Even when you’re careful, accidents happen. Whether your kids topple their juice or your wine glass tips, your apartment carpet can take a beating. Don’t let that carpet stain take your security deposit! Here are some tips for removing common carpet stains:
Before you take on the wine, juice or paint stain, you’ll need to know the basic carpet cleaning technique. Start with a dry cloth, which you’ll blot along the outside of the stain, moving inward. Next, dampen the stain with water and repeat the blotting process.
Never scrub carpet stains, as this action can ruin the floor or grind the liquid in further. You can also leave a damp cloth with cleaning solution sitting on top of the stain for about 15 minutes (which is good for set-in stains). This helps the solution saturate the stain for simple removal. Dab the carpet after you remove the cloth. Easy, right? Now let’s look at some specific stains.
Water Soluble Carpet Stains
Stains created by materials that can be dissolved by water should be treated differently than those that can’t. Water-soluble liquids include alcoholic beverages, cola, berries, milk, ice cream, washable ink, latex paint, jelly and mud. Combine 1/4 cup of bleach-free detergent (or white vinegar) with 32 ounces of water. This will replace the water in the dampening step of the cleaning technique we outlined above.
Some water-soluble materials aren’t so easy to get out of the carpet, including wine, chocolate, coffee, tea, vomit, blood and mustard. If you’re dealing with a trickier water soluble stain, mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of water.
Fat, Wax or Oil Carpet Stains
A drop of wax may have made its way from your candle stand onto the carpet, but you can clean it with ease. Place a paper down on top of the wax, then turn on an iron to a warm setting. Place the iron on top of the paper towel, then lift. The wax should adhere to the paper towel.
If that doesn’t work, fill a zip-close bag with ice and place it on the wax. Once the liquid is hard, smash it with a spatula or other object and vacuum the wax. As a bonus, this technique works on tablecloths and gum as well!
For fat or oil, try dampening a white cloth with an oil-eating solvent. Dab the stain with the wet cloth from the outside in; then blot again using a white cloth dampened with warm water. Let the stain dry then check on it later. If it’s lightened, keep doing the same steps over again until it’s gone completely.
Nail Polish Carpet Stains
Nail polish is a pretty simple carpet stain to remove because there’s a product that’s made for it. Blot nail polish remover on the stain until it’s gone.