Updated: Mar 12
It’s that time of year: when the snow – that actually came this year – melts and everything turns grey and sludgy. Even though we’re stuck at home, most of us will have been making the most of our government-approved walks as the only way to keep us sane. If you’ve been taking your once-a-day outside exercise, you will be faced with one thing: mud, and lots of it. But just how can you manage the mud that inevitably makes its way back into your house and stop it becoming ingrained into your carpets and upholstery?
Key culprits for bringing mud into your house
Kids: Little ones love mud – especially those who have been taking notes from Peppa Pig. Many of us are still homeschooling and a walk is a great way to break up the day. But it is very easy for a short, 20-minute walk with the kids to turn into a full blown, hour-long mud bath!
Running shoes: I’ve heard countless stories of people starting couch to 5K over Lockdown 1 and sticking with it. But while a sprint through the South Downs may have you dropping the pounds, it will also have you picking up mud. Runs can last hours – at least mine do – and all this time, your grippy running shoes are latching onto the dampened soil, bringing you a less than pleasant gift for the finish line. And even if you stick to the pavements, rather than going cross country, they’re currently matted with black, wet leaf mulch, which will also find its way back into your home.
Dogs: This is the obvious one. Be it a muddy Maltese, a dirty dachshund or a wet whippet, an excitable dog is possibly the biggest culprit for bringing outside dirt into the house.
Cats: Cat lovers; you didn’t think you were safe, did you? I know you’ve noticed the tiny trails of pawprints running from the cat flap to wherever the warmest place in the house is. Cats tend not to get as muddy as dogs; they don’t find the same excitement in rolling around in puddles, but it is often hard to control when they leave or enter the house, bringing mud with them.
The best solution for managing mud
Keep it outside! If possible, it is always much easier to prevent, rather than treat the problem.
I always recommend wiping your shoes, if possible, whilst walking and then taking them off at the door. If you have driven to wherever you are walking or running, it’s a good idea to take a fresh pair of shoes – and even clothes – with you. This means that you can keep them in a plastic bag and leave them outside to dry and you’re not dropping little bits of dirt as you travel through the house. Even if you’re not hugely muddy, if you’re taking advantage of your one walk a day, the mud can quickly build up.
For dogs, the easiest solution is to give them a bath before they get into the house – in fact, before you’ve even unlocked the door. The number of times people get home and quickly try to drop a bag off through the door, only to find their furry friend has gone ahead of them, ready to get warm, must be immeasurable. Most dogs won’t mind a quick hose down, but we all know that this comes with the dreaded wet-dog smell. I recommend keeping a designated towel by the door where you are most likely to enter which you don’t mind sacrificing to dry your dog off.
If the outside gets in
For clothes: If there are big clumps of mud, let them dry and pick them off, ideally with an old knife. From there, or if there are a few small splatters, apply detergent to the muddy areas, then you can either let it sit for a few hours or get right into scrubbing it off. An old toothbrush is great as it really helps to loosen the particles, and make sure that you scrub the garment from the inside as well as the outside. You can then machine wash as usual but keep in mind that to get the best results, you may have to repeat the process.
For shoes: If you haven’t had a chance to wipe down your shoes while on your walk, take them off outside and let them dry, then bang them together to remove the majority of the mud and use an old knife to pick the rest off. If you really want your shoes to be spotless, use an old toothbrush, washing up liquid and water to gently scrub the mud off, like a large tooth. Then stuff them with newspaper and leave to dry; while you may think this should be somewhere warm, for leather shoes the slower they dry the better it will be for the life of the shoe.
For upholstery and carpets: Always, always, always allow to dry. Then, pick off any large
chunks with an old knife and hoover it up as much as possible. Then, blot the area with a damp cloth; you can use laundry or dish detergent if needed but make sure to wash this off again with warm water – and make sure to patch test first on an area that can’t be seen easily.
Call Bizzy Lizzy
Regular cleaning: We can help you stay on top of things by visits from our experienced cleaners either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. This will stop the dirt from building up and you won’t find yourself looking at brown carpets instead of white.
One-offs: So, you’ve had a fiasco with a really muddy dog or over-exited kid – but there’s no need to cry over spilt mud! Consider our cleaners to be your fairy godmothers! Simply call us and we’ll be there to magic away the horror so you can relax and enjoy your home again.
Upholstery cleaning: If you find that the mud has really penetrated your carpets or upholstery, our experienced upholstery cleaners will use their specialist equipment to make it look brand new again.