One of the most expensive items in any home is flooring – carpeting, tile, wood, or something else. Because of its nature, carpeting seems to take the brunt of most stains. Why? It's normally installed in high traffic areas, or adjacent to a kitchen or dining room – prime locations for spills and stains.
Wine, Ink, and Glue – Oh My!
There are any number of liquids that can stain – and even ruin – your carpeting, like wine, alcohol, pet stains, and many others. We’ve seen them all. Here is a rundown of some of the toughest stains to remove from carpets:
- Wine. If possible, treat the stain before it dries. You can use hydrogen peroxide and/or water and a cleaner to treat the stain but be careful because the peroxide may bleach or discolor the affected area.
- Ink. Moisten a clean cloth with a high percentage rubbing alcohol, then apply it to the affected area. Avoid rubbing too hard and rinse the carpet with water, removing as much liquid as you can. Once the carpet has dried, you can then vacuum.
- Glue can be removed using a cotton ball or cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Coffee. Blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove as much as possible and repeat the process if needed. Then, mix one and a quarter cups water with one quarter cup of bleach in a spray bottle and spritz the carpet, blotting out the stain with a clean cloth; repeat as needed.
- Kool-Aid. To remove this stain, blot the area with a dry paper towel, using as many as needed. Then, spritz the remaining stain with 1 tbsp. of dishwashing liquid and one quarter cup of white vinegar. Let it set for about 10 minutes, then spray with clean water and blot out with one or more clean cloths.
- Pet droppings or urine should be removed at once, either picked up or blotted with white paper towel or a white cloth. Then, mix one cup each of vinegar and warm water and spray the affected area, blotting and repeating as needed.
- Much like pet stains, dirt and mud should be removed immediately using the pick-up and blot method. Be careful not to rub the stain further into the carpet, and it may be necessary to let a wet stain dry first.
Basic Stain Removal
The key to successfully removing any stain is to act as quickly as possible. As soon as something spills, move quickly. Physical debris can be removed however you think is possible, but don’t use too much pressure as that can grind objects and liquids deeper into carpet fibers. Next, use a damp cloth or paper towel and dab the affected area gently. Use white cloths or paper towels and press gently into the stain; repeat as needed.
Now you can treat the remaining stain with any number of stain-removal solutions, or use products and methods approved by the carpet manufacturer. Finally, gently rinse the area with cool water and dab once more to dry. Stubborn stains can take more effort, or even help from a professional carpet cleaning service.
Ways to Prevent Carpet Stains
- Have your carpet treated with a stain-resistant treatment or protectant - Virtually all carpeting manufactured today has some level of stain resistance applied at the factory, some more effective than others based on brand, price, and other factors. The other alternative is to apply your own protectant or have a professional do the work instead. There isn’t one protectant that will repel all stains, but any is better than none and it will make stains simpler to remove.
- Vacuum and clean your carpet regularly - This seems obvious, right? Our advice is to vacuum once a week or more if possible to remove dirt and reduce stains that may not be visible. Dirt and debris can get stuck deep inside carpet, buried further thanks to constant foot traffic. Regular vacuuming is a great way to keep your carpet clean and protect against dirt build-up. Also, make sure to vacuum areas difficult to reach.
- No shoes allowed - In some countries and cultures, foot coverings of any kind are prohibited from being work in a home. If you want to protect your carpeting or other flooring, it’s not a bad rule to enforce. Ask that all family members and visitors remove their shoes before entering the house or require workman to wear plastic or rubber booties. This keeps mud and dirt outside, and ensures your carpet remains clean, fresh, and stain-free.
- Use plastic mats and rugs - If you enjoy meals in a carpeted room, there’s nothing wrong with protecting your carpeting from stains by putting rugs or plastic mats beneath furniture or situated in areas with high foot traffic. This will protect your carpeting from any food or beverages which accidentally get spilled from the table. Mats or rugs also will protect against foot traffic, everyday spills, and from the legs or feet of furniture which may grind into the carpet with frequent movement.
Get to Spills as Soon as They Occur
In this case, nothing is more critical than time – getting to a spilled food or beverage before it soaks or grinds into carpet fibers will result in less damage. If treated quickly, you won’t even know anything was spilled onto the carpeting. Remember: Absorb moisture with a clean white cloth to minimize stains and damage. get your carpeting professionally cleaned
The best way to remove or prevent stains is to have your carpet professionally cleaned annually, or whenever large spills or stains happen. This will keep your carpet looking fresh and improve its lifespan. For more information, contact Steve's Carpet Care & Restoration at 303-530-4900 for a quote or to schedule an appointment.