Carpets are a popular flooring option in Princeton because of their affordability, comfort, and warmth. However, compared to other flooring options, spills are always more challenging to tackle. Floor Coverings International® of Hillsborough is here to help. Read on to learn the basics on proper carpet stain removal.
Treating carpet stains doesn’t have to be overly complicated. The most important thing to keep in mind is proper technique. Treat stains immediately whenever possible. Scoop up any solids, and then proceed to blot at the stain, starting from the outer edges and working inwards. Do not rub the carpet, as this drives the stain deeper into the pile and makes it more difficult to remove. Continue to blot, removing as much of the liquid as possible. Remember to change paper towels or cloths often to prevent a dirty cloth from re-soiling the carpet.
Successfully removing stains depends more on patience and perseverance than using the perfect cleaning solution. If treated immediately as described above, it is often enough to simply spray water or soapy-water on the stain and continue to blot. For a soapy-water solution, use clear hand soap and mix ¼ teaspoon with one quart of water. Follow this treatment by spraying the area with water and blotting to remove any soapy residue left in the carpet.
Distinguish Stain Types
Along with proper technique, it is also important to know what type of stain you are treating. Stains can either be water-based or oil-based. Examples of water-based stains include coffee, ice cream, milk, soda, and wine. Oil-based stains include cooking oil, candle wax, crayon, lotion, and makeup. These two different types respond better to different treatments. Oil-based are commonly treated with straight isopropyl alcohol, whereas water-based tolerate several types of treatments. Soapy water works well for water-based stains, while stronger solutions include ingredients like white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, or ammonia.
Several store-bought treatments also exist and can be effective. When using a new solution, whether store bought or homemade, always test it on an inconspicuous area of the carpet. Also check your manufacturer’s guidelines, since carpeting can react differently depending on fiber type. For example, solution-dyed carpets can be treated with bleach, while other carpets cannot. Also, wool carpets cannot be treated with ammonia, since it is too alkaline and will damage the wool.
Treating General Soiling
Besides staining from spills, carpets also stain from general soiling. Treating this requires general maintenance. Vacuum your carpets at least once a week, and more often if they are in high traffic areas. Further clean your carpets by steam cleaning every 12-18 months. The heat from steam loosens debris and provides a deeper clean than vacuuming alone.
If the carpet in your Princeton home needs to be replaced, call Floor Coverings International® of Hillsborough and schedule a free, in-home consultation. We bring all our samples to you using our mobile showroom.
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