5 Steps to Cleaner Car Carpets

If you are anything like me, you have a car that gets a lot of use. I carry kids, dogs, and packages and every time someone gets in the car they manage to get the carpets a little dirty. Sometimes the people or animals that get in the car get it a lot dirty. When I go to clean the little bit of dirt I see it turns out to be much dirtier than I thought. Regular dirt I can vacuum up but occasionally I have to deal with some pretty tough stains. While dirt is easy to vacuum, the longer carpets are dirty, the harder to remove the stains. For example, organic matter (leaves and such) will rot encouraging mold and mildew growth, creating bad odors. Remember, if all else fails it’s not that hard to replace the floor mats in your vehicle.

Below are some simple steps how to clean car carpet and a few few supplies for tougher stains and for keeping your carpet clean.

Clean Car Carpet in Five Easy Steps

For a quick spot clean of some dirt a portable, battery operated vacuum will get the job done. If there is a lot of dirt then it’s recommended to pull out all the mats and use a more powerful shop vacuum. Periodically pull out the mats and get them a good shake or a beat them with your hand or a broom handle to get out some embedded dirt and dust. The more exposed the carpet the easier it is to see dirt and spots, clean, and dry.

Spot Cleaning

Shinerz Showcar Products

Stains should be removed as soon as you see them or as soon as possible. Stains that allowed to stay on carpet for a long time become more and more difficult to remove. Spot cleaning requires a few minutes of your time and a few supplies: carpet cleaner, a stiff brush, and clean cloths. You can try cleaning easy to remove stains with hot water, vinegar, and liquid soap but most stains are easier to remove with a commercial grade cleaner.

If you are using a purchased cleaner follow the specific directions for that product.

Hand Scrubbing

For general cleaning use upholstery cleaner, a stiff brush, and a damp towel or cloth. It is recommended that you test the cleaner over a small area to assume color fastness. Normally spot removers work something like brushing the cleaner into the carpet, then vacuum. Move to another section and repeat.

You may have to repeat, and you may want to spray clear water lightly onto the surface of the carpet, then vacuum out.

Steam Cleaning

If carpets are very dirty or have several stains it may be worth steam cleaning your car carpet. You can use commercially available steam cleaners or purchase small cleaners, like the little green cleaner pictured, that do a good job.  you can use a steam cleaner. Follow the instructions on the steam cleaner and work small sections at a time, being careful not to saturate the carpet.

Air Drying

You need to remove as much water from the carpet as possible. Commercial carpet cleaners make this easy but you can also use a shop vac do get most of the water removed. All damp areas need time to dry to reduce bad odors and prevent mold and mildew. If the weather is nice and no rain is expected, leave the windows open for a few hours. you can also leave your vehicle in the garage with the windows down and fans blowing on the damp carpet to speed up evaporation.


By taking preventive steps as soon as possible you can greatly reduce the amount of work required to clean your car carpet. Clean dirt as soon as you see it. Spot clean spots as soon as you see them. Use the original floor mats, or, better yet, buy aftermarket floor mats with better floor coverage. Carpet stain guard spray is worth your time and money, as it makes your carpets more stain resistant.

5 DIY Home Decorating Projects

Next to renovating, home decorating is the best way to revitalize your home and improve your living space. With home decorating, taking the DIY route is relatively safe, and it lets you use your creativity in design choices. This helps to make your home feel uniquely personal.

If you’re looking to get started on a decorating project but are stuck for ideas, check out our top 5 DIY decorating projects.

  1. Your front door is the introduction to your home. It should be elegant, make a statement, and introduce guests to the theme that they’ll find within. You don’t need a completely new door to change the outward facing feel of your home. Simply painting the door, or changing the molding to an accent color can make a world of difference.
  2. Handles are one of the simplest things you could change in your home to make immediate improvements in any room. Drawer and cupboard handles, as well as door handles are easily replaceable by hand. New fittings can freshen up desks, dressers, closets, and kitchen cabinets.
  3. Change your curtains. Curtains are one of the easiest things to change in your home. Another great thing about new curtains as a redecorating project is that they’re available in a wide variety of colors and styles. Choose curtains that complement your entire décor, especially your carpets and walls.
  4. Decorators who are a little bit more adventurous could try redecorating their current furniture. Older hardwood items can be sanded and re-stained, or if you’re the creative type you could even create your own paint designs and finish them off with a sealant coat.
  5. Add some rugs to your living spaces. Rugs are underutilized these days, especially since so many homes are carpeted. Contrary to popular belief, rugs DO work over carpeted floors. You only need to choose them carefully. Aim for a rug that doesn’t clash with the rest of your décor, and you need to be very careful by considering the curtains, wall color, carpet color, and even the furniture. If you want to carry a theme and you have a light carpet, an easy rule of thumb is to match your rugs to the color of your curtains.

