RECENTLY, without realising, I accidentally walked on some grease in a neighbour's shed. The first inkling that I had that the soles of my shoes were covered with oil and grease was the telltale track of greasy footprints all over our woollen carpet.
After some heavy lateral thinking I mixed sufficient water and Kalolin together to form a thick paste and then spread it over the soiled areas. I left the paste on the carpet for about 24 hours, reduced it to a powder with a stiff broom, and then vacuumed it up.
The oil and grease stains were removed. Where there was still a faint residue, however, I gently rubbed the spot with a rag dipped in natural turpentine, working from the outside to the centre.
Kaolin, or china clay, can be bought from most chemists or pottery suppliers. You can substitute fullers' earth, also available from your chemist, for the kaolin and use the mixture to dry clean natural fibre carpets, following the same procedure.
Light grease stains can be removed with eucalyptus oil. Add the oil to a small spray atomiser and spray generously onto the affected area, then wipe away with a clean absorbent cloth.
Most other carpet stains can be removed with this all-purpose stain remover that is suitable for all carpet types.
To make it, dissolve half a cup of pure soap flakes or grated pure soap in a small amount of boiling water. Allow to cool, then whip until stiff.
Apply the stain cleaner to a small area at a time, allow to dry, then remove the residue and wipe with a damp cloth. When the carpet is almost dry, brush up the pile.
For animal indiscretions, you should remove as much of the excreta or vomit from carpet as you can with a spatula or piece of cardboard.
Be careful not to push any solid material into the pile. Mop up any moisture with an old cloth or paper towels.
Next, blend together two cups of soap flakes, half a cup of methylated spirits and 30 millilitres of eucalyptus oil, and dissolve two tablespoons of the mixture in 4 litres of warm water.
Saturate a cloth in this solution and sponge the dirty area with the wrung-out cloth. Store any remaining undiluted mixture in an airtight glass jar.
Urine stains can be removed with the same eucalyptus mixture.
To eliminate any odour, add 12 drops of lavender oil to a cup of bicarbonate of soda, mixing well with your hands. Sprinkle over the affected spot with a flour sifter, leave for two hours and then vacuum up.
This deodorising mixture can also be used at anytime to keep carpets fresh and pleasant smelling.