There are plenty of advantages of having carpet in your home. For one, it’s comfortable under your feet and for Dad to lay on when cozying up to watch a movie on Friday nights. Second, it helps to suppress noise in addition to softening the impact of slips and falls. However as with everything these advantages also come with a number of disadvantages – the primary one being a carpet’s ability to hold dirt and stains. Nothing is worse than a red wine spill on a fresh white carpet. And not everyone wants to call the carpet steaming company each time a carpet is dirtied so are there any inexpensive solutions to solve the problems with dirty carpets?
The best strategy to clean up a stain on your carpet is spray, blot, and dry. What do you blot with? Well it depends on what you spilled on the carpet of course. Different mixtures clean up different stains. For example, you won’t use the same mixture to clean a carpet which just had muddy boots trudging across it as you would a carpet that just had food dye spilled on it. Here is a quick table to identify which solution you should use based on the content on the carpet.
|Wine, blood, chocolate, coffee
|Beer, mixed drinks, feces, mud, ink
|Wax and Oils
|Spray with 1 part water, 1 part vinegar. Next, combine ½ tsp. of non-bleach detergent with 1 quart of water. Rinse and dry by dabbing dry towel from outer portion of stain to inside.
|Combine 1 tbsp. of ammonia with 8-12 ounces of water. Spray this solution on the stain then dry as in the urine example.
|Combine ¼-½ tsp. of distilled white vinegar with 1 quart of water. Spray this solution on the stain then dry.
|Use a dry paper towel and place it on the carpet. Now take your clothing iron and heat it up. Once heated, place the hot iron on the paper towel. Use short circular motions to heat up the stained area. The substance should lift into the paper towel.
Just as a disclaimer, you should not apply anything to your carpet before understanding its material. Bleach will ruin certain types of carpets and it is necessary to know which products will not react well with your carpet.
Some substances are fairly simple to clean. Nail polish can be removed from your carpet using nail polish remover. Burns can be moved using a butter knife and lightly chafing away the burnt fiber. It should also be noted that you should refrain from scrubbing the carpet. This is one big difference cleaning hardwood floors and carpets. Hardwood floors you can scrub all day long but carpets this is a big no-no.
Most small to medium-sized carpet stains can be cleaned using a solution that can be made at home. Even if your carpet doesn’t appear to be dirty doesn’t mean it is clean. Tiny particles constantly whether you try to prevent it or not. Therefore regular carpet maintenance is still a good idea. If you’ve got any questions about a stain or solution to use be sure to ask a professional, and good luck keeping your carpets looking fresh and clean!
- License: Creative Commons image source
Keith Benton has worked in the carpet cleaning business his entire life. He enjoys spreading his knowledge publicly and enjoys any and all life hacks.