 50% of any stains right off the bat.
3. Pre-wash: Again, no cleaner, just hot water. The pre-soak will have loosened a lot of stuff, this will come out in the second pass. This also cleans out a lot of what's been soaked into the carpet pad. I wait about an hour between this and the wash.
4. Wash: This is where I use the pet-friendly, citrus-based carpet cleaner. This pulls most of the rest of the stains out. I wait another hour after this.
5. Post-wash: This will remove any straggling stuff loosened by the cleaner that didn't get sucked out.
6. Rinse: The carpet is now soft again, and this removes the last bit of dirt I can get.
7. Drying: I air dry it.

This cleans the carpet pretty well most of the time. There are a few stains that keep reappearing; usually in high traffic areas. Often I take a brush a specialized cleaner to it.
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