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Avoid this one mistake when trying to get rid of carpet stains

Published on: 10 September 2015

Avoid this one mistake when trying to get rid of carpet stains

The biggest mistake most people make when trying to remove a spill from their carpet is rubbing on the spot with a rag or paper towel. To remove a stain, simply blot the spot and dry working from the outside in, rinse thoroughly with clean water, then blot again. Rubbing any spot or spill will only push the spill further down into the carpet and may actually penetrate the fibre itself, getting into the dye site.

These tips for removing specific stains and spills from your carpet may suprise you:

  • Ink – ballpoint ink: sponge with methylated spirits or mineral turpentine and then rub with a detergent solution. You can also try hair spray or nail polish remover, but first test this on a part of the fabric that is hidden.
  • Lipstick – treat the stain with methylated spirits or salad oil. Alternatively, rub in petroleum jelly, cold cream or white margarine and wipe with white bread. Soak the stain in lemon juice if the fabric is white and in a 50/50 water/juice solution if it is coloured.
  • Tea – apply some soda water, sponge, rinse and blot dry. Finish off by dabbing the area with a 50/50 mix of water and peroxide and finally, sponge with clean water and blot dry.
  • Red wine – this is can be tricky as red wine contains dye. Even blotting the stain like you should, doesn’t always remove red wine. Next time you have a red wine spill, cover the spot with corn starch and push it down in the carpet with your hand or foot to make sure it is all the way down to the bottom of the carpet.

    Wait for a day or so and then vacuum the corn starch away.
  • Chocolate – remove the worst of the deposit. Use a clean cloth to dab on a solution made up of half a teaspoon of mild detergent in 500ml of water. If the stain is persistent, try a solution made up of a tablespoon of ammonia in half a cup of water and dab as before.
  • Coffee – sponge with a solution of borax. If the stain still remains, beat up an egg yolk, rub it into the stain with a clean white cloth and then rinse in clean water. You can also spray with a branded stain remover and then rinse in clean water.
  • Beer – squirt some soda water over the patch, rinse with clean water and blot dry.
  • Blood – the sooner you get it off the better so, the first step is to wash the blood out in cool water. If the blood has dried, dab it with meat tenderiser and add cool water. It will take about 20 minutes or so to soften the stain, after which you should sponge off with cool water. Blood on leather can be removed with a little hydrogen peroxide dabbed onto the deposit, wiping it off after the bubbling has commenced.

If you are ever in doubt on how to remove any spot or spill from your carpet, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are not sure who that is, try calling the business that sold you the carpet or look on your receipt.

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