There are a number of reasons why many homeowners prefer the beauty and warmth of a carpet. No hard surface flooring can compete with carpet when it comes to comfort under foot and sound and heat insulation. The one drawback of carpet, though, is that it frequently is subject to spills, stains, and spots. Fortunately, many types of stains can be effectively removed with common household products. Removing carpet stains does not have to involve expensive carpet cleaning companies or rental equipment when you have a little knowledge and understanding of carpet stain removal techniques.
Before ever starting to remove a carpet stain, it is important to understand a few simple carpet care guidelines. It is essential that you never scrub at a carpet vigorously as it can ruin the carpet fibers. It is just as important that you clean up spills on carpet as soon as they happen. If the spill has had time to soak through the carpet and saturate the carpet pad, it is much more difficult to remove both the stain and any possible smell that may accompany it. Always start by blotting at a stain with a clean, wet rag. Rinse the rag frequently and keep blotting until the stain starts to disappear.
More difficult stains may require further work. The next step in carpet stain removal is identifying what caused the stain in the first place. If a water soluble substance was spilled onto the carpet, detergent or white vinegar can be mixed with water to make a carpet cleaning solution. Examples of water soluble stains would include dirt or mud, most foods including colas and alcoholic beverages, and even latex paint.
There are a few water soluble stains that require special treatment. These include blood, chocolate, coffee and tea, wine, and vomit. These types of stains are best cleaned with a mixture of 1 tablespoon ammonia with 1 cup of water. Be careful, though, that you do not use this mixture if you have wool carpeting as it can ruin the flooring. If the ammonia mixture does not work on these types of stains, solution dyed carpets may be able to be cleaned with 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach mixed with 5 tablespoons water. Make absolutely sure that you have this type of carpet, though, as a bleach mixture can damage all other kinds of carpeting. It may be a good idea, no matter what, to test any solution that you want to try in an inconspicuous section of carpet before attempting carpet stain removal in the middle of the room.
Additional products are effective for carpet stain removal of stains that are not water soluble. Fats, oils, and wax may be removed by laying a paper towel over the carpet and then carefully ironing over the paper towel. Nail polish may come right up with a little bit of nail polish remover. Glue comes up quickly with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Additionally, cigarette burns may be gently removed by rubbing the tops of the carpet fibers with a dull knife.
With a clear understanding of carpet stain removal, you can love your carpet despite the occasional spill or stain. Carpets that have been well taken care of can be durable and look beautiful. Simply gather a few common household products as your arsenal when stains do appear and enjoy the warmth and beauty of your carpet for many years to come.