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Friday, April 4, 2014

Five of the Most Common Carpet Stains and How to Clean Them

Maybe you're thinking - Hmmm? What are some of the most common carpet stains? Well for me and others in my household they happen to be:
  1. Blood Stains
  2. Ketchup Stains
  3. Chocolate Stains
  4. Mud Stains
  5. Throw Up
I know I'm guilty of at least two of these stains. Kids - quite a few and my husband, well he's no innocent guy either.

What to Do Or Not to Do

  1. Before removing a stain, (if necessary) clean the bulk of it up first with a spoon, dull knife, old toothbrush, etc. Whatever you have handy that won't damage the carpet.
  2. Never rub the stain. Blot or dab so the stain doesn't get any bigger than it already is.
  3. Work from the outside of the stain towards the center. No need to unnecessarily create a bigger stain.
  4. Only use enough water or cleaner to get the job done.
  5. Test first in an inconspicuous place to make sure the cleaning method is safe for your carpets.
  6. When you're done and the stain is gone and dry, vacuum the area completely.

Getting Rid of a Ketchup Stain

In our house the culprits are hamburgers and hot dogs. Some members of my family like piling the ketchup on (some put it on everything, even their bacon and eggs!)
  1. Clean as much of the stain as you can with a spoon or a dull knife.
  2. Use a little water to dilute the ketchup, blot up with paper towels. You may need to repeat this step.
  3. Mix together 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid (like Dawn - one of my favorites) and 2 cups water.
  4. Dampen the remaining ketchup stain and let sit 5 minutes.
  5. Blot up excess liquid with a clean towel. Repeat step 4 and 5 as needed.
  6. Cover until dry.
If you didn't happen to catch the stain until later and it's dried on, wet it with a little warm water first before you clean.

Chocolate Stain Removal

Oh the guilty pleasure. This is one of my guilty stains.
  1. Mix 1 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon clear liquid detergent.
  2. Pour a little of the solution on the stain and use the tip of a finger or old toothbrush to work on the stain.
  3. Blot until you've gotten up most of the liquid and repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed.
  4. When finished, rinse with clean water and blot.
  5. Cover until dry.

Blood Stains

  1. Use cold tap water to clean up as much of the stain as possible.
  2. Pour hydrogen peroxide over the stain (just the 3% household kind) and make sure to cover it as hydrogen peroxide turns to water when exposed to light.
  3. After about an hour, check the progress of the blood stain.
  4. Repeat if needed and cover until dry.
If the blood stain has dried, remove as much of the dried blood as possible before applying hydrogen peroxide.

Vomit Stains

Not pleasant but who hasn't felt good and didn't make it to the bathroom? This can be all so true for kids - poor kiddoes!

  1. Mix together 2 cups warm water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon liquid dish washing detergent.
  2. Dab or blot the stain until it's clean. Absorb as much of the liquid as you can each time you use the solution.
  3. Rinse with clean water and blot excess up.
  4. Cover until dry.

Mud Stains

Dogs, cats, kids, me, husbands - we're all guilty of this one.
  1. Let the mud dry before cleaning.
  2. When dry, brush the mud loose from the carpet fibers.
  3. Vacuum.
This may be all you need to do. But if it did leave a stain:
  1. Mix 4 cups warm water, 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon mild detergent.
  2. Apply to the mud stain, blot, repeat as necessary.
  3. Let dry then vacuum.
It really isn't a big job to clean up carpet stains, it may just take a little of your time.

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