Well here it is ... my first Thrifty Thursday of 2013. My first task today was to take down my Christmas tree, box up the fairy lights and pack away the decorations until next Christmas. Actually, I decided to leave the fairy lights on the willow wigwams I made because they look lovely and I'm all for any excuse to keep them up all year round.
My second task will be to clean the carpet. As you have probably already gathered, I have a lot of animals. I don't, however, like my house to look and smell like I have a lot of animals and so with this in mind, about 5 years ago I bought myself a carpet cleaner. It's a fairly decent one but because I bought it during the sales it wasn't too expensive. It was about £120ish I think and it was one of the best investments I have made. It does a brilliant job of rejuvenating my carpets and keeping them clean and believe me, with three dogs in the house and the amount of mud we had last year, that is no mean feat!
The only issue I have is that I don't really like the carpet cleaning solutions. They don't smell very nice and quite frankly given the choice between the faint whiff of dog or the nasty chemical smell I would take Eau de Dog every time. So, a couple of years ago, I decided that I could bear this no longer and decided to put something into the carpet cleaner that would actually smell nice. I used some baby shampoo. The misguided logic behind this was that if it was gentle enough for babies it wouldn't do any damage to my carpets. Well it didn't damage the carpets but I'm sure you can guess the results. The carpet cleaner looked like some malevolent beast, foaming at the mouth and spewing suds everywhere and it took a good half an hour with a bucket of clean water to get the carpet bubble free.
It was during this mammoth de-foaming marathon that the Eureka moment happened. I needed something that wouldn't foam excessively but that would clean the carpets and make them smell nice at the same time. I dashed off to the kitchen and grabbed my bottle of laundry detergent. Now there are things in life that I don't mind compromising on. I don't buy expensive loo roll for example, I don't see the point. It gets flushed down the loo anyway and the expensive stuff clogs up the septic tank but, there are some things I refuse to scrimp on and laundry detergent is one of them. I figure that if I have to walk around all day smelling of the stuff I wash my clothes in, I would rather that the "stuff" actually smelt nice, regardless of the cost!
So my simple solution for clean, nice smelling carpets is liquid laundry detergent. It goes much much further than the carpet cleaning solutions and you only need to use a fraction of the amount. It cleans the carpets brilliantly and it makes the room smell like freshly washed clothes. Perfect.