Regardless of all your efforts, at one or another stage, the floor surface will be at the receiving end of an unpleasant incident. When that happens, you will wish you had completed a carpet cleaning 101 course.
Don’t despair! We have you covered with the basics on how to take care of spills, pet hair and all the creative ways kids can think of to make the floor their canvass. Download the complete carpet care sheet for future reference. In the meantime, let’s walk you through the steps for returning the victimised carpet to its former glory.
Carpet Cleaning 101: Never Rub
Your first instinct may be to rub the carpet fibres in a desperate effort to remove a cold drink spill. To your horror it causes an innocent spill to become a permanent reminder of why you should not allow kids to drink their beverages in the family room where you just installed a luxurious carpet.
So, if no rubbing, what then? Instead, blot the spot with a clean sponge or cloth. Simply dab it gently on the stain and then put slight pressure on it. The liquid will be soaked up. Blot from the outer edge of the stain inwards to prevent the stain from spreading outwards.
Why is rubbing a no-go? It causes damage to the fibres. With the fibre break-down, the stain makes its way into the carpet fibres and earns itself a place in your prized floor surface.
How to Get Rid of Gum
In the highly unlikely event of one of your kids pressing chewing gum into the fibre, you don’t have to call in the professionals immediately. Here’s the deal with gum: you already have what you need to solve the problem. Make your way to the fridge and grab an ice cube or two. Press the cubes against the gum and keep the pressure for a few seconds. Once the gum is frozen solid use a scraper to lift it from the carpet. If it doesn’t want to come out, shatter it with a hammer and vacuum the pieces. Read the complete steps here.
In Case of Blood on the Carpet, Stay Calm and Fetch the White Wine Vinegar
Very few carpets are never exposed to stain forming liquids such as blood. Of course, attend to the injured party first, but you don’t have to replace the carpet. Cleaning it with a 50/50 white vinegar and water mix will help to return the fibre’s former glory, even if the blood has already dried. Start by loosening the blood with a mild water and detergent mixture. Remember not to rub.
Use a blunt knife as a scraper to remove the blood pieces from the fibres. Spray the water and vinegar mixture directly on the remaining blood. Leave it for a few minutes and press down with a clean kitchen towel or cloth. Rinse the area with clean water and suck the fluid up with a vacuum machine. Use a fan to dry the area quickly. You can get even more tips on blood removal here.
Carpet Cleaning 101: Never Allow Crayons
If you ignored the rule and allowed kids to play on the carpet with crayons, you can still beat the odds for removing crayon marks. It may take a bit more time than it took your little one from drawing a picture on the carpet, but here goes:
- Start by scraping off as much of the crayon spill as you can.
- Spray nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol onto the affected area.
- Use hot water extraction method – apply lukewarm water combined with a teaspoon of dishwasher (Sunlight) liquid to remove the remaining part.
- Apply fresh water.
- Suck it up with the vacuum.
- Let the fan do its thing to help dry up the area.
- If the marks of the artwork are still visible, apply 3% hydrogen peroxide to the area.
- Leave it for 60 minutes.
- Blot up the hydrogen peroxide and let the fan dry the area.
- If the stain persists, call in the professionals.
Pets Do Have Accidents
Even the best-trained house pooch can have an accident. Sometimes the bladder or stomach just doesn’t want to wait for the door to open, especially when it rains. Even your toddler can have a stomach accident. For fresh urine spills, follow the same procedure as for removing blood. For dry urine stains, you may have to repeat the 50/50 water and vinegar procedures three times. For the residue apply a teaspoon of ammonia and water mix. Leave it for only a few minutes before blotting and then rinse it with clean water. Dry the area with a fan.
Still there? Then it is time for the rubbing alcohol application. If this fails, you still have the 3% hydrogen peroxide application. If the stain is persistent call in the carpet cleaning experts. Here are the step-by-step instructions for dry urine removal. Follow the same procedure for the removal of dry excrement. Here are the guidelines.
Remove Pesky Pet Hairs
If you have animals in the house, you can expect them to leave traces of their existence on the carpet. Their hairs fall out much the same way as that of humans, except they have finer hair and tend to lose an awful lot. Prevent your carpets from gaining an extra layer of hairs through regular vacuum and deep cleaning with a carpet steam cleaning machine at least once every six months.
Before You Go
Ice cream, candy, glue, nail polish, butter and beer also seem to have an affection for the carpets. Don’t let these stains and spills get the better of you. View our carpet cleaning 101 tips for each of these and many other types of spills. For regular maintenance, vacuum the carpets, deep clean with a carpet cleaning machine and always follow the manufacturer guidelines on maintaining the floor surface.
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