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February 10, 2021

Kids and Carpets: How to Clean Carpets Naturally, For Their Sake

A baby in a diaper laying on a white carpet.


Parents hope their children will leave their mark on the world, though they’d sometimes prefer it wasn’t on their walls or carpets. It’s bound to happen though — spilled grape juice, crushed goldfish crackers, and uncapped markers are part of raising a family. Thankfully there are safe ways to handle the wear and tear carpets and upholstery endure from the youngest members of our families.

Cracker Crumbs and Cookie Crumbles

Kids are messy eaters (as are some adults). With yummy, crumbly crackers, cookies, and cakes, carpets are bound to get their fair share of crushed saltines and sugar cookie crumbs. Hand-held vacuums are great for sucking up crumbs quickly after snack time. Establishing a weekly vacuuming routine will help ensure crumbs don’t build up.

Juice Spills

Television ads selling chemical carpet cleaners and paper towels often depict a glass of grape juice spilling on a white carpet. Another variant of this popular image is a glass of red wine falling onto a rug. Advertisers use these images over and over because they are so effective. There’s a gut reaction for viewers who watch dark liquids falling on an immaculate carpet, and the average person immediately assumes it's stained forever. Of course, the companies offer a remedy. Unfortunately, that remedy typically includes many chemicals many of us don’t want in our homes, and especially around our children.

To naturally clean a carpet after a juice spill, first blot up the stain with a cloth to pick up as much liquid as possible—don’t rub. Apply club soda to a cloth or sponge and dab the stain. If it remains, a fifty-fifty mix of white vinegar and water can be sprayed on the stain. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then dab at the stain. Repeat as necessary.

Sticky Candies

Bubble gum, jolly ranchers, and other sticky candies have a way of falling out of a child’s mouth and ending up on the floor or couch. Even after being picked up, these sugary treats can leave a residue that makes it easier for dirt and dust to adhere to your carpet. To clean up after sticky candies, first remove as much as possible by hand. Wet a cloth or sponge with a mix of gentle dish soap and water. Dab this on the spot to get rid of any sugary residue.


Sometimes little ones get distracted while making their latest masterpiece, abandoning uncapped markers in the process. These markers can stain a carpet or rug. Purchasing washable markers is the first step in reducing art-time frustrations. Not only will they be easier to clean off small hands, but they’ll also be easier to remove from carpets and upholstery. If you have a marker stain, dabbing the stain with the wet cloth may be enough to get rid of it. If not, the same method for removing juice stains can be used, or you can call a natural carpet cleaning company for professional help.

Sandbox Memories

It’s bound to happen. Whether it’s after a day at the beach or some fun sandbox action, sand gets dragged into the house in shoes and socks, and the grains end up in the carpet. To keep your carpet looking its best, and to keep the sand from getting worked into the carpet,  vacuum up any sand as soon as possible.

The Couch Is Not a Napkin!

Little ones are always in a hurry to have more fun. They often wipe their hands on the nearest surface, whether it's their sleeve or your comfy couch. Ketchup, yogurt, and other foods can make a big mess on a couch, curtains, or rugs. For stains on upholstery, use extra liquid and blot it up with a cloth first. Depending on the type of liquid or fabric, this may be enough. For tougher stains, it may be necessary to use club soda or the 50/50 water-vinegar mixture mentioned under juice spills. Remember—dab, don’t rub. And always blot excess liquid.

The health of our children is important. Harsh carpet cleaners leave chemicals embedded in the carpet fibers that aren’t safe for children and pets. Rather than relying on these cleaners to remove a stain, we’ve found that natural cleaners are just as good, or better. Together with regular low-moisture natural carpet cleaning, natural products can go a long way towards preserving your carpet and the safety of your indoor environment. If you have hard-to-remove stains or don’t feel comfortable attacking a stain, call a naturally green carpet cleaning expert today to get a consultation for carpet cleaning services.

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