A stain on a carpet can be annoying, depressing, disgusting, or all of the above. Whether it came from your child spilling juice or from the south end of your dog facing north, a stain can be difficult to remove. Take heart, though, because it isn’t all doom, gloom, and dribbles. With a few handy hints, your carpet can look like new in no time.
- Blot the Spot: It’s best to tackle accidents immediately after impact. Grab a clean cloth or towel and press gently on the stain working from the outer edges to the center. Rinse the cloth with clean water and blot the spot with the damp rag. Do not scrub back and forth, scrubbing can damage the fibers and push the stain down into the carpet pad where it will remain.
- Easy Stains: Water-soluble stains like beer, sodas, food, mud, urine, and excrement can be removed with a simple cleaning solution made from ¼ teaspoon non-bleach detergent (or vinegar) in a quart of water.
- Tough Enough: Some stains like chocolate, blood, mustard, and wine are trickier to remove, especially from light-colored carpets. If your carpet is synthetic fiber tough stains require the careful application of a solution made from 1 tablespoon ammonia mixed in a cup of water. Blot the spot to soak up the stain and rinse with clear water. (Do not use ammonia on wool or wool-blend carpets. And do not mix ammonia with cleaners containing bleach as the mixture can produce extremely dangerous toxic vapors.)
- Wax and Fat: If your spill consists of wax, fat, or oil do not despair. Place an absorbent cloth or paper towel over the stain and apply a warm iron. The stain will absorb into the towel.
- Burning Problem: To remove cigarette burns, scrap away the singed fibers with a butter knife or other dull implement.