Everybody spills things. I don’t think there’s a single human being alive who hasn’t spilt something at some stage. If you have kids and/or pets then it’s inevitable something will spill on the floor, no matter how much you try to stop it. If you’ve hard floors then great - simply mop up the mess and job done. But what if you have carpet in your home? Carpeting an entire room is expensive and you can’t re-carpet every time there’s a spill or stain, so it’s wise to learn how to remove some of the most common stains so your carpet is cost-effective for years to come.
Removing stains from carpets can be a little trickier than mopping a spill on hard flooring. In this blog post I’ll explore how to DIY to remove some common stains from your carpet.
When to call the carpet cleaning professionals
Sometimes stains are beyond saving by yourself, especially if they are old, which is why it’s so important to tackle a spill immediately to try and prevent lasting damage or staining. But sometimes we don’t notice spills until it’s too late or our DIY carpet cleaning methods simply don’t remove every last drop. In these cases it’s best to call in the professionals who will know exactly how to tackle any stain and should have all the cleaning solutions needed to hand. Simply call your nearest London carpet cleaning technician or carpet cleaning professional in your area to get rid of any stubborn stains that can’t be removed doing it yourself.
DIY carpet stain removal
However, not all stains are disasters. For some, yes, you’ll have to get hold of a professional as soon as possible (paint, for example). For others, you can get them out by yourself but it will take a good bit of scrubbing and rubbing – and no procrastination. Others are just a breeze to get out, no matter how hard they look.
But how do you tell which is which?
Carpet stains that are really easy to remove
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juice
- Beetroot (yes, really, it’s not as hard to get rid of as you think!)
These stains can to be removed with just a bit of water and maybe a touch of soap. However, you had better get onto them quickly or they will become stuck in the fibres of whatever you’ve got them. That’s the most important thing about DIY carpet stain removal - you need to act quickly and work at removing the spill immediately, before it gets a chance to soak in and stain the carpet!
If it’s clothing or a tablecloth that you’ve got the stain on, then just toss the item into the washing machine. If it’s on carpet or on upholstery then it’s wise to do a patch test in an obscure corner before tackling the stain with a damp cloth and scrubbing brush in case the colours in your carpet/couch/curtains aren’t colourfast.
Carpet stains that are a bit harder to remove
- Red wine: get onto it quickly and apply lots of water so the red wine doesn’t get into the fibres
- Blood: needs to be removed with cold water – never use hot
- Egg yolk: same as blood
- Ballpoint pen ink: blot with a little methylated spirit
- Felt pen (not permanent marker): a bit of warm water should do the trick, plus lots of blotting, or for more stubborn marks you may need to clean the area with a bit of methylated spirits.
- Wax: put a pile of paper towels or tissues on the spot then hold a hot iron over the wax and let the wax melt into the paper towels - do not leave the iron for too long or you could ruin the carpet altogether with an iron mark! You might need the carpet stain professionals for this one!
Carpet stains that are really hard to remove
Other stains really need some serious work. Some can be removed at home if you’re determined (chewing gum and permanent marker) but a lot of them really ought to be left to a professional cleaner who knows what they’re doing. Otherwise, you risk setting the stain in or stripping some of the colour out of your carpet or upholstery!
- Permanent marker: you can try removing it with methylated spirits
- Nail polish: try using nail polish remover but be careful with acetone
- Paint: you can try using turpentine for oil-based paint
- Tar: try kerosene or eucalyptus oil if you’re really keen
- Chewing gum: hold an ice cube over the gum to freeze it solid so it breaks off more easily
- Hair dye: try to sponge the stain with one tablespoon of liquid detergent, one tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water
If you haven't got the nerve or time to deal with all these yourself, you can always get professional help. In some cases you might have to do it due to the increased risk of damage to your property, especially if you are renting a property.
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