Home decorating can be fun and rewarding, so long as you plan it right and remember to consider the overall design and look of your décor. Starting any of these simple projects is easy, and all of them can be completed for only a small cost. Redecorating today could completely transform a tired space, helping you to feel wonderful in your home again.

Get Rid of Those Stubborn Stains in Your Carpet

Do you have some stains in your carpet you just can’t seem to get rid of? Most people do and the lighter the color of the carpet, the more stubborn the stains seem to be. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an inexpensive method to clean those stains that works? It definitely would.

Many of us have always thought that it took commercial cleaners to adequately clean carpet stains and if those didn’t work, the stain couldn’t be gotten out at all. Well, there is a homemade stain remover that works well on most carpet stains and deodorizes as well.

The recipe is simple. In fact, it is so simple, it is hard to believe how well it works. Simply mix a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap with two cups of warm water. Pour a little onto the stain, let it sit for a minute and then scrub it with a washcloth. Follow this up by blotting it with a towel to dry it. Repeat if necessary as some stains may need it done a few times, depending on what caused the stain and how old it is.

Usually, it does not take much scrubbing to get the stain out. One of the nice things about this recipe is that it removes pet odors as well as stains. Not only will the carpet look cleaner, it will also smell cleaner.

A variation of this recipe is to use equal amounts of dish soap, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mixed together. This recipe and the first one should be tested in a small hidden area of the carpet first to make sure it will not harm the carpet. This is especially necessary with some types of carpet such as wool carpeting.

With these recipes, you will not only be able to clean stains from carpet but will also be able to clean stubborn stains in clothes. Having an inexpensive stain remover that works on both carpet and clothing is a great money saver, especially when it works as good as or better than the more expensive commercially made stain cleaners.

Holiday Decorating- Victorian Colors Lend Appeal

While we were celebrating in December we had some decorating ideas for 2015.

The old style decorating, rich Victorian color and textures are once again one of the most popular decorating styles today. Victorian England, so named for the queen who popularized a specific style and decor was a time of very rich and ornate styles.

The decorating style works well in a living room or dining area, which by its very nature can be that ornate, highly colored and textured room. Dark, muted tones or brilliant cranberry are some of the colors that you’ll be using in your room. Multiple textures, yarns, velvet and embroidery are used to attain the very ornate room that you’re looking for.

Christmas decor, by virtue of what it is and what it can encompass, lends itself well to the Victorian style. Rich jewel tones and colors are blended into a holiday tree and across tables and mantels to give your room a rich, elegant and sophisticated look.

The colors that you’re going to want to weave into your decorating include these:

Color Palette

The holiday tree can be decorated with dark red roses or apples, while white lights will set it off nicely. Tucked in among the branches, pieces of baby’s breath or dried flowers are the perfect accompaniment to fans that you’ve created from easy to find wallpaper samples from your local decorating store.

Fast and easy Victorian ornaments can be made simply by folding a piece of colored or decorated scrapbooking paper into a cone. Hot glue some lace scraps around the top opening and add a ribbon hot glued into place to make a hanger.

Fill your cone with dried flowers and baby’s breath or miniature candy canes and suspend them from the branches of your tree or from ribbons in the window for the perfect Victorian ornament. Your cheap and easy ornaments can’t miss being a hit on your tree.

Your holiday decorations don’t have to cost the earth, any more than your Victorian living room. Easy care carpet tiles in rich jewel tones such as cranberry or deep green and used furniture with a few years on it can provide you with the room that you’re looking for.

Hardwood Floor Care

hardwood-floor-careHardwood floors are beautiful but do require special care to keep them looking great. Following some simple tips on what to do and what not to do in taking care of a wood floor keeps the floor from being damaged and dull.

