“Watch the carpet!” is a familiar refrain heard in living rooms throughout the world. Mud, dirt, liquids, pets; they all contribute to the dirtying of otherwise pristine carpeting. And if the carpet in question happens to be white, forget about it. Because carpeting is such a prized household commodity, it’s no surprise that a number of tips and tricks have been developed over the years to remove even the toughest of stains. The trick is separating those tips that are truly effective from those tidbits that don’t have any practical effect.
So in the interests of creating a comprehensive plan of attack for carpet-stain removal, here is a list of the top cleaning methods.
Before you begin
There are some general guidelines to carpet cleaning that – if properly adhered to – can lead to the quick and effective removal of most stains. For example, experts recommend to always blot a stain, never scrub. By blotting and drying while working from the outside in, the carpet fibers remain intact (as opposed to harsh scrubbing) and prevent the spill from soaking beneath the carpeting where it can do real damage. And, always, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water.
Water-soluble carpet stains
- Ice cream
- Latex/wet paint
- Pet stains
Those who find themselves in the position of having to clean up any of these types of liquids should prepare a basic cleaning solution made up of ¼ teaspoon white vinegar or non-bleach detergent with 32 oz. of water and then perform the cleaning according to the general guidelines outlined above.
Tough water-soluble stains
Not all stains are created equal. For those tougher spots, try cleaning with a mixture of 1 tablespoon ammonia mixed with 1 cup water. If the carpet in question happens to be made of wool, then substitute the ammonia for a non-harsh detergent. For the toughest of the tough stains, many people have found success using a cleaning solution comprised of one part chlorine bleach and five parts water. That said, this approach should only be used on solution-dyed carpets, as this bleach mixture can harm many other types of carpets.
Oil and wax
Switch a clothes iron to the “warm” setting and place a paper towel over the stain. Place the iron over the paper towel and after a few moments the wax or oil should suck up into the towel.
Gently work at the edge of the cigarette burn with the edge of a dull knife until the cauterized bit of carpeting comes loose.
Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and gently place over the glue stain. Allow the stain to become moist and then wipe it away.
Gum and wax
Freeze the piece of gum or wax with ice and then break it apart with the handle of a piece of silverware. Vacuum immediately and blot that are of the carpet with a moist towel.
By following these tips, most people with carpet in the home should be able to remove any stain that presents itself. Even without stain incidents, those with carpeting should have it thoroughly cleaned once every 12-18 months.
Wade Berth is a product specialist for www.wholesalejanitorialsupply.com. He specializes in finding quality janitorial supplies at wholesale prices.