There’s a Nightmare in your Carpet

Written by Emily

Oh, the day I just had! Dear readers, you will be jealous of this one! Today, while Sylvie was bouncing in her exersaucer and playing with her big sister, I shampooed the playroom carpet. That’s right, folks. I think I should start charging admission to peek into a day in this life because the excitement is overflowing up in here.

In all seriousness, cleaning the carpet was quite an exhilarating event because it desperately needed it. Not too long ago, we replaced the cream-colored carpeting installed by our home’s previous owners. And while they were lovely people, they made a grave error putting wall-to-wall cream carpet in the living room and dining room of this sweet Cape Cod. The moment my son set foot on that carpet, mysterious spots began surfacing everywhere. Then we got a Great Dane. Then I had Chloe. The carpet literally made me gag.

I hired professional cleaners often, but without fail, the spots returned like ghosts who cling to a house because they think it still belongs to them. These spots–they owned that carpet. Finally, after a great deal of pleading and searching for the best replacement, we installed gorgeous hand-scraped, wide plank teak floors.

They look like this:

And even better with these adorable feet practicing dance steps:

I love them. And I no longer gag when I enter my house.

The playroom, though. We kept that carpet. It’s apparently a modern shag, not something I would ever choose on my own, but it is plush and nice under our feet. And it cushions the blows dished out by a mischievous big brother. It also hides a multitude of sins. I know this because I just shampooed the carpet.

I felt satisfaction watching the chocolate milk stain disappear. I smiled at the fading red spots I can only hope were jelly or maybe paint. I said good-bye (out loud) to the something that made the carpet matte near the corner of the couch–a spill from a rainy-day or movie-night picnic no doubt.

Now, I have never been one to ask people to remove their shoes in my house–partly because I kind of cringe when I have to do that–not because I find it inconvenient, I just worry about the state of my socks or my unpedicured, naked toes. So I’ve never asked this of my guests. Having seen again the dirt, I dare say, the filth, that came out of my carpet, I might have to institute a no-shoe policy. Children and dogs are messy enough, but add to this the horrific places the bottoms of shoes have been (think public bathrooms with little boys who can’t aim, city streets, farms, my playroom carpet), and I think I might become a no-shoes inside kind of girl.

But then there is the dilemma of asking people to remove their shoes…and what about stylish shoe storage. I don’t have a mudroom or foyer at the entrance of my home. I’m not sure what to do. I welcome your suggestions.

In the meantime, I am going to be shampooing the playroom carpet. I’m not sure how many washings it’s going to take until the water is clear. I’ll let you know next year.

Before you go though, please take a moment to complete this simple (3 question) anonymous survey. I’m just curious. Do you have your guests remove their shoes or do you try to tell yourself, like me, again and again that germs make our immune systems stronger?

Click here to take survey

Enjoy your weekend with or without your shoes on!

5 comments for “There’s a Nightmare in your Carpet

  1. Wha
    September 14, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I grew up with not being able to wear shoes in our home (a Korean custom). We don’t wear shoes in our home now, so our kids often naturally remove their shoes upon entering other homes. I agree…. Imagine what is really on the bottom of your shoes. Yuck! I think worse than what is on door knobs, but we can wash our hands throughout the day. Love your posts Em!

  2. roseriley
    September 14, 2012 at 8:52 am

    To make you feel a little bit better about your playroom carpet (but maybe not other things!), read this… http://listverse.com/2007/10/05/top-30-spots-for-bacteria-in-the-home/

  3. Debbie
    September 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Living in Hawaii, it is customary to remove your shoes almost everywhere. And since 90% of us wear slippers (those things I called flip-flops growing up) everywhere, it’s not too big a challenge. Add in our usually gorgeous weather and the fact that your toes need to look good all the time and it’s not too big a deal. And since we live in a rental home with beautiful bamboo floors that scratch when you breathe near them, it’s required in my home. That said, I am not sure I will be able to enforce this rule on the mainland where people wear real shoes and winter happens. For the time being, I am ordering a sign to let people know of our “house rule”. And when I sweep the piles of dirt from the entry (where we keep an assortment of shoes: slippers, football cleats, cheer shoes, riding boots, military shoes, running shoes, etc), I am glad all that stuff never made it past the doorway….

  4. Molar Mother
    September 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Did you ever see the Sex and the City where Tatum O’Neal’s character makes Carrie take off her shoes… and then they’re stolen?

  5. Kelley
    September 16, 2012 at 10:31 am

    After I read this one, I will be calling Lindsey immediately to borrow her rug shampooer (which by the way, she loves more than anything) to clean my back room…yuck!

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