Many homeowners love carpet for its warm and cozy feel, but don’t like the work that goes along with maintaining it. Whether it’s coffee, wine, muddy paw prints, magic marker or a whole host of others, accidents and spills will happen. From unsightly stains to unpleasant odors, there are techniques that can be applied to help minimize the damage and solutions to alleviate the stain. The quicker a stain is addressed the greater the success of removing it. The following tips and techniques can help limit the stress and frustration that often accompanies the stain removal process.
First steps to basic stain removal
To effectively prepare for stain removal, the first step is to set yourself up for the easiest removal process. When a stain initially happens, it is important to act fast and not wait until later to deal with it. The longer a stain remains on the carpet or rug, the greater the chemical reaction between the fibers making the stain harder to remove. If solid material sits on top of the carpet, a large spoon will help push the material into a pile that can then be removed and disposed of. It is recommended to not attempt to dig or scoop the food or soil from the carpet as it tends to push the materials further down into the fibers. Next, blot the stain with a dry clean cloth to absorb as much of the stain as possible. Then use a damp cloth to apply water to the stain. Continue to blot the area until the stain is removed or until it is evident that another type of stain treatment is needed. If determined that a stain requires a more powerful solution than water, it is advised to always test the solution on a hidden area of the carpet to ensure it doesn’t cause any long-term damage.
Red wine stains
Red wine can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare when it comes to removing the stain. If you’re dealt with the challenge of removing red wine, it is best to first blot the spill with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the wine from the carpet or rug as possible. Any remaining wine should be diluted with cold water using the cloth. Next, apply a stain remover to cover the stain entirely and allow the solution to stand for at least five minutes. Then, blot the stain with a cold damp cloth or paper towel. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.
We love our pets, but sometimes they wreak havoc on our carpet and rugs. If faced with a tough urine stain special care is needed to treat the troubled area. First, address the spot as you would any other stain by blotting the area with a dry cloth or towel to soak up excess liquid. Next, apply a stain remover designed for pet messes. Remember to blot the area rather than scrub to work in the solution. Repeat the process until the stain and the odor are eliminated. It is never recommended to use a steam cleaner when treating urine stains as the high heat can set in the stain and odor.
Getting rid of unpleasant carpet odors can be a challenging process as some methods are only good for spot cleaning and just hide the smell rather than eliminating it. Many carpet cleaning solutions have deodorizing qualities and some are formulated to deal with tough odors such as those from mold or cigarette smoke. There are several options to consider that will make rugs and carpet smell fresh and clean, and that won’t cost a fortune. Solutions to consider are:
- Baking soda – If dealing with pet urine odors or smoke, baking soda is a good option. It absorbs excess moisture and also traps unpleasant smells. Sprinkle generous amounts of it on the carpet and let it set overnight. Vacuum the carpet to remove all of the baking soda. Repeat the procedure, if the carpet continues to smell.
- Vinegar – For natural deodorizing vinegar is a great solution as it absorbs unpleasant smells. Once the liquid dries completely, it becomes odorless and therefore, leaves no lingering smell. White vinegar is the best variety to use. Pour it into a spray bottle to ensure it is applied evenly on the carpet.
- Vodka – Using a cheap variety of vodka is an excellent choice to clean and deodorize carpets. It kills bacteria and is great for pet urine and other stubborn smells. Spot clean the area prior to spraying the vodka. Allow it to set for at least 10 minutes and use a cloth or paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
Applying a few preventive cleaning measures can help to eliminate odors overall. Things such as proper ventilation, dehumidifiers and keeping floors clean will help maintain a home’s freshness and cleanness.
Hessler Floor Covering offers a vast selection of carpet options in a variety of brands. Our team of experts can help you choose the right style and options to meet your needs. Visit our website at HesslerFloors.com to schedule a free estimate.