Spring Is Here! These 6 Tips For Keeping It At Bay

Photo by: Maëlick (Flickr)

He probably won’t wipe his feet before coming inside.

Spring Is Here, And With It The Mud! These 6 Tips for Keeping It at Bay Will Have You “Floored”

Spring is in the air, and it’s pretty much everybody’s favorite time of the year. Nothing refreshes you more than a nice walk in the fresh, warm air. There’s just something about the sun shining, the flowers, the birds, the butterflies, and… the slushy mud! Okay, I set you up there, but it’s true. Spring really is a wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a messy one. Whether you live in an area like I do where the snow is melting into the ground or you’re dealing with spring showers (or both) you’ve got mud on your shoes and, no doubt, in your house. I’m not going to let this problem ruin your spring, however. Read my six tips to find out how to clean the mud once it’s indoors and, better yet, how to prevent it from getting there in the first place.

Clean It Up

Let’s just assume that you’re already staring at mud on your floors and carpets. This isn’t a stretch, especially if you have little ones. Don’t fret, panic, cry, or gnash your teeth at the muddy mess, however, because cleaning up the mud, even on white carpet, is not only doable but easy. Here are some suggestions:

1. Tile Floors: The type of tiling you have dictates the cleaner you can use. Your best bet for an environmentally safe floor cleaner is simply a mixture of white vinegar and purified water. This combo removes the mud safely and effectively without harming your floor. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to lift stains and then wipe the area clean with water.

2. Wood Floors: A mild white vinegar solution also works on wood floors, but sometimes these floors are more porous and can stain more easily. If this is the case, take a chemical-free dish detergent (you can find them in the organic aisle) and gently clean the mud off your wood floor with a mixture of the detergent and purified water. Condition the area with a dab of olive oil after it’s rinsed and clean.

3. Carpet: The worst thing you can do is immediately begin cleaning up muddy footprints on your carpeting. Wait… and breathe calming breaths while you’re waiting. Once the mud has dried, vacuum as much of it up as possible. Then, mix 1 tablespoon of your chemical-free dish detergent with two cups warm water. “Sponge” the mud stains; don’t rub or scrub. Take another clean, dry cloth and apply pressure to stain until the dish liquid and stain are absorbed and lifted away.

4. Upholstery: Thankfully, the carpet solution also works on your upholstery and throw rugs. Provided you purchase chemical-free dish soap, you needn’t worry about ruining the couch after the kids put their muddy feet on it. If you are concerned, however, spot check a small area with the cleaner (the back of the couch works well if you have it up against the wall) to ensure that you can safely remove the mud from it with your homemade dishwater solution.

Better Yet, Prevent It

Rather than subject yourself to the frustration of having to clean the mud stains off your floors, carpets, and furniture, let’s talk about how you can prevent the stains in the first place. After all, “Prevention is the best medicine…” I believe that’s how the proverb goes!

5. Shoes: The first and most logical prevention tool is to remove the guilty party: the shoes. Have a safe space out front or back for your shoes. If you have an entry into your home from the garage, you can establish the space there. If you don’t want the shoes outside, set up a couple of racks to accommodate the footwear just inside the doors and make the new household rule: Shoes off before entry. This avoids other things, such as outdoor pesticides, from being tracked into your home, as well.

6. Flooring/Mats: Another option is to get welcome mats for all outside entries, machine-washable entry rugs for all spaces just inside the doors, and/or tile your entryways with an easy-to-clean tiling option, such as vinyl or ceramic. Then, the rule becomes wipe your feet on the mat, the rug, and then enter the house. Just in case someone doesn’t do a perfect job of wiping his or her feet on the mats and rugs, the tile should catch the rest of the mud.

Spring is in the air and it’s time to enjoy it for all its wonder and beauty. Don’t stress about the mud. Rather, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and warm sunshine. Become a kid again with your children and play in the mud. You’d be surprised how therapeutic that can be. With these six tips, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the spring and the mud that comes with it, so Happy Springtime to everyone!

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