Advice on How to Clean the Most Common Carpet Stains in your Home
Stains and mess happen. It is part of life and an inevitable part of having carpet in your house. No matter how much you try, or how much effort you put into making sure that it does not happen, stains will still happen. With a few simple tricks, however, stains can easily be removed, leaving your carpets and rugs looking brand new, and the stress over staining gone!
Many of the toughest stains that occur in your home can easily be removed using simple ingredients found right in your own home, or using a small amount of store-bought detergent. Follow these steps to easily remove the most common and toughest stains on any carpet in your home.
How to Remove Paint from a Carpet
Probably one of every carpet-owners worst fears, paint can easily spoil a carpet or rug, but by following these steps, you can turn back the clock, and you will be left with a clean carpet as if nothing ever happened.
First, it is important to use an absorbent sponge or cloth and try to remove as much of the excess paint as possible before more of it penetrates the fibres, or dries into the carpet. Be careful not to smudge or spread the paint as you remove it. Once the paint has been gently lifted away, and no more can be absorbed into the sponge or cloth, use a small amount of carpet stain remover on a new sponge and dab the area to help lift the stain out of the carpet fibres. Never wipe a stain!
After you have dabbed the area, use a spray bottle of water and lightly mist the area, and then continue to dab the area to absorb any excess water from the fibres. Once you can no longer draw any more moisture from the carpet, leave to dry. You may wish to use more carpet cleaner, or reapply if the initial application does not fully lift the stain, but be sure to do it all at once. Do not let the stain dry and then revisit it in a few days time. It will set into the fibres of the carpet if it is left for too long.
How to Remove Jam Stains from a Carpet
Just like with the paint stain, make sure to first absorb as much of the excess jam as possible before treating the carpet. Next, fill a spray bottle with a ¼ cup of white vinegar, and 1 cup warm water. Mix well in the bottle by shaking it, and then lightly apply it to the area.
Using a clean cloth or sponge, dab the area to gently lift away any excess stain and vinegar. The vinegar will help to disinfect the area, and also break down the stain making it easier to be lifted up and away from the fibres. After you have absorbed the vinegar, reapply, and repeat the process of dabbing the area to remove the excess.
For particularly stubborn jam stains, dampen a cloth in the solution, and lay it over the area. Using the back of a spoon, massage the area to help further break down the stain. After you can no longer see any visible stain, cover the area with a dry clean cloth, and place something heavy over the area, such as a book, to help and draw up any further moisture. After about a day, remove the cloth and book, and let the suction air out. Vacuum the area, and it will be back to new.
How to Remove Vegetable Oil Stains from Carpets
One of the most important things about vegetable oil stains on a carpet is the aspect of timing. Try to act quickly. The more of the oil that absorbs into the fibres, the harder it will be to remove. Try to quickly find a clean sponge or absorbent cloth to absorb as much of the oil as possible before it works its way deeper into the fibres of the carpet.
Once you have absorbed as much of the excess as possible, by dabbing gently on the area, sprinkle a generous layer of cornstarch or cat litter to the area. While it may sound odd, the cornstarch or cat litter granules will act as an absorbent to help and draw the oil up from the fibres and be more easily removed. Do not be shy! Make sure the area is thoroughly coated.
After a few hours, using the vacuum cleaner, remove any corn starch or cat litter from the carpet and examine the area to make sure that you have absorbed as much of the oil as possible. Once the cornstarch or litter has been vacuumed away, use a clean damp sponge with a few drops of dish detergent, to dab the area and break down the oily residue left behind in the fibres. Leave to air dry, and it will be as good as new.
How to Remove High Traffic Stains from your Carpet
First, remove as much of the mess from the area you will be cleaning as you possibly can. If the debris is dry, vacuum the area as well as you can, making sure that no dirt is left behind. If there is mud or other damp or liquid debris, gently remove them by dabbing a damp cloth or sponge over the area. Always dab a rug or carpet, never wipe. By dabbing, you are gently lifting the stain out and away from the fibres, whereas with wiping a stain, you can further spread the stain or force it deeper into the surrounding fibres.
Once the area is free from debris, make a solution with one cup of water and a few drops of mild dish detergent, and using a clean cloth, dab the solution into the affected areas of your carpet. For more stubborn or more worn-in stains, a store bought cleaner may be more effective. Continue to dab the area gently until the stain is removed. You may need to reapply the solution or the cleaner more than once for areas of the carpet that receive the most traffic.
Once the stains are gone, and the area has been treated, use another clean cloth or sponge to reabsorb the excess moisture the best you can, and then let the area air dry.
Using these simple steps, no stain will stand a chance! For more delicate fibres, rugs, and carpets, some of these tips might not be suitable. Always know the material your carpet is made from before you treat it, and like any other cleaning regimen, start is a corner of the room, or in a less visible area first, to see how the fibres react if you are not sure. Natural fibres and wool carpets and rugs can shrink when water is used to clean them, so be careful and read all labels and information tags before removing a stain or applying a cleaner.