How to Clean Common Stains

Date Published: Aug 16 2011

Many of us start our strategies against soiled carpeting just a few steps away from the welcome mat. We place throw rugs in front of the doors in our homes, hoping to prevent dirty shoes from coming in contact with the carpet. We invest in stain-resistant floor coverings and adopt “no-shoes-in-the-house” policies.

Yet, even the best plans can’t prevent most homeowners from contending with unsightly stains.

If you’re faced with stained carpeting, follow these tips to curtail the long-lasting effects of spills, pet accidents, and other culprits:

  • Red wine stain: Quickly absorb as much of the liquid as possible with towels to keep it from getting deep into the carpet. Dribble white wine on the remaining red wine stain. Rinse and repeat. Blot the excess with a damp, clean towel.
  • Lipstick: Gently place petroleum jelly on the smudge, then mix a teaspoon of dish soap with one cup of warm water. Blot the smudge gently then scrape jelly off with a knife.
  •  Ink:  Use rubbing alcohol, but do not pour it directly on the stain. Instead, dampen a towel, add alcohol and repeatedly blot ink stain with the cloth.
  • Pet stains: Mix a half cup of white vinegar with a half cup of warm water. Soak the stain thoroughly. Sprinkle a handful of baking soda on the stain. Mix a half cup of hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of dish soap, then pour the mixture over the baking soda. Work into the carpet thoroughly. Allow area to dry completely, then vacuum.
  • Fruit punch, Kool-aid or ketchup: Blot as much of the substance as you can as fast as you can. Then mix warm water with dish soap, dampen a clean cloth and press against the stain for 15 seconds. Let sit. Mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups water, dampen cloth and press against stain for 15 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes. Blot with a clean dry towel.
  • Oil and grease: Remove excess quickly with paper towel. Sprinkle salt or baking soda on stain and leave it overnight. Later, vacuum the salt or baking soda off of the stain area.

If these remedies don’t seem to be working, don’t waste time trying to continuously remove the stain. Know when it’s time to give up on the household options and contact a highly rated professional carpet cleaner.

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