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December 18th, 2013

I must admit, I’m not a fan of carpet. Back in Ohio, we had managed to remove every last scrap of carpet from our house and replaced it with hardwood. It was perfect, easy to clean and it could be mopped.  It was nice to know that all the dirt was gone after a day of cleaning. Carpet gives me the heeby jeebies, I just don’t like that I can’t mop the floor every week. Add chickens into the mix and it really grosses me out. I know I’m always stepping in chicken poop outside, we try to take off our shoes before we come in, but sometimes it’s just not possible. This carpet is right inside the front door.
Cleaning the Carpet 3
Thankfully, I have an old carpet cleaner my mom gave me. It’s old, but it works really well still. I used this thing to clean the carpets at our old house and here I am using it again. I’m certainly glad I didn’t get rid of it when we ripped out all the carpet.
Cleaning the Carpet 1
As you can see, the carpet was far from clean – YUCK. At least some of the dirt will be gone after this cleaning.  I’m using the carpet cleaning mix from The Naturally Clean Home. The recipe is as follows:
Heavy Duty Carpet Cleaner
3/4 cup of very hot water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (omit for dark colored carpet)
1 Tablespoon of liquid castile soap
1 Tablespoon of citric acid powder (I used borax instead)
Combine all ingredients in mason jar. Blend well, pour into your steam cleaner and clean the carpet.
Cleaning the Carpet 2
I’m still debating ripping it out and simply painting the subfloor for a few years, but the resident aged chiots doesn’t like hard flooring surfaces much anymore. This carpeted room is her safety zone where she has great traction. We’re still debating, I certainly can’t wait for the carpet to be gone!

Do you love or hate carpet?

35 Comments to “Ick”
  1. Kay on December 18, 2013 at 5:40 am

    I hear you, and our house is filled w/ carpet..

    Reply to Kay's comment

  2. Maybelline on December 18, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I’m with you. Yuck.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  3. kristin @ going country on December 18, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I love the carpet in the bedrooms at my parents’ house in Tucson, where nothing is ever dirty (no mud, pets, or kids) because it feels so good on my bare feet and it muffles sound so nicely.

    But here at filthy, disgusting Blackrock (mud, pets, kids, AND farm animals)? No way. We have Oriental rugs over hardwood everywhere. They wear like iron–some of ours are over 100 years old–hide stains because of the patterns, and repel liquids and dirt because of the wool. They’re still dirty, I have no doubt, but a lot better than carpets.

    Plus, if exposure to filth makes kids more resistant to allergies and illness, the state of my floors means my kids will be superhuman.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  4. Jenn Wolfe on December 18, 2013 at 6:40 am

    THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I was looking for an alternative the other day rather than buying the Bissell cleaner for my machine. They say don’t use anything else besides the product intended to go in but I call shenanigans and it is a marketing ploy.

    Reply to Jenn Wolfe's comment

  5. Adelina Anderson on December 18, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I hate carpet and over half my house is carpet. It is such a challenge to keep clean with a older cat and 2 kids. One day when I have my dream house it will be all hard wood flooring with a few throw rugs scattered about.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  6. kathi Cook on December 18, 2013 at 7:36 am

    We have an old house and were are enough to have oak floors under all the wall to wall carpeting which we immediately ripped up when we bought the house. Upstairs we have pine flooring. I am a fan of small wool area rugs and oriental carpets that can be shaken, and vacuumed. I do have a large area rug in the bedroom which I love to step on when I get out of bed.

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  7. Robin on December 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

    No carpets for us. We pulled them up when I realized how dirty they were still after cleaning them. We have dogs, cats, people, poultry and livestock. We had fleas that hung out in the carpet. Enough of that. It means we still have an awful floor in our bedroom but we’ll eventually take care of that.

