You look away for one second, and your kid spills dark red grape juice all over your light-colored carpet. Your first thought is probably:
“OMG, that’s it, the carpet is ruined!”
But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are a lot of reasons to replace your carpets, but a simple stain doesn’t have to lead to an expensive replacement.
Once you learn a few simple carpet cleaning tips, you’ll be able to handle dirt, stains, and more like a pro. Read on to learn more.
How to Handle the 5 Most Common Carpet Catastrophes
If you have kids or pets, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to have to deal with some of the following nasty carpet catastrophes. We’ll show you how to tackle them with confidence.
Dark-Colored Juice or Wine
Stains from spilled juice or red wine are one of the most common carpet issues you’ll have to deal with. The first thing you need to do when it happens is to take a deep breath and relax. It’s not the end of the world, and there’s a good chance you’ll easily get it out if you follow these tips.
NOTE: Before you try any of the following tips, make sure you test your carpet in an inconspicuous place. This will help you avoid any discoloration that could occur and is always the best practice when applying anything to carpets or furniture.
1. Blot, Don’t Rub
The first thing you’ll want to do is blot the stain with a towel. Don’t rub it, because this will grind it into the carpet, making the stain worse while also breaking down carpet fibers. Instead, use light pressure and push inward so you don’t spread the stain.
2. Use Club Soda or Vinegar and Water
Next, add some club soda and continue to blot. If this doesn’t work, try spraying on a mixture of one part white vinegar and one part water and blotting with a damp sponge.
Once the stain is gone, rinse the area with warm water using a hand brush. Then, place some paper towels over the area and weigh them down, removing them once the area has dried.
3. Try Adding Shaving Cream
You may not have known this, but shaving cream is one of your best defenses against almost every type of stain. Simply spray the shaving cream onto the stain and let it set for 30 minutes.
Once the shaving cream is dry, blot it away with a dry white cloth. Then spray it with your vinegar and water mixture and blot again.
Gum can get ground into your carpet by careless kids or from stepping on it out in the street and not noticing it on the bottom of your shoe until it’s too late. Luckily, you can usually get it out without too much trouble.
Start by applying ice cubes to the gum for about 30 seconds, or until it’s frozen solid. Then, take a pair of scissors and cut the carpet as close to the gum as possible. If you do it right, you won’t be able to tell the incident ever happened.
When you have children in the house, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have to deal with hard candy ground into the carpet. To take care of this problem, start by pulling up the candy pieces with a butter knife or a comb.
Once all the candy is gone, apply soapy water with a sponge and keep going until you’re sure you’ve removed all the sticky sugar from the carpet fibers. Otherwise, it will attract dirt and make the spot even more noticeable. After cleaning the stain, blot it with dry paper towels and let it air dry.
Have you ever knocked a candle over and spilled the hot wax on the carpet? You might have thought it was a lost cause, but there’s still hope!
To remove dried-on wax, place a white towel over the wax and iron over the top of it until the wax melts. Then remove as much as you can with a butter knife or comb.
Pick up the remaining wax bits by placing a paper towel over and ironing for a few seconds. This will cause the wax to bind to the paper. Keep repeating this process until it’s all gone.
WARNING: Make sure you don’t hold the iron on for too long or you could burn your carpet. Also, it’s important that you only use white towels and paper towels or else the color could transfer onto your carpet, making the stain worse.
Did you know that dishwashing liquid will cut through grease on your carpet in the same way it does on your dishes? To get rid of grease stains, mix dish soap and water in a spray bottle and spray it on the stain. Blot it up, and keep repeating until the stain is gone.
Beyond the Stains: Carpet Maintenance Tips
Unfortunately, stains and accidents aren’t the only things that can make a carpet look old and worn. To keep your carpet looking great for as long as possible, invest in a good vacuum cleaner and use it often. This will help lift dirt from your carpet fibers and keep it from turning into deep stains.
If you have heavily stained carpets, you’ll want to rent a steam cleaner. Clean the stained areas first, then go over the entire carpet one more time. This will give the room an even look and make sure it smells clean and fresh.
DIY Carpet Cleaning Isn’t Cutting It? We Can Help!
Doing your own carpet cleaning is a great way to keep your carpets looking fresh and new. Sometimes, however, your efforts don’t give you the results you want. When this happens, don’t give up!
Before you decide to replace your carpets, try calling in a professional. Steam Care Carpet Cleaning can often create results beyond your expectations. If you’re ready to get started, contact us to discuss any questions or go ahead and book your appointment online.