Kids and Carpet – 3 Survival Tips Every Mom Should Know!
March 12, 2013
Why does keeping our carpet clean have to be so hard? It seems that no matter how hard I try, there are always new spots to clean and old traffic areas to de-grime yet again.
Having three children and a dog are the only excuses I have to offer. My husband is actually neater than the rest of us. And it’s not like he works in construction or farming. Add to that, that we live in the city where dirt really is at a minimum. But children seem to come with a natural tendency to spread mess wherever they go.
Believe me I’ve tried to keep it looking nice. We created an entire room in the house just for crafting. All glue, paint, markers, etc. stays in that room and that room only. When re-carpeting their house, our neighbors gave us their old carpet to place in this special room so that I could let my girls be creative without going crazy due to the mess. It seemed like a perfect solution for all the variables involved.
I wanted to be a good mother who allowed her children to be active and creative, while at the same time maintain my status as a good housekeeper who didn’t have trails of glue and feathers papering her floors. The mess stays in one room. Problem solved. Right?
Wrong. Low and behold, crafting materials have a tendency to stick to the bottoms of those cute little stockinged feet and get traipsed from room to beautifully carpet room, leaving evidence of inspired art behind.
What’s a mom to do? I’ve seriously considered placing a pan of water and a towel in the doorway of our craft room and making the kids wash their feet every time they went in and out. But I just know that pan of water will get spilled or sloshed in some way, and then I’d have to deal with water in the carpets and hence issues with mildew and odor.
I asked Aaron, owner of the best carpet cleaning service in Fresno, what he would do in this situation. His advice was to install one of those split doors where you can open the top of the door while leaving the bottom one still shut. Not too shabby. We did, however, sit down together and hash out some viable solutions to the problem. So, here it goes!
1. Kid Training – Write out the rules required to play in the craft room. Post them at the door. The children must read the rules aloud and agree to them verbally before entering into the inner sanctum and delving into their, as yet undiscovered, creative geniuses. Any violation of these rules shall result in an immediate loss of privilege for as long as the parent deems appropriate.
Also important to note in this section is that all paint, markers, glue, EVERTHING your child has access to needs to say “washable” on the package. Your battle is halfway won right there.
2. Floor Runners – No, they’re not pretty, but sacrifices must be made. Think of it as a season in your life that will one day be over. Whether you look forward to this time, or fear it with every ounce of your mother’s heart, one day those dirty little feet will walk out the door to start their own adulthoods. Until then protect your carpet, and your sanity, with runners.
I would personally recommend plastic runners as they can be more easily cleaned and are less expensive. However, carpeted runners hold a place much higher on the home décor scale. Whichever way you choose to go, remind yourself that “this too shall pass”. It is only temporary. And not only will your housekeeping become easier but your motherly graciousness will flow more naturally as well.
3. Spot Treatment – No matter how great you parent or how fully you protect your floors, carpets will get spotted. The number one rule, when possible, is to always treat that spot as soon as you can. Benjamin Franklin’s saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” really is true when is comes to carpet stains. The quicker you get to it, the better your chances are of keeping that spill from turning into a stain.
Going on the assumption that your next paint spot will come from washable paint, water is all that you should need to treat it. Blot up as much of the paint as possible with a rag or paper towel. Don’t rub! Then put some water on the area and blot again. Repeat, over and over, sigh, until the paint is gone.
Glue can be a little trickier. Even just plain old Elmer’s glue has a tendency to adhere a little too well to carpet. If you catch it soon enough, then the above instructions should work fine. You can also dip a rag in some white vinegar to help break down the glue. If it’s already dried, simply “re-wet” the glue with a rag dipped in warm water until it softens. Then follow the water and vinegar instructions above.
Many people swear by natural cleaning solutions. Feel free to give these a try too. Just please remember to test each solution in an inconspicuous place on your carpet in case it causes discoloration.
If all else fails and you have a stain that just won’t come out, then you can resort to this final step. Cut or trim the carpet fibers at the tip to remove a stain. Three fibers max. DO NOT get scissor-happy with your carpet, it WILL be obvious if you do!
If you’ve tried all these great suggestions and still can’t get your carpet looking beautiful again, then it’s time to call in the big guns. That’s right, Aaron’s Quality Cleaners. We do an excellent job of cleaning carpets. If Aaron can’t get that stain out for you, then I imagine no one can. Our guarantee is that we always give it everything we have. Every product. Every technique. Every cleaning tool. If that pesky stain is still there, then the bad news is that you’re stuck with it but the good news is that we won’t charge you for the work and product we put into trying to remove it.
Keeping our carpets clean doesn’t have to be difficult. It seems it just takes some preventative measures and little know how. Oh yeah, and a mom that’s quick on the trigger the next time that adorable little munchkin of hers tromps glitter glue down the hall. Uh, quick on the stain remover trigger, that is! ; )
Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas. She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger California