Carpet cleaning holds different meanings for different people. For example, some might think it merely involves vacuuming the area once every few weeks. Others believe this requires a complex set of varying cleaning activities that you need to look into, to keep the carpet in good shape.
Regardless of what you believe, you have to understand that dealing with stains is also a part of the carpet cleaning process. It is not easy to deal with stains, but you need to adopt the right skills for the task. Remember, even if you don’t have children and pets running around, there’s still the chance for the carpet to acquire a stain. How you react then will largely determine whether you ruin your carpet or successfully remove the stain. So we present a guide that will hopefully improve your chances for success. Follow this step-by-step process:
Remove any excess quickly
The most important thing to do when a stain occurs is to act quickly and remove the excess liquid or solid matter from the area. Scrape off the solid matter with a knife or a spoon and blot away the excess liquid. Always remember to work from the outside edge of the stain inward, to prevent spreading it further. Blotting is the way to do this since rubbing will only cause the stain to set deeper into the fabric. Blot until your cloth picks up no more colour.
Use a carpet stain remover
If blotting doesn’t remove the stain, utilise a carpet stain remover. These are specialised solutions that work well against certain carpet stains. It is best to follow the instructions of the manufacturer before you apply the solution. If you lack such a product at home, you can use a vinegar solution – water, 1 tsp vinegar and 1 tsp dishwashing detergent. Regardless of what product you are using, you will do well to avoid over-saturating the area, since this can cause some damage to the carpet backing. If you want to be sure that the carpet cleaning will not damage your carpet, test it for colour fastness in a hidden spot before you apply it.
Blot the stain away
Once you have applied the carpet cleaner and left it to sit for a few minutes, it is time to blot the stain away. Use a clean white cloth with absorbent qualities. Blot till the stain transfers no more into the cloth. Try blotting with cold water and then blotting dry.
Some home remedies for dealing with the most common stain offenders:
- Tea/coffee – to deal with the stain left from this drink, mix 1tbsp dish soap with 2tbsp hydrogen peroxide. Apply the solution after thoroughly blotting the area and then let it sit. Rinse with water and blot again to remove the liquid. If there is any stain left, repeat the same process.
- Fat-based stain – baking soda works well for these stains. Simply sprinkle the stained area and let the baking soda sit there for a few hours. Vacuum it afterwards and then blot with a cloth and rubbing alcohol.
- Blood – the trick here is to remember that hot water will set the stain, which is why you have to use cold water. Blot with a clean towel and repeat till the stain is gone.
- Chewing gum – first, you have to remove as much of the gum as possible. Harden the rest by using a bag of ice. That will make the remaining gum easy to clean. There are more tips on removing chewing gum in a blog post we made a few months ago.
Now that you know how to address the carpet stains you will most commonly encounter, you can take better care of your carpet and become one step closer to becoming a carpet cleaning expert.