Woman in black long-sleeved shirt clutching cleaning products to chest before attempting DIY carpet stain removal

Mistakes happen when it comes to carpeting, and we’ve seen and heard nearly all of them in the past 40 plus years. You spilled coffee. Someone dropped a glass of wine. Your dog rushed in through the back door after playing in the mud before you could catch him. Maybe your toddler’s diaper sprung a leak. Here are the biggest mistakes you can make if you stain your carpet, and what to avoid if going the DIY route.

The biggest carpet cleaning mistakes you can make in Boulder

  1. Don’t saturate your carpet with cleaning solution. Using too much cleaner can result in never being able to remove it from your carpeting. The residue that’s left behind is a magnet for dirt. If you decide to try a cleaning solution, spritz a small amount on a clean cloth and gently apply it to the affected area.
  2. A professional carpet cleaner in Boulder/Westminster will tell you that too much rubbing will cause more harm than positive results. Vigorous rubbing could drive the stain deeper into your carpet and eventually untwist the fabric tufts. Instead, gently dab the stain with a cleaning cloth, working from outside the stain toward its center.
  3. Resist the urge – and well-meaning internet chatter – and temptation to flood the carpet when it comes time to rinse. Too much water can damage carpet fibers, the carpet pad, and flooring or sub-flooring beneath the carpet. Instead, fill a spray bottle with clear, cool water and gently spritz spot you just cleaned. Use clean cloths when possible to continue spritzing and blotting the affected area until the cleaner and stain have been completely removed. Fluff the pile after the carpet dries.
  4. Using a single cloth. The more stain you extract from a rug the better and the best option is to use numerous clean, permeable cloths. You can use one to apply the cleaning solution and another to blot up the dispersing stain. A clean area of the same cloth can be used for more blotting, or you can use a clean cloth, so you don’t put dirt back into the carpet. Once carpet cleaning is done, rinse with a fresh cloth but don’t use too much water.
  5. Even if you think you’re finished, an expert carpet cleaner will remind you there could be dirt hidden deep in the pile, and it may work its way to the top once the carpet dries. To make sure this doesn’t happen, place a heap of paper towels on the wet spot after you've cleaned a stain, and put something heavy on top. Leave it there for several hours. During the drying process, any dirt or stain residue will work its way from the carpet to the paper towel. Later, remove the heavy object, trash the paper towel, and fluff up the rug to finish drying.

Common Products That Homeowners in Westminster Should Avoid

After more than 40 years serving customers in Boulder, Westminster, and surrounding communities, we know all about the biggest mistakes you can make if you stain your carpet. But now that you know what mistakes to avoid, here are a list of common products you should never use for DIY carpet cleaning.

  • Vinegar is the favored option in the DIY cleaningverse and organic cleaning movement on the internet, but its power is dangerously overrated. According to The Journal of Environmental Health, vinegar and other similar products lay claim to being some of the worst solutions for removing soil or dirt from carpeting.
  • Use hairspray on your hair, but not on carpets. In most cases, we’ve seen homeowners create more stains by applying hairspray than when using it for carpet cleaning. Try and avoid high alkaline products like ammonia because they’ll cause permanent damage to your wool rugs and carpet. When used on synthetic materials, ammonia wreaks havoc on carpet fibers, makes color dyes unstable, and deteriorate manufacturer-applied stain and static guard finishes.
  • Do not use liquid soap or dishwasher detergent for carpet cleaning. Liquid soaps are great at getting rid of dirt from dishware, assuming soap is rinsed completely from the surface, but carpet doesn’t have a rinse cycle like a washing machine or dishwasher.
  • Water isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and can make carpet stains even tougher to remove. For instance, if try using water to clean an oil-based or petroleum stain such as an ink stain from carpeting, you may do nothing more than cause the ink to set permanently in the carpet fibers – becoming impossible to remove. The same goes for nail polish.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is probably in just about every medicine cabinet in America, but don’t forget that it’s also a bleaching agent. Using any hydrogen peroxide greater than 6% on your rug stain will almost certainly bleach the color dyes from your carpet.
  • You don’t have to be a professional carpet cleaner in Boulder/Westminster to know the dangers of applying a hot iron to a rug stain, particularly at maximum heat. If you get distracted and walk away and leave the iron on the carpet, you’ll be rewarded with a burn spot. In most cases, the damage can only be undone by buying new carpeting or attempting to cut out the burn and fill the spot with matching remnant.

Steve’s Carpet Care & Restoration is a proud, American-owned business serving residential and business customers in Boulder, Denver, Westminster, and a dozen other nearby communities. Our certified team of technicians provides cleaning and repair services beyond carpeting, so call us today at 303-530-4900 or drop us a note online to request more information.

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