What’s that you say? It’s August now? And it’s not even Tuesday? Well let’s just pretend I got this done yesterday like I had intended, m’kay?
So anyheee, today’s tip is also about stank. But today, we’re talking about stinky fabrics and carpets.
Hey, I’ve got three kids and three pets. I know stank.
About a month ago, my sweet big Black Lab Ike had gotten a new collar and unbeknownst to us, he had been brewing a horrible skin infection beneath it. Boyfriend was starting to smell. Bad. I thought maybe he had been rolling in his own poop out in the yard. It was rank, y’all. So I took his collar off to give him a bath and discovered that the poor thing was all irritated and infected up in there. Broke my heart in two, I tell you. He is fine now, just took a reverse mohawk cut, a round of antibiotics, and some special healing salve, but he’s good as new. We’ve gotten rid of that collar too and have switched him to a chest harness instead. Poor baby. I hate to think of him in any pain or discomfort.
But meanwhile, his dog bed and the little area rug I have under it had absorbed the smell of his infection and was super gross.
That’s Gracie the cat. She likes to follow me around and be involved in all my cleaning and organization projects. (If you go back through the archives of The 52 Weeks projects from last year, you will see her in a lot of the pictures.)
So anyway, I didn’t want my beautiful clean dog to have to lie on a stinky bed. But I couldn’t just stick his rug and bed in the washing machine either.
I had to get creative.
The first thing I did was put the little area rug out on my deck.
Sunshine and fresh air always make any cleaning task more pleasant, don’t you agree? Also, some sources I’ve found online say that the ultraviolet rays of the sun help to kill odor-causing bacteria. Good to know! (Just be careful the sun doesn’t fade whatever it is you’re cleaning.)
That’s a recipe for natural air freshener I found on Pinterest and have really been enjoying! I bought my Tea Tree Oil at my local grocery store for about $6 in the beauty products aisle. I love how it smells: clean, crisp, kind of piney/camphor-like. Tea Tree Oil is well known for its many uses in cleaning and treating minor health and skin issues.
This is probably a good time to remind you that I will not be held personally responsible if your sons start developing breasts due to your misuse of Tea Tree Oil. I am a writer, not a medical practitioner.
Once the rug was slightly damp from the Tea Tree Oil infused water spray, I coated it with a generous amount of Borax.
I let the Borax sit on the rug for a few hours.
Then I vacuumed it up and took a big whiff.
The stank was TOTALLY GONE. All I could smell was sunshine and rainbows. (I wasn’t even drunk.)
I have also used a version of this technique on my kids’ pee-stained mattresses (hey mattress pad cover manufacturers, thanks for nothing!) But instead of sprinkling on the dry Borax, I followed the instructions on the back of the Borax box:
- dissolve 1/2 cup of Borax in 1 pint of water
- sponge on
- wait 1/2 hour
- rinse well
- let dry
It’s a little more labor intensive, but it removes the round ring-o-pee stain from the mattress, so it’s worth it.
Did your kid have a pee-pee accident on your upholstered couch? Been there. Unzip the upholstered cover off the cushion insert and treat the cover with the dry Borax like I did with the rug above, then use the wet Borax solution to clean and deodorize the pee stain from the cushion insert (like I did on my kids’ mattresses).
Disclaimer: even though Borax claims to be a “Natural Alternative to ColorSafe Bleach,” you should definitely do a spot test to make sure it won’t discolor your fabric. Please, proceed at your own risk.
And there you have it. Now let’s get out there and destankify our homes safely and naturally! My gift to you.
Have a suggestion for an issue or tip you’d like me to research and share? Please leave it in the comments below.
Sincerely and now with a fresh smelling dog bed,