The Most Common Carpet Stain Offenders
Nobody’s perfect when it comes to keeping their carpet completely fresh and free of stains. No matter how hard you work to preserve your carpet’s clean and clear surface, stains are going to happen. It’s a fact of life. The important thing is that you deal with them the correct way when they do occur. If you’re a homeowner with a large, impressive carpet, chances are you’ve tackled a fair amount of stains in your day. What you might not know is that, when it comes to carpet cleaning, the best way to remove carpet stains is to know exactly what you’re working with. That means getting familiar with the type of stain you’re trying to remove (acidic, oil-based, or water-based, for instance) as well as having the right tools on hand to curb the negative effects of staining before they start. If you’re trying to get better at stopping stains in their tracks, here are a few prime offenders you should know about.
Any pet owner knows all too well the struggle of trying to remove hair, dirt, and pet-related odor from carpet. And that’s not even taking potty-training accidents into account. Having a pet means having a lot of spills and messes to clean up on a daily basis. The key is being prepared with a handy stain removal kit and a bottle of non-toxic pet odor spray. Since pet stains tend to seep far below the surface and contribute to mold and bacteria, it’s important to hit stains hard as soon as they come on your radar. If the stain just occurred, get your bottle of pet odor spray and liberally coat the area, placing a paper towel over the place it occurred. This will both help to soak up the excess and discourage your pet (hopefully) from revisiting the spot while the solution dries. If the stain has already dried, mix some vinegar with a bit of warm water in a spray bottle and apply a paper towel. This will help break up the bacteria from the stain and also help to counteract odor. If you still smell the odor the next day, sprinkle a bit of baking soda over the area to neutralize.
Whether you had a wild party the previous night or just had a few friends over, wine spills are a simple casualty of having a social life. Although the sudden appearance of a dark liquid all over your new rug might seem like a cause for alarm, don’t panic: Wine stains actually look far more intimidating than they are, even if your carpet is a light color. As usual, the trick is getting to the stain as soon as it occurs to prevent damage. However, if you didn’t notice the stain until the morning after, don’t worry. All you need to do is combine a solution of diluted hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to see your stain disappear overnight. Combining about Â¼ parts hydrogen peroxide with Â¾ parts water in a spray bottle, spray the area and set it with baking soda. Lay down some paper towels to soak up the mixture, and by morning you should be looking at a spot-free carpet.
Dirt or Mud
If you have kids, pets, or both, you’ll already know what a hassle it is to have to clean up clots of dirt on your beautiful living room carpet. Even if you do your best to create a shoes-off household, accidents happen, and they shouldn’t be cause for too much concern. To remove dirt or mud stains, you’ll have to go against your better judgment and actually let the stain dry before tackling it. Letting a wet, thick substance like mud dry first will allow you to physically scrape off the debris with a knife before going in with a cleaning solution. Once the surface has dried and you’ve picked off whatever clumps of mud are left, do a quick vacuum of the area. After that, you’ll want to mix 1 part mild laundry detergent or dish soap with 1 part warm water and apply directly to the stain. Be careful not to rub or apply too much pressure. Dabbing lightly and consistently is the best way to pick up whatever dirt particles still remain. Keep using fresh towels until you’ve removed what’s left of the stain, and if you’re still having trouble, leave the solution to soak overnight with a few paper towels. By morning, your carpet should be as good as new.