Like it or not, a lived-in house will get carpet stains and spills from time to time. Spots on your flooring are unattractive and can make your house appear unsanitary. This also can be a problem when renting a home; no one wants to be charged for a mistake! So instead of resigning yourself to living in a home with stained floors, learn how to remove carpet stains for good, even if you live with kids or pets.
Blot the Spot
One of the most basic methods to remove carpet stains is to blot the spot right away. Although this cleaning method is easy, there are a few things you should know before you begin.
First of all, start at the outside edge of the stain and work your way inward. Also, be sure that you press gently down without a scrubbing motion. Rubbing at the carpet can damage its fibers.
After blotting the stain, rinse the spot with clean water and blot it again. Then, thoroughly dry the carpet by layering paper towels on it and laying a heavy item on top. Switch out the towels as needed.
Make a Homemade Cleaner
For some stains, you need to add in a round of carpet cleaner after the initial blotting step. This works best on water-soluble stains, such as milk, mud, wine or latex paint.
Instead of relying on store-bought versions, make your own for just pennies. Fill a spray bottle with 4 cups of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of a detergent that doesn’t contain bleach; mix gently.
Before using any cleaner on your floors, test the solution in an inconspicuous spot. Wait 24 hours before applying the mixture elsewhere.
Iron Stains Up
Certain types of stains will lift right out of the carpet if you apply the heat of an iron to the spot. This method can be particularly handy for stains that come from some sort of fat, such as cooking oil or candle wax. Lay a paper towel on top of the spot. Then, with your iron set on warm, slide it back and forth over the paper towel. The material that is responsible for the stain will transfer from the carpet to the paper, which you can throw away upon completion.
An iron can also be useful for to remove carpet stains. When using a heat process to tackle stains that aren’t fat-based, the first step is to saturate the spot. Mix a solution of 25 percent white vinegar and 75 percent water. Spray this on the floor; let it stand for about 10 minutes. After that, cover the spot with an old towel. Go over the towel with a hot iron with the steam setting on. If necessary, shift the towel so a clean section is over the stain and repeat the ironing process.
Whichever ironing method you use, be sure not to let the iron come in direct contact with the flooring. Its heat can quickly melt the fibers of your carpet.
Call in the Machines
Carpet cleaning is a 5 billion dollar industry in the United States. Therefore, if you have stubborn stains that aren’t responding to your regular cleaning tricks, your first thought might be to call in the pros.
However, when you buy or rent a carpet steam cleaner, you can do the job yourself at a fraction of the price. In fact, purchasing a steam cleaner is an investment that can pay for itself in just one cleaning session when compared to the cost of bringing in the pros. Plus, by choosing a DIY option, you can work cleanings around your schedule and add in additional cleanings as needed.
With a few handy tricks up your sleeve and just a touch of elbow grease, you can remove carpet stains and keep your carpets in top shape, no matter what spills they face. Blot spills right away, spritz them with a cleaner, and when needed, turn to an iron or a steam cleaner.
Guest Author Bio: Sophia Belnap is a freelance writer.