No carpet is stain-proof; it is a fact that carpets will get stained as they are used. Liquids will be spilled, pets will have accidents and there will be the discoloration that comes from dust and from being walked upon repeatedly. It is a good idea for a homeowner to know how to remove the different kinds of stains that may occur in their home. There are many different types of stains; it is important to know the right method for removing a stain based on what caused it.
Removing Water Soluble Stains
For a fresh stain, it is important to immediately blot it dry with a rag or paper towel. Rubbing at the stain could cause it to smear beyond the original point of spillage and soak into the pad that lies underneath the carpet, so rubbing should be avoided. After blotting it dry, it will be necessary to clean the stained area with a carpet cleaning solution.
Home-Made Carpet Cleaning Solutions
Note: This is useful for stains caused by any product that can be dissolved in water, ranging from red wine to blood or other body fluids.
Carpet Cleaning Solution #1
The most basic solution consists of a few drops of detergent mixed with about a liter of water. An alternative for those who would rather not use detergent is to mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with the water. It will be necessary to apply the solution then to wait for about 10 minutes for it to soak into the carpet fibers. The carpet should then be blotted dry with a rag or paper towel.
Carpet Cleaning Solution #2
For this solution, 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and a teaspoon of ammonia should be added to the water along with the detergent. The procedure of application and then blotting should be followed.
Removing Oil Soluble Stains
A paper towel should be placed over the stained area and a clothing iron placed on it. The iron should be set to the lowest setting. The heat should cause the oil-based liquid to be drawn up into the paper towel. This is applicable for substances such as cooking oils and candle wax. An alternative is to use a solution made from a few drops of dishwashing soap and a liter of water. The solution should be applied to the stained area and then blotted dry with a paper towel.
It is important to use a vacuum cleaner on a carpet it least once a week to prevent any buildup of dirt that could lead to staining. It is important to pay special attention to areas of the carpet where traffic is highest. It is important to note that not all stains can be removed by the homeowner. In cases where stains cannot be removed by any of the methods listed above, it may be necessary to call in a professional carpet cleaning service.