I have 14 year old carpets in a mobile home. They are worn and filthy, but I cannot afford to replace them at this point. Please give me your best tips. I don't have a steam cleaner, and am not sure about renting one and getting everything dry enough, as I live in an extremely humid environment. Thank you so much.
By Tara from Dothan, AL
If you live in a larger town, look on craigslist for free carpeting and or floor tiles and get yourself some newer carpet. Or call a remodeling place and ask if they every have decent carpet left from a job. Figure out how many square feet you will need and have carpet tacks and stripping on hand and ready to go. Put the word out and it will come to you.
It's not good to live with funky old carpet: pet hair, pet and people dander [skin flakes], dust mites, slowly decaying fiber, and street dirt; you are breathing that in. (02/23/2010)
I have lived in houses with dirty old carpets like that, since where you live is very humid I would look at dry cleaning the carpet. Resolve makes a decent product. Often you can rent a dry cleaner for carpets too from a furniture store. That being said the best way I know to get carpets really clean is the same way you wash clothes. See if you can't find a rental place or janitorial supply that will rent you a professional vacuum unless you yourself have one with excellent suction. Vacuum thoroughly, and then mix one part hot water with one part hot white vinegar and 1 tsp (good like in Wisk) laundry detergent and put that into the tank of a rental steam cleaner.
Now here is the secret when you are using it, lift on the handle of the steam cleaner, so that the front of the steam cleaner sucks into the carpet. This will get it cleaner and suck out more water at the same time. Do your whole room this way and then go back over it several times just using the suction. Get some fans (borrow some if you have to) and get the air circulating. Once you have done this you can find recipes on here for homemade foaming carpet cleaner that you can put down and vacuum up.
To keep it clean. Spot clean with half vinegar half water; it's an amazing carpet spot remover. You will be amazed! You may have to do this once a month or so for a while until your carpets are a lot better. I have cleaned carpets from the forties that were black with grease and who knows what else this way and had them come clean and nice looking again. Good luck! (02/25/2010)
I should add that I take some Fels Naptha laundry soap and a scrub brush and scrub spots and stains and go back over them with the cleaner. Using vinegar this way will remove most old pet odors from carpet, too. A big plus in my opinion! (02/25/2010)
We live in a humid place, too, and moved into a 50 year old house with carpeting that was at least 15-20 years old and in really bad shape, too.
Looking back on it, I think we spent more money trying to get them clean through and through (which really didn't work completely in the long run, anyway beneath them all was mold from years of bad housekeeping and high humidity).
We ended up tearing out all the carpeting and either making do with the bare floors beneath or heading off to our local Habitat for Humanity Re-store for wood flooring, planking, and tile, for some rooms, room by room as we could afford it. The cost for us to tile two rooms and lay down wood plank in two others was less than one room would have been if we'd gone to the "Depot" and bought new or even clearance materials.
Just a thought, what's lurking in and under those rugs could not only be unpleasant dirt, but an actual health hazard. And in a humid environment, I just feel like I'm getting the house cleaner dealing with bare flooring and tile as opposed to carpeting. (02/25/2010)
I'd check on your local Freecycle or Craigslist. Sometime people are replacing carpet simply because they don't like the color or type they have or for some other reason. My brother's business is laying carpet and his garage is oftentimes filled with good nice carpet he has pulled up and replaced for wealthy people who have money to throw away. If I were you I would list a wanted ad and if you're not in a real hurry you may find a steal. (02/28/2010)
I don't have a lot of experience with new linoleum, sorry. I would think that the key would be too keeping things well ventilated with the fans so that it dries as quickly as possible. What I do know is that sometimes people put down particle board subfloors over the top of things like linoleum, etc. and put carpet on top of that. Sucking out as much of the water as you can with the machine is another key thing. Also I should have mentioned this before, but after the initial cleaning if you notice your carpet is sticky from the soap you can "rinse" it with half water half vinegar both hot and this should take care of it. (03/11/2010)
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