    Reply to Robin's comment

  8. Joan on December 18, 2013 at 8:32 am

    We’re slowly removing all the wall-to-wall carpets in our house and replacing them with wood flooring. One more went last week (we’re replacing it with pine flooring), two more to go…

    Reply to Joan's comment

  9. angie h on December 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I hate carpet, but I hate the laminate floors we have now. My grandma, even though she had 20 grandkids, put in white carpet. Let’s just say between kids, smokers, and pets it wasn’t white after 20+ years later when I got frustrated one day and just started ripping it out (pups had torn snags into holes). I like being able to scrub away dirt and odors. But, sometimes I miss carpet…the dog hair tumbleweeds are always so obvious and reform hours after I sweep.

    Reply to angie h's comment

  10. Nebraska Dave on December 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Susy, when I bought my current house it was covered in ugly green carpeting and the computer room was covered in ugly orange carpeting. We endured the carpet because we really didn’t have the funds to replace it. The house was built in 1965 and carpet was the modern thing to do at that time. We bought the house in 1984 so there wasn’t much life left in the carpets. About four or five years into living in the house the carpets were starting to look really bad and some thing had to be done. So we pulled up one corner of the old shabby carpet in the living room and was shocked to find a real oak wood floor under the carpet. The original owners of the house must have immediately covered the floor with carpet because the floor looked brand new. Since neither one of us really liked carpet, we quickly ripped out the old carpet and began enjoying the hardwood floor. A few years later the drain in the laundry room plugged from tree roots blocking the sewer line and flooded the computer room. The carpet was pulled out and under it was a great vinyl title floor in new condition. We didn’t replace that carpet either.

    Now there’s not a scrap of carpet in my house. To soften the floor a bit in the living room and in the computer room a large area rug brings the carpet look to the room but it can be rolled up easily and cleaned under it. The best of both worlds.

    The consensus here seems to be that hardwood floors are better than carpet and I whole heartedly agree.

    Have a great hardwood floor day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  11. Misti on December 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

    In Florida we had tile (white, ugh!) with carpet in the bedrooms. The carpet was really worn in a few places and dirty, and of course we cleaned it when we moved out. Though we vaccumed frequently, I couldn’t believe how disgusting the carpet was! In our house here we have hardwoods or tile throughout. I’m not a fan of mopping and really only mop the kitchen the most often, but it really is nice not to have carpet.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  12. DebbieB on December 18, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Hate it. Dust/dirt/hair/bug magnet. We’ve removed it everywhere in the house except our bedroom. Elsewhere in the house, there was parquet wood floor under the carpet, and we’ve just left it. But our bedroom got flooded in a hurricane, and the wood floor was ripped up and the carpet was laid down without any protection (thanks, terrible contractor!) so there’s nothing but nasty black mastic glue under the carpet padding. So if we rip up the carpet, we have to replace it with something right away. Thankfully, the bedroom doesn’t get a lot of traffic, so the carpet doesn’t get super dirty, but still, I hate vacuuming it. Someday we’ll replace it with wood or laminate, but for now, it’s pretty low on the list.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  13. Jennifer Fisk on December 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Over 10 years ago, my GSD whelped in my bedroom and a couple of the birthings happened on my carpet which was 8 years old. The only solution was to take out the carpet. I was appalled at the amount of sand and silt that had sifted down through the carpet. This was a really low traffic area that rarely saw shoes. I have no idea where the silt came from but I vowed no room in my home would ever have carpet again. I replaced it with hard wood which is so easy to maintain. No amount of shampooing or steam extracting really cleans a carpet and it is such a source of allergens.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  14. Annie on December 18, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I hate carpet. My father was a carpet salesman for 40 years and of course, I grew up in a fully carpeted house. My brother and I actually installed carpet until I went off to college and let me tell you, that’s what turned me off permanently. No matter how clean the house looked, when we ripped that old carpet up to install the new it was the grossest stuff you can imagine underneath. No modern vacuums can pull that dirt up once it gets under the backing. It was always kinda funny because the woman of the house would freak out because she thought we would think she didn’t clean her house, but I knew better.
    When I built my current house, which I am still working on, i will put down nothing but natural flooring and I’ll take bare plywood until I can finish the rest.

