Removing Stains from My Carpet
Removing a fresh stain is very important to the health of your carpet, yet it is something that many people have very little experience with. The key is knowing what treatment you will use and what steps you will take so that you can blot and remove the stain before it sets in the carpet. If you have any extra pieces of carpet, why not “spill” fruit juice or some other type of difficult stain and practice your stain-cleaning skills? Here are some general instructions about how to handle stains in your carpeting.
Carefully soak up the stain. Many carpet experts recommend using a combination of paper towels and newspaper to soak up a fresh stain from the carpeting. It’s also a good idea to put some newspaper under the carpet as well. Do not, at any time, scrub the carpet in order to remove a fresh stain. This can damage the carpet fibers and allow the stain to soak all the way to the carpet pad. Instead, use your body’s weight so the paper towels and newspaper soak up the stain. Stand on the stain for at least a minute or two. Repeat the process as necessary.
Prepare stain solutions. The key is not to use chemicals that are too harsh. If the stain is water-soluble, for anything from alcohol and colas to food dyes, gravy and ice cream, put together a solution that includes one-quarter teaspoon of white vinegar mixed with 32 ounces of water. For a tougher stain such as chocolate, blood or coffee move up to a tablespoon of ammonia in a cup of water. Another solution recommended by carpet experts is one part chlorine bleach to five parts water, as long as your carpeting is solution-dyed.
Mistakes to avoid. When you take a wrong step handling a stain in your carpet, the result often is that the stain sets in the carpet fibers and becomes permanent. Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is to apply heat in an attempt to dry the stain. A blow-dryer, or even worse, a professional carpet cleaning machine, will dry the stain in place before it can be completely removed from the carpeting. Another mistake is to scrub the stain too vigorously. And, of course, there is no greater mistake with a fresh spill than to allow it to dry into the carpeting before taking any action. In fact, if the carpet padding gets stained you may have to actually replace that portion of the carpet.