How to keep carpets clean when living with kids

Carpets can bring a nice and comforting atmosphere to a house.

However, when you have kids, the chances that the floor becomes a playground rises drastically. While crawling, walking, and playing, toddlers and kids can leave various stains that get into the carpet fiber and damage the carpet in the long run. The stains as well become a perfect place for germs to spread.

Moreover, not all carpet cleaners are baby-friendly, that is why it is important to find a solution that will not only remove stains but as well will not affect the health and safety of your children.

This article intends to help parents that are searching for an effective carpet cleaning method for common kids stains like markers, dirt, food, and others.

Types Of Carpets

The cleaning solution varies depending on the material. To avoid the damage of the fibers or the dye of your rug, it is crucial if your carpet has synthetic or natural fiber.

Such synthetic materials as nylon, polyester, or triexta are usually easy to clean and do not require special treatment. Simple steam cleaning or spot scrubbing will do the job. However, DIY cleaning does not disinfect the surface.

Wool, silk, jute, sea-grass, and other organic materials are prone to staining. Moreover, incorrect treatment might cost you a new rug. To avoid such unpleasant situations, we recommend it to use professional detergents and equipment.

According to pressurized hot-water extraction (PHWE) professional Dmitri Kara, the method archives up to 99% of dirt and grime removal from fabrics that can withstand the pressure and suction cycle, which is the perfect solutions for your toddler or infant bedroom.

Various companies offer equipment rental, however, the equipment is complex in use. It might take you more time to understand how to use the machine rather than clean the carpet.

Consider Professionals

They train tradesmen to remove various types of stains and know what detergents to use. Most commonly, they use the water extraction method that not only removes stains but sanitizes the rug. Besides, they can use a stain repellent that will protect your carpets from further staining. All the detergents they use are kids-friendly.

If you still consider cleaning the natural carpets yourself, then you should know several things:

  • Before cleaning, test cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous section of your carpet;
  • The stains should be treated immediately, otherwise, there is a chance of permanent staining;
  • Do not scrub the stains. That way you only rub the spot in, which makes the cleaning process even harder;

What Cleaning Products To Avoid

The effectiveness of the carpet cleaning detergents is explained by the high contents of chemicals that “dissolve” stains. Yes, they are effective but they can be extremely harmful to kids in different ways, like skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, eczemas. Similarly, the team at We’re All About Cats explains that these products can cause harm to our furry friends too: “Cleaning products containing bleach or ammonia can burn our pets’ paws if they come into contact with them, and they can even be fatal if swallowed.”

To ensure your kids’ and pets’ health, we recommend:

  • Avoid detergents that have such warnings as “hazardous,” “dangerous,” “highly flammable,” or “irritating”. This is a clear sign that they do not include baby-friendly ingredients.
  • Avoid detergents that have hydrofluoric acid, butane, propane, glycol ethers, quaternary ammonium chloride, and sodium hydroxide in the ingredients list.

As an alternative, you might buy green or eco-friendly products based on natural ingredients.

Use regular products that you can find in any household, such as lemon, baking soda, white vinegar, club soda, borax, and hydrogen peroxide. More on those in the next part.

Common Stains And How To Remove Them

Food Stains

What you need:

  • Vinegar;
  • Water,
  • Sponge;
  • Soap.

In the situation with food stains,

1) Use a mixture of water and vinegar on your carpet.

2) Keep in mind the material of the carpet. If it is a natural fiber, then the proportions are following – ¼ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of water. For synthetic fibers – ½  cup white vinegar with 1 cup of water.

3) Apply the solution on the spot with a sponge, wash it off with soap and let it dry. If the stain doesn’t come off, try applying hydrogen peroxide.

Chewing Gum

What you need:

  • Plastic bag;
  • Ice cubes;
  • Knife;
  • Lemon juice;
  • Soap;
  • Toothbrush.


  1. Put ice cubes in a plastic bag and let it harden the chewing gum for around 30 min.
  2. Remove the gum with the knife using a pulling motion. Hardened gum should come off in a solid piece.
  3. If there are any small pieces left, squeeze some lemon juice to remove them with a piece of cloth.
  4. Use the toothbrush to collect the leftovers and finish cleaning the area with soap and warm water mixture.


What you need:

  • Vacuum;
  • Sticky roll.

Vacuum the rug thoroughly and use the roll to collect the leftovers. You can as well use a tape.


What you need:

  • Vacuum cleaner;
  • Sponge;
  • Towel;
  • Soap.


  1. Collect the dried mud with the vacuum cleaner.
  2. When you have collected all the hardened pieces of mud, you would want to remove the remaining dirt that is clinging to the fiber. To do that, make a bubbly mixture of soap and water and apply it to the stain. The remaining mud should lift off.
  3. Carefully blot the area with a dry towel.

Permanent Markers

What you need:

  • Rubbing alcohol;
  • Cotton balls.


  1. Apply some alcohol on a cotton ball and dab it in the stained area. You would want to do it in small sections, to avoid further staining.
  2. When the marker comes off on the wet cotton ball, take a dry one and start blotting the stain.
  3. Repeat the process until the stain fully comes off.


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