    Reply to Annie's comment

  15. Sara on December 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I’ll join in the “hate it” crowd, our brown shag came up the day after we moved in (thankfully oak underneath!)

    But I also totally understand the dog thing. When our last dog was elderly, we had rubber-backed throw rugs all over the place so he wouldn’t slip. It wasn’t pretty, but we do what we need to for our pups :)

    Reply to Sara's comment

  16. whit on December 18, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Amen, no to carpet.

    Reply to whit's comment

  17. judym on December 18, 2013 at 10:54 am

    When we built our house in the early eighties, we put in durable carpeting in the family room and fancy carpeting in the living room. The living room rarely got used but the carpet really didn’t wear well. The family room carpet really took a beating. We finally ripped it all out, mainly due to growing allergies on my part. The stuff we found under the carpets were so disgusting – no wonder I was suffering. We now have wood flooring in both rooms and I feel so much better – and the floors look great, even if they are a little worn in places I think it adds character. At least you know the house is lived in and busy!

    Reply to judym's comment

  18. whit on December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

    In our new house we found another thing to add to the loathe list: hardwood floor that has grooves at the seams. It’s a collector of crumbs, cat litter, wood ash. Only thing that gets it out is the vacuum, whose noise drives me insane.

    Reply to whit's comment

    • Susy on December 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Yes, I wear ear plugs when vacuuming!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  19. KimH on December 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I prefer wood floors to all others.. Ick is right!

    Reply to KimH's comment

  20. Myra S. on December 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I don’t care for carpet either, hardwood (or maybe ceramic tile) is the way to go. Our cabin is a work in progress and until we get around to actually doing the floors, we’ve painted them with porch paint. It holds up well and mops easily. We’ll probably put carpet in the loft just for the sound muffling but there won’t be the tracked in dirt up there that we have downstairs. In our last house, we had carpet until our aged hound passed on then we started ripping it out for wood.

    Reply to Myra S.'s comment

  21. Deb on December 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Wow! No way i wouldn’t want carpet , I don’t touch the dirt under the floor so who cares. Smooth floors are a disaster waiting to happen on sock feet. I surely don’t have any desire to fall and that’s what hardwood or vinyl floors would do. Way bad for the cold factor in winter too. Who wants frozen feet? With a house built in the 30’s it isn’t well insulated. We ahve replaced all the carpet in the 18 yrs. we’ve been here so I know what’s under it. Also so dangerous for young children. I couldn’t imagine all the falls on the stairs and broken bones. Thank God for carpet to help keep us all safe. Why worry about falls and frozen feet? We clean the carpet ourselves at least twice/yr. nad I know it’s clean when we’re done. Will try yourr ecipe for cleaning.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  22. Deb on December 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Does this recipe need diluted or used as is? Thanks.

    Reply to Deb's comment

    • Susy on December 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      I add it to my machine which dilutes it in the hot water I add to the water reservoir. I think most machines you use a concentrated mix and the machine automatically dilutes it. Mine diluted this mix in 2 gallons of water.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Deb on December 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm

        My machine has a reservoir and you put 1 big cap of cleaner and then fill with water, but it doesn’t hold that much, so guess I’ll put it in a 4 or 5 gal. bucket and then fill the reservior to the line with the mixed solution. Thanks for your response. Mine doesn’t automatically dilute so that’s why I wondered if this needed diluted. Have had a smapooer for about 12 yrs. or so and love it.

        to Deb's comment

  23. tj on December 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

    …Oh Susy, I too hate carpet. With a passion! Whenever I vacuum our bedrooms, which is the only rooms that have carpet, I just cringe knowing that there is dirt under there that I can’t get to! lol…

    …We had planned on putting in hardwood floors where there’s carpet but we may be selling after the holidays so that probably won’t be a priority now.

    …Thank you for the carpet cleaner recipe! I will give that a try.

    …Merry Christmas to you & yours! *<:o{

    …Peace & blessings.

