Most carpets have been treated by the manufacturer to reduce staining, however, no carpet is completely stain proof. Over time the fibers in your carpet trap bacteria, dirt and oils, which cause odors, stains and discoloration of the material. Even carpets that look clean may have collected dirt, dust and germs below the surface.
Regular carpet cleaning and maintenance are important in extending the life of your carpeting. If left uncleaned, not only does it lead to odors and stains, but the fibers begin to break down as well. Here are a few carpet cleaning tips and tricks to remove stains and keep your carpeting cleaner longer.
Regular vacuuming removes dirt, dust and bacteria from the carpet fibers. A buildup of dirt and grit can damage the carpet when it rubs against the carpet fibers, but regular vacuuming prevents the abrasion from ruining the carpet. If you vacuum in several different directions it will remove more dirt than if you only vacuum in one direction. Remember to change the bag or empty the canister after each use and change the filter frequently to make sure you’re picking everything up.
The quicker you act to remove stains, the easier they are to clean. Have you ever has a stain go away only to reappear? This is known as wicking, and it occurs when the liquid has pooled in the bottom of the carpet and has worked its way through the fibers and back to the top. To prevent this, cover the stain with a thick cloth and place a brick or heavy book over it. This will help to absorb the liquid up from the bottom of the carpet.
But what about tough stains? Here’s a list of those annoying stains and how to get rid of them.
- Wine stains. Wine contains tannins, which is often difficult to remove. If you spill red wine, immediately pour a small glass of white wine over it. The white wine will help to neutralize the red wine and the stain will disappear. If you spill white wine, dab the area with vinegar.
- Melted wax. Whether it is from a candle or crayons, wax is actually easier to remove than you think. Once the wax hardens, use a putty knife or a butter knife to chip off as much wax as possible. Then, place a brown paper bag over the wax. Using a warm iron, iron the paper for several minutes, then lift. The wax should be on the paper instead of the carpet. Use vinegar to remove any left over residue.
- Chewing gum. If you’ve discovered gum in the carpet, simply spray the area with WD-40, or you can apply peanut butter to the area, and the gum will instantly come out. If there is a spot left where the gum was, blot it with a small amount of club soda.
- Permanent marker stains. Use hairspray or rubbing alcohol to try and remove it before it sets. Spray directly onto the stain, saturating the spot, and let it sit for about an hour. Blot with a damp cloth until the stain is removed. If this doesn’t work, try removing the stain with non-acetate nail polish remover, but test this in a hidden area first to ensure it will not cause further damage to the carpet.
- Urine stains and odor removal. Pet stains and odors can be the most difficult stains to remove, especially if it has been absorbed into the carpet backing. If odors are not deeply penetrated, lightly dampen the carpet and sprinkle baking soda over the area. Let it sit for several hours and then vacuum the area. Stains can sometimes be removed by blotting the spot with a cloth soaked with hydrogen peroxide. In most situations, the best solution is to contact a professional carpet cleaning company to handle deeply embedded pet stains.
To save wear and tear on the carpet, it is best to have everyone remove their shoes before walking on the carpet. Place doormats in front of each door and try to keep walkways free of dirt and debris that can be tracked inside. You also should have the carpets professionally cleaned at least once each year to extend the life of your carpets.
If you have questions about stains or want to schedule a thorough carpet cleaning, contact Chet’s Cleaning Inc.