Carpet stains can really make your life miserable, not to mention an eyesore in your home. You step in chewing gum out on the street but don’t realize it until you tracked that gross, sticky mess onto your carpet. Wine, ketchup, chocolate, coffee, tea, beer, milk, tomato sauce, berries, hard candy, juice, soda, Gatorade, Kool-Aid and others could stain your favorite carpet. You can’t use everything to clean them if you don’t know what you are doing. The look and original color may subside. Even if you don’t have any mishaps, you should always have your carpet thoroughly cleaned every 12 to 18 months. There are many professional carpet cleaning services or you can rent a steam carpet cleaner to do it yourself. But if you want keep your pockets in where they belong, there are some cheap and effective cleaning materials usually available at your local supermarket.
If you decide to do it yourself rather than hire a pro, you need to keep a few things in mind:
- Make sure the cleaning equipment you choose or buy has enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry in 6 to 12 hours or you may risk damage from getting it too wet.
- Use fans or a dehumidifier to expedite drying time after cleaning. Be aware that if your carpet is wet for more than 24 hours or else you would risk mildew and bacteria growth.
- Choose a cleaning solution that has a pH of 10 or less, and make sure you remove all detergent after cleaning and dry.
- Check your warranty. Carpets with stain resistance must be cleaned with products formulated for them or you risk voiding your warranty.
You can run your vacuum over the same spot in four different directions, or you can spot clean like crazy. Sometimes, however, the job calls for a carpet-cleaning machine. If you have a home that is mostly carpeted and you have pets and kids to clean up after, purchasing a carpet-cleaning machine or a vacuum with deep-cleaning options makes a lot of sense. Carpet cleaning is essential to keeping it looking fresh and new. Steam cleaning involves using a cleaning solution under pressure injected deep into the carpet via water-jet nozzles. Then the machine extracts the solution along with the dirt and debris in the carpet. The water will penetrate the fiber all the way down to the backing and loosen any embedded soil, remove oil and grease deposits, and get your carpet cleaner than it has ever been,
Another affordable way for cleaning a carpet is baking soda. A simple carpet-cleaning powder made up of a half a cup of baking soda with 10 drops of your preferred essential oil will quickly deodorize your carpet. Sprinkle it over the carpet and leave for at least half an hour, or longer if possible, then vacuum up well.
- Dip a white cloth or a white paper towel with no printing into the solution and dab repeatedly, then press the cloth on the spot for a few seconds. Wait 15 minutes, it takes time to break down the stain, then soak up the excess liquid with a dry white cloth.
- Dip a cloth into the vinegar solution and dab repeatedly, then press the cloth on the spot for a few seconds. Wait another 15 minutes. This is an important step, because white vinegar removes residual detergent, which will attract dirt if left in the carpet.
- Rinse by blotting with a cloth soaked in lukewarm water. Wait one hour or until the carpet dries completely. For bad spills, place a 1 and a half-inch-thick stack of white paper towels over the stain after, then lay a glass baking dish on top for 15 minutes.
As long as you see the stain lightening, repeat these steps until it is clearly gone.