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How to remove common carpet stains

28 Aug 2015
When you take extra care not to get any stains on your carpet, it always seems like nature works against you. Somehow, despite all your efforts, you’ll find yourself spilling grape juice, or having to deal with pet or finger painting accidents.

To remove a stain, working from the outside in, blot the spot and dry the area. Then thoroughly rinse out the stained spot using clean water then blot again.
Fortunately, you can get rid of all these stains using a few simple household products.

Good to know

To remove a stain, working from the outside in, blot the spot and dry the area. Then thoroughly rinse out the stained spot using clean water then blot again. Never scrub the carpet or you risk ruining the carpet fibres and allowing the spill to soak through even further.

For more specific advice, find your type of stain below. In addition to these methods, there are several spot removers on the market but before you try one, test it out in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn't discolour your carpet.

Water-soluble stains

These stains include alcoholic beverages, berries, cold drinks, pet accidents, food dyes, gravy, ice cream, milk, mud, washable ink and wet or latex paint.

To remove these stains, use a simple cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of oxygen bleach (or white vinegar) mixed with 1 cup of water.

Special water-soluble stains

To get rid of blood, chocolate, coffee, mustard, tea, vomit or wine, try 1 tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water.
To get rid of blood, chocolate, coffee, mustard, tea, vomit or wine, try 1 tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water (but not on wool or wool-blend carpet, instead use mild detergent and water). 

If that doesn't work, you can try one part household bleach to five parts water, but only on solution-dyed carpets like polypropylene. Bleach will harm other types of carpets so check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure what type of carpet you have.

Fats and wax

Place a paper towel over the carpet and iron over the stain using a warm setting. The wax, fat or oil should come up and stick to the paper towel.

Cigarette burns

To remove paint, use a simple cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of oxygen bleach (or white vinegar) mixed with 1 cup of water.
These can be removed by gently rubbing the pile using a hard and flat item like a dull knife. 

Glue

Moisten a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol (available at pharmacies) and press it on the affected area. Once the glue residue is thoroughly soaked, gently wipe it off and repeat until the carpet is clean.

Wax and gum

Use ice to freeze the wax or gum, then shatter it with a blunt object like a spoon. Vacuum before the pieces soften, and blot the carpet with a towel.

Nail polish

To remove nail polish, simply blot the area with a rag dipped in nail polish remover.

Pet urine

Make sure the cleaning equipment you choose has enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry in 6 to 12 hours, or you risk carpet damage from getting it too wet.
Absorb as much as possible with a towel, then blot with a damp, cool cloth. Next, spray or blot the area with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Finally, apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of oxygen bleach mixed with 1 cup of water, rinse, and blot dry.

Ongoing maintenance

Even if you don't have any mishaps, you should always have your carpet thoroughly cleaned every 12 to 18 months. There are many professional carpet cleaning services, or you can rent a steam carpet cleaner. They are usually available at your supermarket. If you decide to do it yourself rather than hire a pro, you need to keep a few things in mind.

1. Make sure the cleaning equipment you choose has enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry in 6 to 12 hours, or you risk carpet damage from getting it too wet.

2. Use fans or a dehumidifier to expedite drying time after cleaning. Be aware that if your carpet is wet for more than 24 hours, you risk mildew and bacteria growth.

3. Make sure you remove all detergent after cleaning.

4. Double-check your warranty. Carpets with stain resistance must be cleaned with products formulated for them or you risk impairing their effectiveness and losing your warranty.

Article courtesy of www.home-dzine.co.za.
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Home - Dzine

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