Recently, my family decided to adopt a yellow labrador puppy. Being the fact that I was 5 months pregnant at the time, people thought we were a bit mad, to say the least. While small puppies are adorable and worthy of fawning over, they have an inevitable dark side, which is house training. My girls are in school all day and my husband is at work, so who is stuck with the constant monitoring and cleaning of accidents… well me.
Even when I am not pregnant, I have a very sensitive noise. If you have a secret smoking habit, I will detect it; cheap perfume gives me instant headaches, so the newfangled urine smell emanating from our carpet irked me beyond belief. I was constantly uncomfortable and needed to find a solution. Bulgaria has been experiencing record low temperatures, so keeping the windows open for extended periods of time was unwise.
Being me, a bit OCD and currently experimenting with recipes for soap and natural household cleaners (see my recipe for a Natural All-Purpose Cleaner), I decide to try my hand at creating a powdered carpet sprinkle, similar to the Resolve or other chemical options readily available, which we used many years ago in the US, when the girls were toilet training. Research on the web gave me many options, baking soda, cornstarch and borax were the most common. I tried all 3 in varying combinations and would like to share my results with you.
I have 2 carpets in my house, the first is a woven natural fiber, rather course, like an indoor-outdoor kind of covering. The second is a synthetic carpet that we purchased from Ikea. What I noticed on my fiber carpet was spots of discoloration, but since I was using so many combinations, I couldn’t be sure which one was causing it.
Before the color change occured, I found that cornstarch was a terrible addition. It instantly turned into a clumpy mess adhering to the fibers in the carpet that were saturated with moisture. When I went to vacuum up the powder with my bristle attachment, it was nearly impossible to remove. With a stiff hand held brush, I managed to agitate some of the particles, but the rest I used a cleaning solution (see my recipe for a Natural All-Purpose Cleaner) and another stiff bristled brush to finally manage to clean it off.
Yesterday, I did a test comparing 5 different urine stains… Don’t ask me how I collected my urine sample… it is gross, but shows determination.
Combination (each combination includes finely ground dried lavender flowers):
- Baking Soda + Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
- Baking Soda
- Borax + Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
- 50% Borax + 50% Baking Soda + Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
The cost of borax in the US, is about $.80 per ounce,