Domestic Why Do I Bother #6,000
I have cream-colored carpet. It's really squishy and feels good under your feet. We knew we were taking a risk when we moved here in 2007 and installed light-colored carpeting with small children around, but we thought, you know, maybe it would be different for us. Kind of like how I thought we'd only have educational, wooden toys and watch less than an hour of Nickelodeon every day.
And I know, you're all wondering why we didn't just put hardwood in the living room instead. We put it in the library when we pulled out that awful carpet (and the one time I begged to use the nail gun is the one obvious screw-up in the wood, another Domestic Why Do I Bother). Hardwood is all the rage, you don't have to vacuum, you don't get stains. Yeah, I know, I know. But I've lived with hardwood throughout twice and there are other issues. It gets scratched. Stuff gets embedded between the boards. It needs to be swept almost daily. It fingerprints (and toeprints). Hardwood is not magic, though after this latest cleaning fiasco, I'm ready to rip out the living room carpet and lay pebbles if need be the minute someone hands me $12,000.
I digress. So our cream-colored carpet has suffered eight years of high traffic, children thundering in and out from the deck door no matter how many times I implore them to use the garage door, stay off the carpet, take off your shoes, for the love of all that is holy. Most of it looks okay after I steam it, but there are certain spots on the landing of the stairs, right next to the couch and on the threshold between the kitchen and the living room that have developed a grayish tinge that isn't quite a stain but more the carpet giving up on trying anymore. Steaming doesn't help. The Little Green Machine doesn't help. Woolite doesn't help.
In my desperation, I consulted Jillee and found this post on using vinegar and baking soda to clean your carpet. Last Sunday while everyone else was outside, I tried it. At the very least, it was super satisfying to listen to the whole thing sizzle. I dried everything as well as I could and went on with my life.
Only, it didn't really dry. That was Sunday. Now it's Tuesday. And it's still wet.
Not only is it still wet, my daughter keeps walking through it then walking all over the tile that I mopped to a high shine also on Sunday. I can see her little toeprints glinting in the sunlight. Twice I've scrubbed them off the floor, and twice they've reappeared on her next pass through the house.
I tried appealing to my husband, who thinks putting vinegar on the carpet is up in the top five of stupid things I have ever done. He just shook his head. "This one's on you," he said. "It smells like salad in here."
So now my carpet is less stained but I have little sticky toeprints all over my tile until this fucking vinegar dries.
Why, again, do I bother?