Keeping carpets clean improves the appearance of the home and can extend the useful life of the carpet. It can also be a daunting task, depending on what has been spilled. Different spills require different cleaning materials and techniques and some are more challenging than others. Time is always of the essence so it’s best to be prepared to deal with common spills beforehand. After all, while you are looking on the Internet for the best cleaning tips, the spilled material is soaking deeper into the carpet.
Cold water is one of the keys to removing a blood stain from any surface including carpet. The cold prevents the blood from soaking into fibers and keeps it fluid as long as possible. Wipe up as much as you can using damp cold rags or paper towels. Make a dilution of a tablespoon of dish detergent in a spray bottle of cold water. Spray this mix on the stain and blot away moisture. Continue the process until no trace of blood can be seen. Blood can contain blood-borne pathogens. These are viruses and other microorganisms in the blood stream that can be transferred to the person doing the cleaning. Wearing latex gloves is always recommended when cleaning up blood on any surface.
Absorb as much of a coffee spill as possible by dabbing at the spill with a dry towel or paper towel. Dabbing, rather than wiping, prevents the spill from spreading. Once as much of the coffee has been removed, spray the area with a mix of vinegar, water and dish detergent. Wet the area and then dab the cleaning mix away. Continue until the cloth or paper towel does not show signs of the coffee color.
Stains like pop, fruit juices, milk and even mud are made up mostly of water. Remove as much of the stain as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading. Use paper or cloth towels to dab at the spill. A spray mix of a tablespoon of white vinegar to four cups of water also makes a handy cleaning solution. Spray this mix on what is left of the spill and dab away with a paper towel. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any dry residue from muddy messes.
Cleaning up pet urine also requires dealing with the odor component of the mess. Dab away as much of the liquid as possible before apply a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Continue to blot away this mix until the area is as dry as possible. The scent of the pet urine may draw the pet to the area to do its business again unless removed thoroughly. In some circumstances, a commercial pet odor neutralizer may be required.
The red in red wine can soon change the color of your carpet. Add white wine or water to the spill to dilute the color and clean with cold water and towels or sponges. Once the area is damp, add salt and rub into the carpet. The salt will absorb more of the moisture and can be vacuumed when dry.
These types of stains also require quick action. Once dried, that ink stain may become almost impossible to remove. While it is still wet, spray any oil type spill with the household lubricant WD-40 or its equivalent. This material helps breakdown the oils and so it can be dabbed up with paper towel or sponge. Finish cleaning the area with a wet soapy sponge until the stain is gone.
There are some basic tips that apply to cleaning any messy carpet spill. Use paper towels without printing on them as some of the cleaning solutions can make the ink run, compounding the stain. Be persistent, as long as the stain is lightening, the process is working. Repeat the cycle of spraying and dabbing as often as necessary for the best results.