Unfortunately accidents happen and when they do, its good to know how to deal with them. Spillages and stains can ruin a carpet so tackling the problem straight away will give you the best chance of reducing damage. The following tips and techniques can help to prolong the life of your carpet and keep it looking in great condition.
Spillages should never be scrubbed as this can damage the carpets fibre. Instead excess liquid should be removed using an absorbent cloth followed by a dabbing action to dry the area out. A diluted solution of carpet shampoo and water can be applied with a clean cloth in the event of liquid spillages. Avoid using hot water as this can discolour your carpet, and never use washing up liquid as marks can appear weeks later if it is not completely removed. You should also never soak the carpet as excess liquid can damage the backing and underlay. Once the visible spillage has been removed, place some kitchen roll over the area and apply pressure using a weight. Leave this for a prolonged period of time to draw out the remaining liquid.
Red wine spillages should be deal with immediately by applying white wine (if you can bear losing any more!) to neutralise the colour. Salt can also be applied to dry the affected area which can be vacuumed or brushed away. The area should then be treated with a diluted carpet shampoo or cold water and blotted dry.
Dealing with carpet stains uses different techniques depending on the type of spillage. Common stains like chocolate, shoe polish or pets mess are easily treated by scraping off any excess solid matter and applying a solution of diluted carpet shampoo to the stained area. For blood stains, any remaining fluid should be absorbed followed by applying cold water with a clean cloth. Remember to finish by completely drying the affect area.
If oil based paint is spilt you must be absorb any excess with a cloth and then clean the area with white spirits and a clean cloth. Follow this with a course of diluted carpet shampoo and then clean water. Finally using an absorbent cloth dry the area and brush clean and remnants.
For chewing gum stains, or similar, place ice cubes in a plastic bag and place on the carpet stain for 10 minutes. This will harden the chewing gum making it easier to remove by gently scrapping. Alternatively, aerosol freezing cans are available that can be sprayed onto chewing gum stains to instantly freeze them. This allows you to easily remove the chewing gum or brake it up into smaller pieces.
In the event of a tougher problem a different approach is often required. Tackle heavy stains such as grease and tar with a blunt knife to remove any solid material and then blot up any remaining residue with a dry cleaning or tar removing product. When using such products always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any discolouring and damage to your carpet.
When it comes to looking after your carpet, prevention is often the best form of attack. Vacuuming at least once a week will remove the grit particles which get trapped in the fibre. Grit can be tread into the carpet and rub against the fibres causing unnecessary damage to the flooring. Using doormats or removing footwear all together will dramatically reduce the amount of dirt that accumulates in the carpet. Most footwear has rubber soles which are designed to grip the floor. This pulls on the carpets fibres causing snags and undue wear on the pile of the carpet. The use of rugs in high use areas such as in front of fire places reduces the wear caused by shuffling feet. An application of Carpet Guard can maximise the lifespan of your carpet. Carpet Guard is a resin based solution that prevents liquid spillages causing stains by forming a protective barrier on the carpet. Any dirt can be vacuumed up and spillages simply absorbed away. Carpet Guard also minimises the friction between carpet fibres which helps to keep it looking new.
There are many ways to keep your carpet in excellent condition. With a little care and attention you can prologue the life of your carpet and keep it looking new for years to come. If in doubt contact a professional carpet cleaner who will be able to offer advice on dealing with specific problems.