Anything wet on your floor

  • Using a wet mop or anything wet on a wood floor can cause damage to the finish and to the floor if the floor is left wet. Keep these things in mind in cleaning your wood floor.
  • First, be sure you clean up spills immediately. Use a dry cloth or a soft paper towel to wipe up non-sticky spills. If the spill will likely leave a sticky spot, use a damp cloth to clean it up and dry the area right away.
  • Second, never use a wet mop or any cleaners not designed specifically for hardwood floors. Water can seep between the planks and cause the wood to swell. Cleaners not meant for wood floors will damage the surface and could go deeper into the wood.

Clean your floor gently but thoroughly

  • Sweeping your floor should be done with a soft tipped broom to reduce the risk of leaving scratches on the floor. Brooms with soft, feathered tips not only reduce scratching but also do a better job of sweeping up the finer dirt particles.
  • Vacuuming will get up dirt a broom leaves behind so it is a good idea to vacuum regularly. Just be sure to use a hard floor attachment and don’t use a vacuum’s beater bars on the floor.
  • All floors do need mopping, including hardwood floors. It is best to use a mop with a microfiber head on wood. It should be wrung out until it is just slightly damp and then sprayed with a cleaner made for hardwood floors. Rinse the mop often and thoroughly, wring it out well and respray with the cleaner. Be sure the floor is dried well after mopping.

Protect your wood floor from damage

  • Moving furniture around can scratch wood floors. To avoid this, put felt pads on any furniture legs so they slide easily on the floor without leaving scratches.
  • Protect the floor from most spills and wear by using rugs in places where spills and heavy traffic is most likely to occur. Rugs also are decorative and add a cozy touch. Be sure they have cotton backing rather than vinyl, polyurethane or rubber as moisture can get trapped under rugs backed with them.
  • Sunlight also has a damaging effect on hardwood flooring. This can be minimized with the use of curtains or drapes. Since most people don’t want the thicker drapes keep shut all the time, using sheers that will let light in but keep out the damaging rays can be used.

Taking care of a hardwood floor doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow some basic guidelines. Then you can have a beautiful floor that shines.

Top 5 Home Decorating Disasters

One of the great things about decorating your own home is that you get to input some of your personal creativity and flair in to any space. This means that you will have total freedom to get the look and feel that you want. Choosing your own paints, carpet, furnishings, or even lighting fixtures is all part of the fun in decorating your new home, or in revamping your tired décor. One problem though, is that not everything that seems like a good idea actually works in practice. If you’re taking it one step further and thinking of installing improvement yourself, then there’s even more risk to get it wrong.

If you’re thinking of redecorating, or are decorating a new home, you don’t always need to pay a professional designer. However, it wouldn’t hurt to know the top five home decorating disasters that you need to steer well clear of.

Bathroom Tiles. Tiles are a beautiful flooring choice for any bathroom. The right kind of tile will create an elegant and timeless look, and can turn an ordinary bathroom in to a luxurious escape. Homeowners need to be extremely careful not just in choosing tiles, but in installing them. Not all tiles are alike and bathroom tiles need specialized coatings and sometimes materials to keep looking their best. Installing the tiles is a critical job, and getting anything wrong can cost thousands in getting professionals to start all over again. If you have no experience in installing tiles, working with grout, or any general handy-work, then this is one home decorating disaster where a professional is needed.

Carpets. Carpets beautify and make homes more comfortable. There’s no other material that evokes luxury in the way that carpet does. Choosing carpets should not be based on looks alone, but practicality too. Light colored carpets might look elegant, but imagine how hard they can be to keep clean. If you have children and pets, then light colored carpets could be the worst choice you could make. Lifestyle comes before looks, and in the case of carpets there is a lot of care required to avoid a decorating disaster.

Lighting. Lighting is one area of home decorating that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Above all, lighting should be practical, so if you’re going for the latest in designer fixtures, make sure they allow enough luminance. Elegant and practical is the safest way to go.

Hanging decorations, artwork, and portraits. Consider that decorations, family pictures, and artwork are all to be enjoyed, so why do most homeowners place them at heights that require stepladders to appreciate? Aim for eye level height of the second tallest person in the family. Unless you’re in the NBA, going too high will only compromise your décor.

