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Many great decisions are made over a bottle of wine. This story does not involve one of them.
Let me take you back to 2008. Dave and I had just gotten married and we were deep in the throes of designing our dream home. We were at the stage where we needed to make some big decisions about internal furnishings – carpets, tiles, floorboards – you know the drill. We felt overwhelmed with the amount of choice and couldn’t seem to agree on anything, so we thought we’d bring in a professional.
We were a little tight on cash, so instead of hiring someone, we decided to ply our interior designer neighbour with alcohol and bring internal furnishings up in casual conversation. Brilliant idea, right?!
I remember his advice as if it was yesterday.
‘If you have a dark haired family,’ he said.
‘Go for dark colourings.
‘If you have a fair haired family, go for light.’
Dave and I thought this was pure genius. We’re a dark haired family, so bam – we chose the dark carpets, bam – we chose the dark tiles, bam – we chose the dark blinds.
The three of us – Dave, me and our neighbour – didn’t have any kids at the time, so our focus was purely on what would look good and show up less of our everyday wear and tear.
Our neighbour was on the ball with the dark carpet advice. It doesn’t show up our hair, but oh my God, it shows up just about everything else.
Plus, we didn’t know, I repeat, we did not know what havoc little ones can wreak on carpet.
By the time we moved into our beautiful home with its lush dark grey carpet, we had a two-year-old and a baby.
Alarm bells were ringing, my friends, but we didn’t even hear them.
I think it was a matter of days before we had our first incident. Smiley was quite the vomiter and I’m talking projectile. After nearly every feed it would come straight back up and then there were the poo explosions, the wee, and that time I spent an eternity trying to express a bottle of milk with my manual breast pump only to spill it all over the carpet. There was breast milk and tears on the carpet that time.
Oh, and if you think your child is never going to feel the urge to smother themselves in Sudocrem, then you’re wrong. There’s something about kids and Sudocrem. It’s like the call of the wild. They cannot resist it. Pity the fool me for leaving it lying around twice. My eldest did a right job of it while my back was turned with the baby (thankfully it was on our floorboards and not the carpet), but when Smiley was of age she had a fair crack at the custard covering herself and the carpet with it. (I have no photos of this one as the horror was too much for me to focus on anything other than cleaning it up.)
When we moved in, I’d bought a carpet cleaning product from our local supermarket. I did all of the things I shouldn’t have done when cleaning carpet, like not testing the product on sample carpet before spraying half a bottle on it, and rubbing too hard, which damages the carpet.
We now have multiple pale coloured stains on our carpets in all of our bedrooms.
If I had my time over, I would have consulted with a carpet specialist like Stainmaster Carpet. They know that if you have an active young family, then you need to choose your carpet around that.
Their website has a great stain removal section, which every parent needs to have a good look at.
To save you time, I’ve put together five carpet cleaning hacks from Stainmaster that every parent needs to have on hand.
I hate to tell you, but whether you have a baby, or older kids, vomit on the carpet is inevitable.
Oh, I know. It’s so gross and you don’t even want to let your mind go there, but trust me, you’ll thank me later.
This one is a must for any parent toilet-training a toddler.
Along with active kids comes plenty of accidents. Blood doesn’t show up too badly on our dark carpets, but you’ll need this hack if you have lighter carpets.
If your kids are anything like mine, they love to draw .. anywhere … and everywhere. This hack will do the trick to get those felt tip pen marks out of your carpet.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a hack for getting Sudocrem out of carpet. Does anyone know how the hell to get that stuff out? What has been the worst stain you’ve had to contend with? Add any carpet cleaning hacks you’re willing to share in the comments.
Mummy, Wife, Me received financial compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.