August 13, 2015

Thieves Cleaner: Carpet Spot Cleaner

Next up in my Thieves Cleaner series: Carpet Spot Cleaner.

Be sure to check out my other Thieves Cleaner posts here:
Oven Cleaner - Degreaser and Deep Cleaning Scrub
Glass / Mirror spray
All Purpose Cleaner

An important note with regards to using this as a carpet spot or upholstery cleaner, make sure to test this on an inconspicuous area first. This is very important to make sure that this cleaner is compatible with whatever fabric / fibers your upholstery or rug is made of. When I first used this cleaner, I tested it on the underside of a couch cushion and also a corner of our rug that stays under our couch. This is important to make sure the cleaner is compatible with the fabric/fibers and won't change the texture or color of the fibers or have any other adverse reaction. And as always, the opinions stated here are my own, based on my own experience. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any ailment, stain or situation of any kind. Be sure to do your own research and make your own informed decision. 

Okay, back to the cleaner. This is probably redundant at this point, but again, I referenced the Young Living Blog for dilution ratios. The infographic from their blog is included below for reference. 
Photo Cred: Young Living Blog
I wasn't really planning on trying out the carpet spot cleaner right away since the carpeting in our house doesn't get a lot of wear and tear. We have hard wood floors on our first floor and carpet on the stairs and second floor. We do have a couple area rugs on the first floor. With all of our carpets, I vacuum often and don't generally worry about spots. We do have two dogs and a baby, so they are bound to get some minor spots here and there, but I don't stress out over a little stain on the rugs. We keep the second floor gated off to keep the baby away from the steps now that she is crawling and as a result, the dogs aren't up there that often.

While I wasn't planning to try out this carpet cleaner right away, our dogs had another plan. They are both crate trained, but we've recently started leaving them out of their crates while we are out and about. We close all the doors and the upstairs is gated off, so really they only have access to the family room and kitchen which are basically a great room and the bathroom where we keep their water bowls. We've found they aren't as hyper when we get home since they have someone to keep company and play with. Well, apparently we were gone too long one day this week. I came home to this scene:
If you can't tell from that photo, let me give you some close ups. Excuse the poor phone photo quality and color variances between photos.
EEK! The dogs had gotten ahold of an ink pen and destroyed it, leaving blue ink everywhere. Our dogs' paws were dyed blue, the couch and rug were covered in ink stains, my husband's shoe strings were in shreds, toys, socks pillows all over and it was 9pm. I was so not in the mood to scrub the house. I did temporary damage control and picked up the shoe lace shreds, plastic pen remnants, checked the dogs mouths for any cuts, called the vet to make sure everything would be okay. They told me to monitor their behavior and if we noticed anything to bring them in the next day. Thank goodness they are acting totally normal, have their appetites and are just as silly as ever. Once I knew they were safe and okay, I set to work researching what on earth I could use to get ink out of our couch and rug.

I spent a good chunk of time the next day trying to find something that I could use that wouldn't be toxic. I called up the folks that have cleaned my parent's carpets and they suggested rubbing alcohol and blotting, not rubbing. So we started there. Todd was blotting away while I was watching the baby and wasn't having any luck. Then we remembered that when we purchased our couch, we opted for the upholstery protection plan and it came with a bottle of cleaner, so we tried that on the couch. It seemed to just spread the stain more, though it did lift a good bit of ink out of the couch. But it wasn't working on the rug. At this point, Todd had been attempting to clean this up for an hour and we weren't seeing results. We were starting to discuss options. Could we put a rug on top of our rug to hide it? Replace the rug? Cover with a coffee table? Flip the cushions? Any other cleaners to try? Do we hire a professional cleaner? Strategically place a blanket over the arm of the couch to hide the stains?
Then I remembered seeing the infographic above and that it mentioned a carpet spot cleaner. I had a spare industrial spray bottle on hand so I mixed up some Thieves cleaner according to the dilution ratio. Again, I tried it out in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it would be okay. There was a small ink stain under the chair, so I tried it out there first (I have no idea how they got ink under the chair, but nevertheless it was the perfect spot to test if this cleaner would be okay to use on our rug). With a little agitation with a tooth brush and lots of blotting, the stain started to disappear. I couldn't believe it. This was a small stain, but it didn't take much for me to get it out. So I moved on to the next spot. I would spray, agitate it with a toothbrush, blot it up with an old towel, then repeat. This went on for another 2 hours or so. By no means was this a quick or easy process, but we were seeing results. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy that these stains were coming out that we wouldn't need to resort to one of our alternative options. After all, purchasing a new rug and/or sofa isn't in the budget right now and we really didn't want to have to pay for a professional cleaner to come in either, plus, you can only strategically place so many blankets, and rugs on top of rugs can look out of place.
After all that cleaning, the rug was fairly saturated. I vacuumed up stray fibers that had come loose and blotted up as much moisture as we could. Then we decided to leave it be to dry and see how it looked in the morning.
Here is how it looked the next day after it dried. Again, excuse the poor photo quality, I was snapping these on my phone and the light in the room made everything appear a different color.
As you can tell, it is a great improvement compared to where we started. However, there were still some ink spots on the couch (left side of the cushion and on the arm rest) and rug, so that evening we got the cleaner back out to try to lift out the rest of the ink. After more agitation with a toothbrush and blotting with a rag and letting it dry out again, here is how it looked the next day:
There is still a spot on the rug that I'm not sure will ever come out. There is still some faint blue on the arm rest, but the cushion looks worlds better. It isn't perfect, but it is good enough for us, I'm not aiming for perfection here. We use this room all the time and with two dogs and a baby, there are bound to be more stains in the future. It is clean, the dogs are safe and healthy, our baby has a safe place to play and crawl and we have a room to spend time in as a family and space to welcome friends and family into our home. Our house isn't straight out of a magazine, it is lived in and sometimes we make messes and sometimes things aren't picture perfect, but that is okay because it is home to us. I'll reference one of my favorite quotes "I will hold myself to a standard of GRACE not PERFECTION" - Emily Ley. (check out her blog post on this subject here). So much goodness, truth and grace in that. I'm so thankful for grace, and for a patient husband who helps me scrub carpets for hours on end when I'm frustrated and would rather be doing anything but cleaning, and for our dogs' health and that this situation wasn't worse than what it could have been, and for our daughter's health and her laughter & smiles that always brighten my day.

I'm also thankful to have natural cleaning options that are safe to use and aren't full of chemicals and that actually work! If you are interested in learning more about why I joined Young Living, check out this post. If you are interested in joining for yourself you can sign up here. As always feel free to message me with any questions. 

Disclaimer - The information contained in this post and on my blog are for entertainment purposes only. This information is my own opinion based on my experiences and resources. Any information is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, ailment or situation. Please do your own research and make your own informed decisions when you are considering lifestyle and health changes. Always consult a doctor and seek the advice of your qualified health professional when making your health decisions or before starting any new protocol, particularly if you are pregnant, taking medication, or have a medical condition. Any links leaving this site are the opinion of the author of those sites and should be treated with the same caution as what you read here. This post may contain affiliate links. In the instance of household items / cleaning, please use caution when using any product, keep out of reach of children and pets. Always test products on an inconspicuous area for color fastness and to ensure there is no adverse reaction with the surface in which you are cleaning. 

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