Avoid overmatching. When you’re in the bed and bath store, or any boutique decorating shop, you will notice that there are matching sets of almost any item. Placemats that match couch throws and cushions, which match curtains, which match the doormat… and it goes on. Over matching everything in your home is a decorating disaster that you will regret. Variation is what makes a décor beautiful. Your furnishings and decorations should complement each other, rather than creating a sterile and stifling look throughout your home.

Decorating your home should be about variety, practicality, and comfort. Homeowners should not shy away from style, but need to be aware of what can go wrong. In the case of renovations, always use professionals if you’re not skilled in the job. Additionally, sometimes an interior designer can be a help, even if you only bring them in for a short consultation.

With the right care and restraint your home can be as beautiful as you want it to be, as long as you know where to draw the line when it comes to home decorating.

Carpet Cleaning Advice

Every home keeper knows their trusty vacuum cleaner is the best weapon against a dirty, smelly carpet. When pets are part of the household or to remove infrequent spills, proper spot removal is in order. Modern carpet is stain-resistant, making it easier to keep accidents from becoming permanent stains. Be mindful, stain resistant does not mean stain proof. You’ll still need to be vigilant and attack offenders timely.

Carpet cleaning products bearing the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) seal of approval are generally safe to use on any type/color carpet. Still, it would be wise to test it on a small concealed area of carpet. Follow manufacturer’s directions, remembering not to scrub the area vigorously.

Preventive measures go a long way toward keeping carpets clean. By placing mats inside and outside doorways, a great deal of dirt stays outside where it belongs. This may sound strange, but scheduled changes of your HVAC air filter allows it to remove dust that would otherwise fall on your carpet.

Beyond preventive measures, regular vacuuming and timely spot removal, carpets should be professionally deep cleaned every 12-18 months to get rid of the ground-in grunge, which is invisible to the human eye. It is the only method that prolongs the life and beauty of your carpet.

Deep cleaning systems target embedded grime resulting from air pollution, outside dirt that travels inside and cooking vapors. If allowed to remain in your carpet, it eventually will look lackluster as its color disappears beneath layers of soil.

It’s your personal decision whether to employ professionals to clean your carpet, or rent/buy home equipment and do-it-yourself (DIY). However, home carpet cleaning equipment is not as powerful as commercial systems. Cleaning an entire house is quite labor intensive.

When you engage a professional carpet cleaning service, it’s important to select a system that does not leave residue behind, which exacerbates the intent of deep cleaning in the first place.

Hot Water Extraction

Commonly known as deep steam cleaning, this method is recommended by the CRI as having the best potential for cleaning. First, the carpets are pretreated with a chemical agent, which is applied using high temperature.

Professional carpet cleaners use an external truck mounted extractor. A hose attaches to the extractor and a handheld pressurized wand is attached to a hose. The wand is used to rinse the pre-treated surface, extract particles and residue of the pretreatment solution and vacuum.

It generally takes from 4-12 hours for the carpet to dry thoroughly. However, it can dry within 6-7 hours when professionals use optimal equipment.

Be mindful if your carpet is still under warranty, you may be required to validate periodical hot water extraction cleanings. Whether you prefer to DIY or hire professionals, all cleaning equipment must carry the CRI seal of approval.

Advantages of Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

When a carpet is deep-down dirty, it holds debris such as: cockroach allergens and pet dander. Eventually toxic gases stick onto to debris and pollute the air. Professional carpet cleaners kill and rid your carpet of them with powerful extraction equipment.

Your carpet dries quicker, which helps prevent harmful growth of mold.

Why Dirty Carpets are Harmful to Health

Extremely dirty carpets breed dust mites, which kick-up allergies in most people. Breathing the residue of dead dust mites can cause irritation to eyes and nose and/or rashes.

Did you know athlete’s foot can be caused by walking barefoot on carpets containing parasitic organisms?

Inhaling various volatile compounds from dirty carpet can result in asthma attacks, coughing, runny noses and breathing problems.

It’s not the dirt you see on your carpets; instead deep-down dirt is the core of many health issues. In this light, hiring a professional carpet cleaner is definitely not a luxury, it is a necessity.