Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Don't Have a Baby Yet, But I Still Have Stains on My Carpet

Turns out I didn't really have a blog plan for the scenario that is happening....i.e. a finished nursery with no baby to go with it. I just kind of figured I would triumphantly finish the nursery and post about it, and then I'd go have the baby the next day. But I'm still here. If I don't have the baby in the next few hours, then I will have been pregnant longer than ever before. Gus was born the day before my due date, which is where I am right now.

But I've decided Sunday or Monday is the perfect day to have a baby, for a few reasons:

1. My pediatrician is going out of town tomorrow and not coming back until Sunday, so if I have the baby while she's gone, he'll be at the mercy of the hospital neonatologist. Which is probably fine, but I'd rather my pediatrician be the one who takes a look at the baby.

2. It's supposed to SNOW(!) tomorrow night. Then it's supposed to be 50 the next day. Still, if it actually happens, Friday morning might mean a layer of slushy snow on top of roads coated with ice, since it's been warm and rainy here for days. I'd rather not slide off the road on the way to the hospital.  Ideally.

3. Dave has Monday off anyway, so it's one less day of needing a sub if he can take all of next week off.

4. On Monday the baby will be an Aquarius instead of a Capricorn. I've been trying not to worry about this, since I know it makes me sound crazy and all, but we have an Aries, a Libra, two Geminis, and a Sag here, and I would like to keep our little air/fire thing going if possible. I will declare Sunday close enough and pretend he's an Aquarius if he's born then.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. If he wants to be born tonight and be a Capricorn, there's nothing I can do to stop him.

Another reason why the baby should wait until later to be born is that then I can finish the little project I have in mind for the DIY Action Squad link party. A 15 minute or less, $15 or less project. Fun, right? I know exactly what I want to do, but I don't know if I have the motivation for it at the moment. Time will tell!

But even if I can't do it, you should! Check out Broke Ass HomeMiddle Class ModernInteriors by Kenz, or Sandpaper and Glue for all the details.

Okay, so! I have nothing house-related to show you today except for.....dirty, stained, ugly carpet! Yay!

Our house was a foreclosure, and had been empty for two years before we moved into it. One thing we very much love about it is that it's all hardwoods everywhere except in the bedrooms (and the master bath. yuck. And there's vinyl in the laundry room). But that still means four bedrooms full of carpet that no one, it seems, ever really bothered to clean after they spilled something on it. While I think the only good carpet is a carpet that's been yanked up and replaced with hardwood, I think the carpet we have is actually pretty decently quality. This is what our real estate agent said, anyway. I know nothing about carpet except that I hate it. Did you know all the floors in Hell are carpeted? True story.

But getting rid of carpet is a lot of work, a lot of money, or both (I have lots of ideas percolating involving painting subfloors for a temporary fix, but that will have to wait until I can bend over and stand back up on my own again). So we finally had to admit to ourselves awhile back that the carpet in our bedroom/the nursery wasn't going anywhere before the baby was born.

A couple of weeks ago I got to googling about getting stains out of carpet, and I thought I'd report back here with my findings. A lot of the suggestions involved recipes tailored to specific, pet stains, chocolate, whatever. Since these stains are not ours, we have no idea what caused them, so I was on the hunt for an all purpose stain remover instead.

My requirements were that I didn't have to buy any stuff I didn't already have and that I didn't have to scrub anything. I found several ideas that involved some combination of baking soda, ammonia, or vinegar and that suggested an iron and a rag instead of hard labor. Yep--that's what I needed. I didn't have any ammonia (and one of the ammonia-based recipes suggested that the ammonia smell might make your dog think you'd just created a new indoor toilet for him), so I went with the super simplest recipe I found....1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. Pour on the stain, put a clean rag over it, and then iron.

(HOW long have I been talking about this already? Is there ANY topic I can't ramble on about for 26 paragraphs?)

I mixed up my magic concoction and went upstairs to follow the steps. The results were...uneven. I poured it on maybe 4 or 5 different stains altogether, and most of them either came up more or less all the way or at least got a whole lot lighter. There was one ginormous stain that wouldn't budge at all, though. So that's my story. For unidentified carpet stains, vinegar and water + ironing is super easy and may well work great. Unless it doesn't. Then I don't know what to tell you. But when it does work, it's pretty satisfying.

Here is a stain that went away, as if by magic!

I still need to rent or borrow a carpet cleaner and give the whole thing a general cleaning (yes, we should have done that before we moved in). And I have more stains to attack with my vinegar solution. But fewer stains is better than....not, right?

Anyone have any magic formulas for carpet stain removal that they've had good luck with?


  1. Oh Gretchen, I'm getting SO excited for you! I am so antsy to meet this baby. I love babies! Also, you know you're an honorary member of the DIYAS! WE LOVE YOU!! I really hope you're able to make it to the party.

  2. Pulling up carpet sucks, but we painted the subfloors when my mom had a house in Florida and it looked great.

    Hang in there.

  3. You are so a DIYAS member. We just can't wait any longer for this baby to get here! You know we're all groupies for you and little davtchen. :)

  4. I totally agree. Carpet SUCKS. I hate it and want all of ours to be gone.
    Another magic carpet stain remover tip is hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Mist the stain with the peroxide, work it in to the carpet and cover the area with plastic (like a sandwich bag... or bigger if its a bigger stain. (garbage bag?) ) Mist, don't pour-- leave for 3-8 hours then lift the plastic off and it should be gone. Enjoy.

  5. I am totally fine with Monday. Monday it is then :)

    I think you gave good, valid reasons that the universe should adhere to.

    So that's settled then.

    Love that you got that one stain out at least. That was impressive. We have slowly been replacing all our carpeted floors with hard wood. Yes it's a pain, but it is so worth it. In B's room and the offices (aka bedroom 2 and 3) we have dark laminate floors.

    We still have carpet in the master and the hall leading into the master and the walk-in closet, so we are close to being all solid floor here.

    So will you be checking in daily from now on so we will know what's up? (or out...) :)

    1. ha--I guess I have to post SOMETHING every day or people will jump to conclusions!

  6. I hate carpet. Our apartment is all hardwood, but I'm afraid that when we start looking at houses that our price range might be carpeted. I've been keeping my eyes on solutions (like plywood floors and painting the subfloor) on pinterest just in case. Can't wait to hear about your new baby! The nursery is darling!

    1. Most of the houses in our price range had lots of carpet, so we were very pleased when we came across the ones that weren't! And an "old" house around here means late '70's or early '80's, so there's no pulling up carpet to find lovely hardwoods underneath either.

  7. I'm with ngnrdgl? I hate carpet too. If I could rip it all out and have hardwoods or some other sweepable, moppable surface I would! I have used vinegar on my carpets but never tried the ironing trick. Thanks for sharing your results.

  8. You know you can borrow my steam cleaner(and by you I mean Dave, because this is way more strenuous than boiling eggs, so you are not ready for it yet.) Or I'll bring it over and do it for you. As you wish.


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