Last week we talked about how to clear your hardwood floor of scratches, gouges, and scrapes. With a little wood filler and sealant, you’re good to go. But today we’re going to address a much more sinister intruder to your beloved home: carpet stains.
Yes, because of the way their twisted little fingers attack the depths of your floor’s fibers, carpet stains are in a league of their own. You can’t fill them and cover them up like faults in wooden planks, and you can’t mop up a mess as is common with tile or linoleum. No, these require an individualized, strategic approach for each type of stain you encounter. So, for today's mission, we're going to focus on a few pesky stains that seem to leave dismayed homeowners at a loss for words. Ladies and gentlemen, here is your battle plan:
For Pet Stains:
Step 1: Remove the offender from the area. The last thing you need is an encore performance from your pet. If piddle is the problem of the hour, soak up what you can. For something with a bit more...mass, you'll have to scoop it up.
Step 2: Use a clean rag or some paper town doused in warm water to remove the majority of the stain. BLOT the spot, don't rub it in! Press down firmly to make sure you get all of it. Mix a teaspoon of mild laundry detergent (make sure there's no bleach) with a quart of warm water. Apply this concoction to the stain and let it sit for approximately five minutes. Soak up the solution with a clean cloth when the time is up. Again, do this by blotting. Repeat until you can't see the stain anymore.
Step 3: Head back to your kitchen to mix together two tablespoons of white vinegar with another quart of water. Pour some of this solution over the victimized carpet to remove unpleasant odors. Time to blot again! Make sure to get all of the moisture out of your carpet to avoid any possibility of mold growth in your room.
Step 4: Place a dry towel over the spot, and then something weighty on top of that. Let it sit there for half an hour to soak up any sneaky droplets left in the carpet. Repeat as needed. Finish the process off by vacuuming over your newly cleaned carpet.
Fun Fact: This same process can be used for many food and beverage stains as well.
For Coffee Stains:
Step 1: Blot thoroughly with a dry towel from the outside of the stain inward. If someone ordered the extra-large cup of joe you'll have to change the cloth out regularly to keep the stain from spreading. You can add small amounts of cold water to the stain as you blot.
Step 2: Combine a tablespoon of white vinegar, a tablespoon of dish soap, and two cups of lukewarm water together and apply it to a small area of the stain to test it out. If after twenty minutes the spot looks unharmed, dip a clean towel in the solution and pat it into the carpet. Again, don't be afraid to change out the towels as you go. It means more laundry later, but a much cleaner carpet.
Step 3: Like with the pet stains, you'll need to remove as much moisture as possible with dry towels. Show that mess who's boss!
Step 4: Pour or spray the area with some water once more to get the remaining solution out. Dry again with the weighted-down-towel strategy to finish the job.
For Blood Stains:
Step 1: Not going to lie, this one feels a bit morbid to type, but here we go with the fresh blood stain removal process. Once again, blot as much up as you can to start.
Step 2: Spray with COLD water or pour just enough to dampen the spot. You don't want to completely saturate your carpet, and trying to use warm water will set the stain in further. Continue to blot and spray the area until the stain is out of sight and out of mind. If the stain is stubborn, you can mix a little salt with some cold water to make a paste and put it on the stain before blotting it up.
Step 3: Once again, grab your liquid dish detergent (1-2 teaspoons of it this time) and mix it with a cup of cold water. Apply the mixture to the spot with a cloth, then rinse with regular old water and pat dry. Let the spot dry out from there, using a fan if you'd like to speed up the process.
Step 4: Vacuum or brush the spot back to it's original glory!
Alright, friends, that's all we're going to tell you for now. Tune in Thursday for our next blog!