Spills and messes can be a nightmare to clean off carpets. Don’t despair! Even the toughest dirt and stains are no match for these top tips from the carpet cleaning experts.
But before we continue, the most important factor to keep in mind when treating dirt that could become stains is that speed is of the essence. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with carpet cleaning or rug cleaning. The sooner you tackle that spill, the more effective the cleaning method will be. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule as you will find out below.
Most beauty products and women’s make-up are oil based and can be just about impossible to remove from carpets. They also contain colors and dyes that will permanently stain a carpet.
– First scrape or scoop up as much of the makeup as possible being careful not to rub it deeper into the carpet fibers. – Wet a clean white cloth with dry cleaning detergent and place directly on the mark allowing the liquid to draw into the carpet for about 5 to 10 minutes.
– Use a dry, white cloth to gently dab up the excess moisture and stain.
– Rinse with cold water and repeat the process if necessary until the stain is fully resolved.
2. Pet Urine
Pet urine doesn’t just leave a horrible stain but also a foul odor that can linger even when the stain is no longer visible. This is not only unpleasant on the nose but will also result in a pet returning to the same spot repeatedly to urinate.
– Invest in a quality bio-enzyme detergent that is specifically designed to deal with pet stains which should be available from your local pet store. Alternatively, mix up a solution of laundry detergent that contains bio-enzymes. Bio-enzymes break down biological matter and will remove the stain as well as the odor permanently.
– Pour a small amount of the detergent directly onto the stain being careful not to allow it to spread and allow to work for about 30 minutes.
– Dab up any excess moisture with a clean white cloth.
– Repeat if the odor or stain still lingers.
3. Oil And Grease
Oil and grease from food spills are not just unsightly but will attract more dirt – aggravating the stain as time goes by. Once again, it is best to act quickly to remove oil stains.
– Dilute a teaspoon of liquid dish washing detergent in 4 quarts of warm water. Dish washing detergent is designed to break down oil and grime on dishes and will be just as effective on removing oil from carpets.
– Soak up some of the solution into a sponge and gently dab onto the oil stain. Do NOT rub.
– Use a dry, white cloth to dab up any excess moisture.
– Rinse with cold water and repeat the process if necessary until the oil stain has disappeared.
It may be necessary to allow the carpet to dry after rinsing so that you can see whether the stain is still visible or not. Be sure to choose a detergent that doesn’t contain any bleach (chlorine).
Mud is one of those messes that are the exception to the speedy cleaning rule. If you try to clean the mess while it is still wet, you are simply going to rub the dirt deeper into the fibers.
– Allow the mud to dry entirely. You may want to cordon off the area so that no-one walks over the mud trampling it into the carpet.
– Vacuum up the dry dirt making sure that all the loose particles have been lifted.
– Dilute one teaspoon of liquid dish washing detergent with one cup of water.
– Dab the solution onto the stain with a white cloth – repeating until the stain is removed. You may need to use multiple cloths.
– Rinse with cold water to remove detergent residue.
– Blot with a dry, white cloth to remove excess moisture and allow the area to dry naturally.
5. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum must be one of the most difficult items to remove from a carpet. The sticky mess can adhere to the fibers even if you are able to remove the bulk of the gum.
– Freeze the gum with ice that has been placed in a plastic ziplock bag. Don’t apply the ice directly to the gum as the melting water will not help remove it.
– Once the gum is hard, scrape it off the fibers of the carpet using a scraper or a butter knife. You may need to reapply the ice and repeat scraping a few times.
– Apply a powerful detergent such as WD40 or 409 cleaner by dabbing the gum stain with a sponge. Do NOT rub. Make sure that the detergent you are using does not contain any bleaching agents.
– Cover the stain with a dry cloth and gently pat to remove any excess moisture.
– You may want to rinse with clean, cold water to remove any detergent residue.
The rules for removing any stain are:
– Act as quickly as possible.
– Never rub the stain and rather blot or dab to remove it.
– Use an appropriate cleaning detergent.
– Rinse to remove excess detergent.
– Ensure the detergent contains no bleaching agents.
– Dab to remove excess moisture.
– Repeat as necessary.
And last but not least, it is recommended to vacuum the area after the carpet is entirely dry to remove excess dirt and detergent residue. If you have a wet vac, you can suck up the excess moisture and dirt while the carpet is still wet. You can also read this massive stain removal guide with about 50 tips if you didn’t find the stain you’re dealing with above.