    Reply to tj's comment

  24. Victoria in CT on December 18, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I don’t like carpet either. When my old dog had problems with hardwood or linoleum floors I put rug runners down for her to use going from room to room. It made a big difference for her and when she died I just trashed the rug pieces.

    Reply to Victoria in CT's comment

    • Susy on December 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      We did that back in Ohio when Lucy injured her leg, we simply used those non-skid mats you put under the carpet in the areas she walked. Maybe I’ll do that here.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  25. amy on December 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    No….to carpet…We have all hard woods and originally I had put down some orientals…but even those are gone now….No matter how good you sweep….they always manage to trap crud underneath them.

    Reply to amy's comment

  26. Jodiana on December 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I hate carpet as well. Oak floor is what my house has. As Deb mentioned Slippery flooring can be a problem, especially on stairs. I ordered cotton stair treads from the Solutions catalog. I have had them for 6 yrs now. I throw them in the washer to clean, sometimes the dryer or hang them outside. After 6 yrs the still look as good as new and no man or beastie has slipped on the stairs since! Wearing slippers also help :) but the dogs just won’t wear them LOL

    Reply to Jodiana's comment

    • Deb on December 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      That would be great on stairs but what about all the floors otherwise? It’s so dangerous and who would want to wear slippers in 97* heat in summertime? Guess the folks here must have well insulated homes to not want carpet. I hate slippers and hate mopping. So much easier to vacuum and shampoo 2x/yr. I’m 52 and couldn’t imagine falling on slick floors and breaking a leg, ankle, or hip.

      Reply to Deb's comment

  27. Wendy on December 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I cannot wait until we can rid rid of our carpet, even though it’s going to be awhile. I think it contributes the problems of the allergy-plagued in our household.

    Reply to Wendy's comment

  28. Amy S on December 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

    thanks for sharing the recipe with us! I have a love/hate relationship with carpet. Love it on cold winter mornings. Hate when an animal gets sick on it. The majority of our flooring is ceramic tile which I love and it doesn’t bother me to walk through the area with muddy shoes.

    Reply to Amy S's comment

  29. Ilene on December 20, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Add me to the list of people who hate carpet. Everywhere we have lived, we have torn out ugly beige carpet. What’s up with that??

    We have been in our house in the country now for three years as of last July. So far, we have torn out carpet in the kitchen and the dining “nook” and the dining room, and two bathrooms! The absolute WORST places for carpeting!! In the bathrooms, we used a vinyl wood-look strip-flooring product that is very easy care. For the rest, we used a floating, inter-locking engineered wood panel product. I love the look. We have a tri-level and the floors on the bottom and middle levels are all concrete, so I was concerned about whether the floors would be cold once the carpeting was gone and it hasn’t been a problem at all! We still have carpet in the living room, which looks horrid, because, like yours, it gets the traffic from outside, and it’s YUK beige, too. We’ve been thinking about new carpet for it but we have an old dog that stays inside and I’m hesitant to get new carpet as long as we have him. Now I’m starting to lean towards just buying more of that engineered flooring material to match the other rooms. It’s not more expensive than a new carpet, plus it’s easier to keep clean, and we can install it ourselves where we’d have to pay someone to install carpet.

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog, I’ve lurked here for years. Your method of planting carrots is inspired. Hugs, Ilene

    Reply to Ilene's comment

  30. Jessica on December 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I despise carpet. I loathe it with the burning intensity of a thousand suns. I have two cats, one of them a one-year-old kitten who frequently has accidents that don’t seem very accidental, and I will scream the next time someone attempts to advise me on how to handle it. We’ve tried everything, and I just want the carpet gone. Unfortunately, this is a rental, and landlords love carpet. The floor downstairs is laminate and tile. We have a rug under our coffee table and a runner connecting the back door to the front to protect the floor. She never has an accident downstairs. Upstairs? With all that cushy, absorbent carpet? Who needs a litter box?

    Reply to Jessica's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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