6 cleaning hacks to keep your carpet looking like new

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Most of us have a love/hate relationship with our carpet. We love how warm and comforting it is to our bare feet but hate stains and wear. Hiring a professional carpet cleaner can get expensive. Add small children or pets to the mix, and you might as well invest in area rugs to cover anywhere they've been — that is, until these six carpet cleaning hacks came along. They solve your biggest carpet challenges easily and inexpensively.
1. Spot clean with the power of baking soda
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Commercial carpet spot cleaners are expensive and aren't always effective. Create your own safe carpet cleaner by combining equal parts of water, vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap. Add the mixture to the carpet prior to cleaning it to remove the toughest stains. You can safely and naturally clean your carpet using a carpet cleaner by using equal parts vinegar and water.
2. Fluff carpet dents
Carpet dents happen when furniture or other heavy items compress carpet fibers over a period of time. The easiest way to fluff the carpet back up without damaging it is to toss a couple of ice cubes in the carpet dent. As they melt, the carpet will magically fluff back up.
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3. Quickly clean up a mess with shaving cream
A quick way to clean up a spill or spot without working it down into the carpet is to grab a can of shaving cream. The white foam is basically soap and can be used to lift the soiled mess from the carpet. Carefully lift away any residue from the carpet, and gently work shaving cream into the top. Be careful not to rub the mess further into the carpet pile. After a few minutes, simply dab away the stain.
4. Sprinkle on a carpet refresher
This homemade carpet deodorizer is safe for both pets and children. All you need to do is fill a shaker with baking soda, 1-2 tablespoons of borax, and your favorite essential oils. Sprinkle it over the carpet, and vacuum it up. Your entire house will smell great!
5. Mix up your own carpet cleaning solution (h/t One Hundred Dollars a Month)
If you own a carpet cleaner or are able to rent one for the day, you don't have to purchase a commercial cleaning solution to get your carpet sparkling. You can mix up your own carpet cleaner solution with a few items you may already have. One Hundred Dollars a Month creates her carpet cleaner solution by combining Fabuloso cleaner, OxiClean, Snuggle, Dawn dish soap, and hot water.
6. Concentrate on high-traffic areas
High-traffic areas around your front door, down hallways, and on stairs show wear and tear much faster than the rest of your carpeting. There are many ways to help prevent the carpet from becoming dingy and worn in these places. While most carpet needs cleaning only once a year, high traffic areas can benefit from being cleaned every six months. Vacuuming regularly and in different directions can help keep the area from becoming matted. Throw rugs can also protect high-traffic areas.
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