Carpets make for great flooring, but their one drawback is that spills can’t simply be blotted up the way they are on most hard surfaces, especially hard surfaces that are varnished or sealed. Materials such as ink, coffee and red wine can ruin a carpet if they’re not cleaned properly. Fortunately, there are ways that even tough stains can be removed.
Two things to keep in mind when getting tough stains out of a carpet are to deal with the spill immediately and to have patience. The stain removal treatment may need to be applied more than once and may take some time. Another tip is to perform a patch test on an inconspicuous area of the carpet to make sure that the cleanser doesn’t leave its own stain or damage the fabric of the carpet.
How to Get Out Coffee Stains
First, blot the area with a clean white cloth. If a lot of coffee has been spilled, change the cloth as it becomes saturated. If not, blotting will make the stain worse. Another thing to remember about blotting is to blot from the outside of the stain and work toward the center. This keeps the stain from spreading.
Spritz the stain with a spray bottle filled with a solution that’s half vinegar, half tepid water and a few drops of non-bleach detergent. Blot the stain again with a sponge. If the stain remains, repeat the process until it’s gone.
Polypropylene carpets can be treated with a solution of 1 1/4 cups of warm water and 1/4 cup of bleach. Spray and blot until the stain is gone.
How to Get Out Blood Stains
Blood on a carpet looks bad, but it’s not impossible to remove. The secret is to use cold water instead of warm water. This is because blood will clot when it’s exposed to heat, and cold water stops the blood from sinking into the carpet.
To remove blood stains, fill a spray bottle with cold water and add 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent. Spray it on the stain until it’s soaked, then blot it up with a clean white cloth or paper towel. Rinse the area with cold water, and repeat until the stain is gone. An oxygen-based bleach is especially good for getting out blood stains. Sprinkle some on the stain, and add cold water until it dissolves. Repeat until the stain is gone.
How to Get Out Red Wine Stains
Some people might think that the treatment for red wine is the same as the treatment for blood stains, but it’s not quite. At first, both are blotted up as much as possible with a clean white cloth or paper towel.
Then, splash a bit of club soda on the stain to force the wine to bubble up from the carpet fabric. Then blot with a sponge. Don’t rub, and repeat if necessary. Then, spray the stain with carpet cleaner. Work in the foam with a clean, dampened sponge. When the carpet is dry, vacuum the stain.
How to Get Out Ink Stains
Ink is challenging because ink, after all, is made to be permanent. Again, it is important to treat the spill right away.
To get rid of an ink stain, add a bit of rubbing alcohol to a clean white paper towel or cloth then blot the stain. It’s very important with an ink stain not to rub it in. Let it work a few minutes then vacuum it up. The stain may need to be treated more than once. Besides rubbing alcohol, some ink stains respond to hairspray, acetone and anything that has a lot of alcohol, including white wine. Upholstery cleaner can also be used to remove an ink stain, but it should be spot tested first. Some people also put an old, colorfast towel over the ink to absorb the rest of the stain.