If you have a dog, you should probably clean your carpets

What was in my carpet. Horrifying, right?

The other day, I logged into Amazon (per usual) and I was greeted with a little welcome note about Amazon Home Services offering up a deal on carpet cleaning.

“Yes. Yes, a carpet cleaning sounds excellent,” said my brain, in a slight robot voice (which always happens when I read missives from my supreme, beloved overlord, Jeff Bezos). And it was pretty affordable – $120 for 3 rugs.* All I had to do was click and schedule a time.

So I did. And that was it. My phone sent me updates on the carpet cleaning (with a note requesting us to move our furniture) and on the scheduled date and time, a man from Georgia (the country, not the state) showed up at my house with an industrial steam cleaner / Zamboni thingy and got to work. 

I’m not going to lie. It was pretty thrilling.

Who was this man? I have no idea. But he didn’t murder me, so we’re cool. He also loved my dog, and took numerous selfies with her. “Pregnant?” he asked me, in his thick accent. “No, just fat,” I answered.

Dog selfie. Clean carpet.

What he uncovered,  friends, was BAD. And my rugs aren’t even that old! Maybe a year or two? And we have someone who comes twice a month to do a heavy-duty cleaning. And although I’m far, far, far from being a great housekeeper, on the weekends, I usually run a vacuum over them once or twice because if not we would be practically swimming through crumbs, dog hair, and paper bits  by Sunday morning (what can I say? The kids are learning how to use scissors.)

This is only ONE of the giant fur balls he scooped up (above).

Egad. EGAD.

Then, because I’m a super slick business woman, I offered him an extra $20 cash if he would clean the rug under my bed (not part of the deal), which was horribly stained from God Knows What Bodily Function My Children or Dog Put Forth Unto It.

We stood there, looking at my bedroom carpet. Both of our arms on our hips.

“Is that blood?” 

“No, not blood,” I answered, although I had to think back. (No one had an open wound recently, but Scout had definitely barfed and Kit had definitely peed in between diaper changes. I definitely tried to haphazardly clean both.)



“Probably vomit.”


He sighed. “I will try my best.”

And he did. He mixed up some solvents and scrubbed. He used the industrial Zamboni cleaner thingy.  But he was defeated. The stains on a white carpet (what was I thinking with that purchase??) were too much. (I texted Nat during the cleaning, in case he could give me a lead on what kind of cleaning product the guy should use. “What are the stains on the bedroom carpet?” I asked.  “Urine or vomit. Maybe blood,” he wrote back. Then he inserted the shruggy face emoticon. Our living arrangement is one step up from a crime scene, apparently.)

“Miss,” said the non-murderer from Georgia said, in a defeated tone. “You. You need to ….”.. He gestured that I should flip my carpet around.

And I laughed. Because no way will we ever have the energy to pick up the bed and move the carpet around but I liked him for thinking I was the type of person whose marriage could withstand such a coordinated effort with two small kids underfoot.

(I honestly think the best path forward is just putting another carpet on top of the old carpet but maybe I’m getting a little too Grey Gardens-esque for my own good?)

So, that’s it. That’s my learning experience from Amazon Home Services. My main takeaway? The list of things you have to do when you’re an adult to be somewhat sanitary are exhausting. Also, Amazon is going to take over our world. And I’m cool with it. 

[Postscript: I had the man dump the dirty water from the machine in the basement mop sink and there was so much hair, the sink drain clogged and now I have to get a plumber to snake the drain. Fun!]

*I realize calling $125 for a carpet cleaning “cheap” is subjective. But it was either that or me heading to Home Depot to rent a carpet cleaner and do it on the weekend, which will never, ever, ever happen. Ever.

(If you’ve gotten this far, it probably means you like what I write. If you do, please subscribe to my newsletter. It’s short, funny and has some recipe ideas as well as some links to interesting articles, etc. It’s like The Skimm but for busy, tired parents and women who don’t look a day over 35. You can subscribe here. It comes out every Friday. )


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