Despite your best efforts at cleanliness, your carpet will eventually become the victim of drops, spills, accidents, and whatever's on the bottom of your shoes. Come to learn how professionals handle problem areas and keep carpets looking new:
1. Blot Stains, Don't Rub Them
Dab stains with a cleaning solution and a clean cloth, paper towels, or a sponge. "The key is blotting. Blotting puts a small amount of pressure on the stain to soak it up, rubbing causes the particles to get ground into the carpet fibers, and this can lead to the premature breakdown of those fibers. Always blot from the outside of the stain inward, as blotting outward can spread the stain.
2. The Club Soda Process
You may have heard that club soda is effective against beer and wine stains. It's true, if you use it correctly.
Blot the area with the soda on a cloth. If that doesn't work, mix one part white vinegar with one part water and pour it into a handheld sprayer. Spray the solution on the entire stained area and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to soak in. Then press a clean sponge onto the area to soak up the solution and the stain, you may have to repeat this process to eradicate the stain.
Once the stain is gone, rinse the spot with warm water. Use your hand to brush the carpet strands into their natural direction. Finally, lay white paper towels over the area and weigh them down with something heavy, like a phone book. The towels will absorb the dampness from the carpet. Leave the towels in place until the carpet is dry, usually about one day.
3. Try Shaving Cream
The best carpet cleaner for general stains is ordinary shaving cream, It will remove just about every type of stain. Apply the shaving cream directly to the stain and let it set for about 30 minutes. Once the shaving cream has set, blot it away with a dry white cloth. Finish by spraying the area with one part vinegar mixed with one part water and then wiping away the solution with a cloth.
4. Freeze-Dried Gum
You step in chewing gum out on the street but don't realize it until you tracked that gross, sticky mess onto your carpet. To get it out, head to the freezer and grab a couple of ice cubes. "Freeze the gum with ice cubes for about 30 seconds. Once the gum is frozen solid, use a spoon to lift up the glob and cut the strands of carpet as close to the gum as possible. If you cut only a small amount of carpet, the spot shouldn't be noticeable.
5. Dishwasher Detergent vs Grease
The best method against difficult to clean grease stains is to use a drop or two of a grease cutting dishwashing detergent, such as Joy, in a cup of water. It'll cut through the grease in the carpet just the way it does on your dishes. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it on the stain, then blot it up. Again, you may need to do this multiple times for larger stains.