Hubby’s grandmother just moved into a nursing home and we are trying to clean up and divvy out the furniture from her retirement home. There is one big problem: everything that comes out of the retirement home smells like retirement home.
This was a worst case scenario: lots of hair, lots of dirt, lots of smell.
My left-brained engineer hubby proved his worth with an ingenious plan. This was not one of those “I wish I thought of that!” moments, it was a “I NEVER would have thought of that” moments. I know this post is a little off the beaten path for me, but it is too cool not to share. I was ready to send this rug to a garage sale, but in just 24 hours (only 2.5 hours of active cleaning) it was ready to dress up our living room!
Here’s what you do
There are three steps for worst case scenario rugs:
1. Baking soda and vacuum, 2. Leaf blower and vacuum, 3. Shampoo.
First, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the rug. I like Arm & Hammer’s scented carpet odor eliminator, but regular baking soda will work. Let this sit for 12 to 24 hours, then vacuum the carpet. Empty your vacuum in preparation for the next step.
Second, (my hubby’s brilliant idea) use an electric leaf blower under the rug. This will make the rug vibrate and dirt will shake up to the surface. Talk about a DEEP cleaning. This process shakes the grime from inside your rug. Just be sure to empty your vacuum often. The first step got one full canister of dirt and hair. This second step filled 4 canisters! Caution: do not use a gas leaf blower indoors! Electric is the way to go if you are inside.
Finally, if you have a smelly rug, you should consider shampooing it. This step made all the difference in my rug. I use a Hoover MaxExtract All-Terrain Carpet Cleaner, but you could rent one. Or, you can skip this step completely if you are not worried about smells.
In all, this was about 2.5 hours of active light work. No scrubbing or beating…just a lot of vacuuming. It was so easy, I plan on tackling two more rugs this week!
Note: I do not recommend these steps for delicate rugs because it will scrub off some of the fibers on your rug. It worked wonders for my carpet-like rug.