Into every life, a little stain must fall. Ok, that isn’t quite how the saying goes, but sometimes it feels true. Life can be very messy. If you find yourself with some carpet stains of your own, read on for tips to deal with life’s tough messes.
Treat them Fast
The best way to prevent spills from becoming stains is to clean up the mess as soon as possible. If a spill consists of any solids, scoop them up with a spoon or butter knife. Then use a clean cloth to gently blot- not rub- the stain to absorb as much moisture as possible. Keep blotting until the cloth is no longer absorbing any of the spill.
Apply a Stain Remover
There are many commercial stain removers with a variety of formulations for all types of stains. Good old soap and water often does the trick and you may want to try this DIY recipe first. Mix 1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar. Apply the mixture to the stain being careful not to soak it too much, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Blot to Remove the Stain
Using another clean cloth, blot the area again until no more stain transfers to the cloth. If the stain is still visible, you can repeat this process, or use a purchased product, being sure to follow the instructions and spot test first. Once the stain is gone, use clean water to rinse the area and blot dry.
Remedies for Tough Stains
There are those culprits that tend to do a number on carpets but have no fear! There are cleaning techniques to address even the most stubborn issues.
Blood: This is one time you want to keep things cool, as using warm water can help set the stain. Use cool water or club soda to saturate the stain and then blot as explained above.
Chocolate: If your dessert party has gone awry and there is melted chocolate to contend with, use an ice pack to harden the chocolate first, then scrape from the carpet before following the instructions above to remove the stain.
Coffee or Tea: To remove coffee or tea stains, try a solution of 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Apply to stain and work in with your fingers. Allow the mixture to sit, then rinse with water and blot as above.
Dirt: Any dirt should be allowed to dry completely prior to treatment. Vacuum first, then proceed with the DIY method above.
Butter/Oil/Gravy: A fat-based stain should be absorbed first by applying baking soda to the stain and allowing it to set for a few hours. Vacuum and then apply rubbing alcohol to break up what is left of the stain. You can also purchase a cleaner designed for greasy messes and follow the instructions to remove the stain, should it persist.
Pet Stains: If your fur-kids have done a number (one) on your carpet, try to address the issue as soon as possible. Use paper towels to absorb as much of the moisture as possible and then rinse with water and blot again until dry. Consider a commercial product to ensure that there is no residual smell, especially in the case of repeat offenders.
Wine or Juice: A spill with a lot of color can be removed using club soda and gently blotting. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.
When To Surrender
There may come a time when the stain will win. If you find yourself struggling to remove a stubborn stain, or if you have older stains of unknown origin, consider hiring a professional to clean your carpets. If the stains are permanent, your carpet is worn or has a lingering smell, it may be time to consider replacing them or choosing a new floor for your home. When that time comes, reach out to the helpful folks at Lake Forest Flooring. They will be happy to go over design options and set you up with professional installation services.