How to Remove Carpet Stains
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How to Remove Carpet Stains

How to treat and remove carpet stains and common household materials you can use to clean your carpets.

Inevitably everyone has to deal with a carpet stain and if you get to them quickly you have a better chance of removing the stain and keeping your carpets looking good.

Four Types of Carpeting

The four most common types of carpeting materials are as follows:

Wool Carpeting Wool is a premium type of carpeting and is most often the material of choice for Oriental rugs. While the feel of wool cannot be matched by synthetics, the downside is that wool carpeting is less stain resistant and may aggravate allergies. Wool is flame resistant and the pile will not crush.

Olefin Carpeting Olefin was designed in the 1950s mainly for its stain and fade proof qualities. While these are good properties for carpeting, it is not as durable as nylon and it does not feel as soft as polyester. Today it is usually used in areas that receive light foot traffic or in outdoor rooms and basements.

Nylon Carpeting Nylon is a durable synthetic material that is very resistant to spills and is easily maintainable. For any sort of high use environment, this is usually the type of carpet preferred. Manufacturers are improving the physical properties of nylon fiber to make it more durable and providing greater resistance to stains. Carpets labeled as stain resistant are typically nylon.

Polyester Carpeting Polyester is highly resistant to stains and moisture. Polyester carpeting is also resistant to fading making it a good choice for sunrooms. It is stronger than olefin, but not as strong as nylon and is relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately it is prone to shedding fibers.

General Treatment for Carpet Stains

Quick action and the right technique will help you remove a stain without damaging the color or pile.

• Carefully blot or scrape the entire area before applying any cleaning solution. Remove as much of the spill as possible.

• Before using any cleaning solution, test your carpet in an inconspicuous area to make sure the cleaner won't damage or discolor it. Test the cleaning agents that you keep on hand before you have to use them to make sure they will not harm your carpet.

• Do not rub the spill.

• When you apply spot cleaner, work from the outside of the stain toward the inside to avoid spreading the stain. After applying a cleaning solution, blot up all the moisture.

• Have a clean, white towel as this is the best product for drying the carpet fibers. After blotting with the towel, brush the nap back up to a standing position with your hand or a hair brush.

• If there is too much moisture remaining after blotting the carpet, fold a large white towel into thirds and place it over the spot and weigh it down with a heavy object like a pot or several books.

How to Treat Specific Stains

To guide you through removing specific stains and materials from your carpeting, follow these guidelines.

• Acid stains: Drain cleaner or vinegar. Dilute them immediately with baking soda and water or with club soda. Then apply a solution of ammonia (1 part) and water (10 parts). Rinse with cold water, let dry, and vacuum gently.

• Alcoholic beverages: Quickly dilute the spot with cold water. Absorb the excess liquid. Then mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot, and let the carpet dry. Vacuum gently.

• Blood: Absorb as much of the blood as you can. Then mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot, and let dry. Apply dry-cleaning fluid. Vacuum gently after the carpet is dry.

• Butter: Scrape up as much of the butter as you can. Apply dry-cleaning fluid, and let the carpet dry. If the spot remains, repeat the procedure. Vacuum gently.

• Candle wax: Press an ice cube on top of the wax. After it has hardens it can be pulled off.

• Ketchup: Sponge a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups water into rug. Rinse out the sponge in clean water until stain is gone.

• Chewing gum: Similar to candle wax; Press an ice cube against the blob of gum. Once hardened, the gum can be pulled off.

• Chocolate: Immediately scrape the chocolate from the carpet. Mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot. Rinse well. Vacuum gently.

• Coffee: Blot spilled coffee immediately. Then mix1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot, and let dry. Apply dry-cleaning fluid. Vacuum gently after the carpet is dry. Another excellent cleaner for coffee and brown stains like tea, cola, and chocolate is Tann-X.

• Crayon: Similar to candle wax; Scrape away excess crayon or remove it by placing a towel as a blotter over the crayon stain and pressing it with a warm iron until the blotter absorbs the melted crayon. Reposition the blotter frequently. Apply dry-cleaning fluid, and let the carpet dry. Vacuum gently.

• Fruit: Scrape up the spilled fruit, and absorb fruit juice with a clean towel or paper towels. Mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot, and let the carpet dry. If the spot remains, repeat the procedure. Vacuum gently.

• Mud: Allow the mud to dry completely and then brush or scrape off as much as possible. Mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot. Let the carpet dry. If the stain remains, apply dry-cleaning fluid and blot dry. When the spot is completely dry, vacuum gently.

• Oils: Use paper towels to blot the oil until no more oil comes off on the paper towel. Remove the stain by blotting it with small amounts of rubbing alcohol poured onto a cloth. The alcohol will absorb the oil and lift up the stain. You may need several cloths for a large stain. Be sure to blot, not wipe, as wiping can cause the stain to spread.

• Soft drinks: The carbonation in soft drinks will help you clean spilled drinks quickly, but some of the dyes in the drinks can permanently stain your carpet. Blot up the spilled drink. Mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot. Let the carpet dry. If the spot remains, repeat the procedure. Vacuum gently.

• Urine: Mix 1 teaspoon mild detergent, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water. Apply the solution to the spot. Let the carpet dry. If the spot remains, repeat the procedure. Vacuum gently.

• Vomit: Treat vomit quickly. Blot up as much as possible, then dilute immediately with baking soda and water or with club soda. Apply a solution of 1 part ammonia and 10 parts water. Rinse with cold water, let dry, and then vacuum.

• Wine: When red wine is spilled on your carpet, dilute it with white wine, then clean the spot with cold water and cover with table salt. Wait ten minutes, and then vacuum up the salt.

Caution:

Dry Cleaning Fluid is a highly toxic and flammable chemical that is used at dry cleaners to remove dirt and soil from clothing. Dry cleaning fluid is also available commercially for use on washable and dry cleaning clothing. Follow directions carefully. Use in a well-ventilated area. Never use dry cleaning fluid in the washing machine or the dryer.

Homemade Carpet Freshener

Instead of buying carpet freshener from the store, try one of these the next time you need to deodorize a room after a cleanup.

• 1 cup crushed, dried herbs (rosemary, southernwood, or lavender)

• 1 teaspoon ground cloves

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine ingredients, and sprinkle over your carpet. Allow to sit for a few minutes, and then vacuum.

Variations that uses baking soda as the base:

• Mix 1 small box baking soda with your favorite potpourri oil, using just a few drops, and sprinkle on as carpet freshener. Leave on a carpet 10 to 20 minutes, and then vacuum.

• Use 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup cornstarch, and 10 to 15 drops essential oil fragrance. Leave on carpet 10 to 20 minutes, and then vacuum.

• Combine 1 box of baking soda with ½ cup of crushed lavender or rosemary. Seal in an airtight container for a day or two before using.

Store any mixture in a glass jar or airtight container.

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Comments (1)

Useful content! Thanks for posting

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