Friday, February 16, 2018

I Tried To Kill The Carpet But It Wouldn't Die

The carpet after 'treatment'. 
Following on from my post about the new sofas yesterday, I want to tell you about how I tried to kill the carpet but it would not die or even, despite my best efforts, get sick.

The story starts 11 years ago when I bought the carpet. when it arrived in my apartment I was surprised. I wasn't sure that this was the carpet I'd ordered. I thought I'd ordered a creamier colour, less brown. I don't like brown and I never really liked this carpet although it did look quite impressive in the room.

Last year, after 10 years of wear, in a sandy climate, with a young child, and many tv suppers, I decided to have the carpet professionally cleaned. The adverts for the cleaning company on Facebook showed miraculous results on various sofas. I was expecting miraculous too.

They took the carpet away, cleaned it, and brought it back. It looked a bit cleaner. But not much. I was disappointed. Especially as the one definite stain was still there. But I assumed that a 10 year old carpet in a desert climate, with a young child and many tv suppers, was uncleanable to 'new' condition and they did the best possible job under the circumstances. (I know now that they didn't use bleach. Probably because they didn't want to fade the colour. Hahaha.)

When I posted my old sofa and chair for free on Facebook, I included the carpet. But as the evening wore on I wasn't happy about giving the carpet away for free. The sofa was without its original cushions and the chair had a large bottom-sized dent in the seat. But there was nothing wrong with the carpet - it was just a bit grubby. Maybe another cleaning firm would do a better job?

I looked at Ikea carpets online. The one I really like is 1,700 nis. I looked again at my old carpet. Maybe it would go ok with the new sofas. I took it off the Facebook post.

After the old furniture went I had more room to consider the carpet. I'd also seen online that they make new carpets in an already faded, antiquated look - as if it has been sun-bleached. I don't hate the pattern on my carpet, I just want it lighter and less brown. So I went to work.

The carpet before.
But the whole exposure of the photo is darker so you can't really judge.
I looked online for 'how to bleach a carpet' and 'how to fade a carpet'. All the advice was for getting stains out or for restoring colour to a bleached carpet. So I used my initiative.

After, Can you see a difference?
First I found laundry bleach which I mixed with laundry detergent, dissolved the mixture in water and chucked it all over the carpet. I scrubbed it with my silicon broom. None of the colour came out. I had a bottle of cheap vinegar so I tried scrubbing with that all over the carpet. No change. So I bought a bottle of laundry whites bleach with chlorine and sprayed that all over, and scrubbed it. No colour came out. By now the carpet was beginning to smell a bit so I squeezed lemon juice all over the carpet and scrubbed again. No change.

I tell a lie. There was a change. The carpet was clean. Cleaner than when I spent 350 nis to have it cleaned last year. And the annoying stain was gone. It's a tiny bit lighter in colour - possibly? But not the bleached look I wanted. If anything the colours are brighter and more vibrant.

I finished off with a lot of water and a spray with Laura Ashley floral scent. We had the window open and the radiator on for a week to get it all dry and aired out. It looks good if you want a brownish carpet and I saved 350 nis on getting it cleaned.

It's beginning to grow on me now that the new sofas are here. I think perhaps it goes better with these sofas than it did with the old furniture. Now I'm thinking that it's the coffee table and the cushions that have to go...... It never ends does it?
This is the effect I was aiming for. LOL.


  1. Wow - you are very daring! I actually quite like the rug and I do think it's faded a bit. I also think it goes well with the new sofas. While I like your existing cushions perhaps their style & colour are fighting a bit with the rug? With so much pattern in the rug perhaps plainer cushions in a couple of complementary shades might work better?
    FYI - when my rug was smelling a bit stale after last winter I shook a big box of baking soda over it - left it overnight and then vacuumed like crazy and it did help a lot.

    1. ooh thanks for the tip about the baking soda - I may do that although the smell seems to be minimal atm. I agree with you about the cushions. I'm going to look for a more subdued colour. Much easier than changing the rug.

  2. I'm wondering if sunshine will fade it better. It does here when I definitely don't want it to. Can you lay it out on your balcony or outside somewhere? Bonus of no drying out time or smelly results.

    1. I also thought of that. I'd need someone, or two someones to help me hang it over the balcony railing, and then come back a few days later to turn it round. It would be a big hassle and not worth doing until the summer. My balcony is too narrow for it to lay out on the floor. Maybe if I put a table outside and lay it over that. I'll let you know if I try it in the summer. xx

    2. Yep definitely would be a hassle and doing half then half may lead to a very unsightly line across it. Actually from your photos it looks a lovely carpet.

    3. Thank you. It's growing on me. I'm now concentrating on changing the cushions to something more subdued.