It doesn’t matter if you are renting, staying with family or friends or you own your own home, everyone feels that sense of dread when there is an accidental spill on the carpet.
Those renting will cringe thinking that they might lose their bond, while homeowners will be calculating how much it’s going to cost for a new carpet, especially if you are going to sell in the near future and want to present your home well to prospective owners. Let alone the guilt you feel if you’ve just spilt your drink at your boss’s housewarming party!
Yes, you want your home to look, feel and smell neat and clean, but you also want to live in your home, enjoy a hot mug of coffee, a glass of red wine and a cuddle with your pet on the sofa.
Most stains can be removed with the right treatment, the trick is acting quickly and applying the right product to the right stain, since getting it wrong can mean the stain sets in for good.
We’ve provided some tips for the most common carpet stains to help you get the balance between clean and living.
The right way to start:
1. Act quickly
The faster you act the better your chances of removing the mark without a trace. As soon as you spill, or notice the spill get to work on soaking up as much moister as you can.
2. Paper towel
Dry paper towel is your go-to the moment there is a spill of ay kind. Soak up as much of the liquid as you can. The more liquid, the more paper towel you will need. To get moister out of the deeper layers of carpet place some paper towel down and stand on it, this will push the liquid up.
If your spill has solids you will need to carefully lift this up before you apply the paper towel press. Be careful not to smash the matter into the carpet while you collect it, go slowly and use tools like tongs, a dull knife, fine-tooth combs and tweezers if required.
Hot drink removal
If you have spilt tea or coffee the best cleaning method is soap. It’s important to use bathroom soap, like the white or creamy coloured bar you use in the shower and not detergents. Soaps are made from natural materials, detergents are made from synthetic materials, these will have very different outcomes for your stain. Be sure to only apply body soap in cake form (not liquid soap) for removing hot drink stains, (although a mix of 1 Tablespoon of liquid hand soap and 2 cups of cool water can be effective at removing hot cocoa or chocolate stains.)
After absorbing the liquid lightly dampen the soap bar with water then rub it like an eraser over the mark, it will leave a white residue behind. Take a clean cotton cloth, dampen it slightly and roll it up so it forms a neat bundle. Use this to rub the mark, starting at the outside of the mark and moving to the centre. Continue until the mark has disappeared.
Pet lovers will hate the effect of pet pee on their carpet, not only can it stain, it can also be highly unhygienic and have a bad odour.
The best cleaner for this is white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural bacteria killer. It is best to clean a larger area than you can see as pet urine, especially that of cats, can spray a lot wider than the initial puddle. To be sure you have got it all use a UV light at night to catch any bright yellow patches you might have missed.
After absorbing as much moister as possible with paper towel, take a sponge, dampen it in vinegar then wring it out to make sure it is not too wet. You don’t want to add more moister to the area and make things worse.
Dab the sponge firmly over the area and surrounds. Do the UV light test to be sure it’s all gone.
The best cleaner for wine is a combination of bi-carb soda and white vinegar. This works by the bi-card absorbing the liquid and the vinegar eliminating the bi-carb, leaving nothing but carpet behind.
After absorbing as much wine as you can, lightly sprinkle with bicarb soda. Tap the spot with your fingers until it turns grey (showing that the liquid has been absorbed). Next, slightly dampen a cloth with white vinegar and sweep it from the outside of the stain to the centre on all sides until the bicarb is gone. You may need to repeat this process a few times to completely remove the stain. It is best to repeat over that mark rather that saturate the spot with too much bicarb soda.
Not only will these methods help you have a beautiful clean home to live in, it will also give you peace of mind when moving home.