Home Remedies for Carpet Spots and Stains
Do you need to call in the pros every time something “bad” spills on your carpet? The answer is, “No.” While professional carpet cleaners will jump at the chance to clean your carpets, there are home remedies you can try first.
Here are a few tips:
First of all, NEVER SCRUB THE CARPET to remove a fresh stain. This will risk the stain going into the carpet’s padding, not to mention the damage to the carpet’s fibers from scrubbing. Instead try blotting the stain, from the outside toward the center of the spot; this prevents spreading the stain to a larger area. After removing all you can, rinse thoroughly with water, then blot again from the outside in.
- Water-Soluble Stains
For water-soluble stains such as berries, gravy, jelly, mud, alcoholic beverages, berries you can use a mixture:
¼ teaspoon detergent such as white vinegar (not bleach)
4 cups of water.
*There are some water-soluble stains which may not respond to the above mixture, such as blood or mustard, but may dissolve using a mixture:
1 tablespoon ammonia
1 cup water.
- Fat, Oil, and Wax
Place a paper towel over the stain; iron over it with an iron on the “warm” setting. The stain should lift off the carpet onto the paper towel.
- Cigarette Burns
Gently scrape the residue off using the blunt edge of a knife.
A cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol can dissolve the glue.
- Wax and Gum
Use an ice cube to freeze the residue, then smash it to pieces with something hard. Vacuum the pieces before they soften again, then blot the area with a paper towel or white cloth.
- Nail Polish
A cotton ball dipped in nail polish remover should do the trick.
Absorb what you can with paper towel or rags. Next, use a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water; blot dry (remember to apply the blotting procedure outlined at the beginning of this article). Finally, apply a mix of ½ teaspoon clear, mild detergent (not bleach) mixed in 4 cups of water. Blot dry again.
- Ongoing Maintenance
Even without major mishaps, it is recommended that you get your carpets cleaned professionally at least once every 12 months, depending on its use. If however your household includes young children or pets, it is recommended your carpets be cleaned professionally every 6 months to maintain a healthy indoor environment. For all homes, optimum maintenance should include vacuuming three times weekly to keep the dry dirt particles from embedding into the carpet padding or damaging the carpet fibers.