You can't always get stains out of carpets. Yes removing different stains from carpets does get difficult especially different stains react differently with various kinds of carpets. A professional carpet cleaner, with a truck mount hot water extraction unit, dry cleaning agents and other tools, may be able to clean deeper than you can. In some cases, you will need to replace the carpet, the pad, and even seal the floorboards to prevent the odor from coming back.

Though here are some home remedies which might help you to clean your carpets and preserve them for longer period.

Acidic stains: - Stains created from spills of battery water, tile cleaning compounds and drain cleaners. As soon as you see the spill (before it is a stain), get water and flush the area. Extract the water (blot it up or use a sponge), then flush the area again. Repeat the process several times. How quickly you move to clean these types of carpet stains is crucial to success. You need to wash away and dilute the acid before it damages the fibers.

Then we need to Neutralize the Acidic Stains - After cleaning the carpet with water, prepare a solution of one tablespoon baking soda mixed with a quarter of warm water. Apply this to the area with a sponge or cloth. This will neutralize any remaining acid. Then you can rinse the area again, extract the water, and dry the carpet quickly. Leave a fan blowing on it if you can.

To remove a chewing gum: Firstly get your electric hair dryer. Heat the gum, being careful not to melt the carpet fibers. Use a piece of plastic wrap or a plastic bag to lift the softened gum away. Just allow it to stick to the plastic, and then pull it up. This may get most of it. Next, apply a muscle rub gel containing methyl salicylate. Use plastic again, or a rag to pull more gum out. Repeat if necessary. Once you completely remove the chewing gum from the carpet, clean the area with a mild detergent solution (a few drops of dish soap in a cup of warm water will work). Rinse with warm water and dry the area.

Pet urine & Urine Smell in Carpet: Pet stains on carpet have different effects not only according to the animal, but also depending on the type of carpet. In beige carpet, for example, blue dyes are attacked by pet urine, leaving behind red and yellow dyes. The resulting stains can be red, yellow or orange.

Color can sometimes be restored by treating the area with a solution of two tablespoons ammonia in one cup of water. Rinse afterwards, and extract as much moisture as you can. Even if this doesn't restore the color entirely, it can help to remove the urine smell in the carpet. You can't always get a urine stain out of carpet, and the smell will let you know if this is the case. Urine varies according to the diet, age and type of pet. Cat urine is one of the worst for leaving a smell in your carpet. To get a urine stain out of carpet, act quickly. Blot with paper towels or a clean white cotton cloth. If you can, suck it out with a Hand vacuum.

Then, whether the stain is new or old, cat urine, dog urine, or pet urine of any kind, do the following: Make a solution of 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish washing detergent in one cup of warm water. Don't use laundry detergent, automatic dish washing detergent, or dish soap with bleach in it. Spray or carefully spread the solution over the area affected. Extract the solution using a hand vacuum, plain white paper towels, or a white cotton cloth. Rinse the area with warm water, extract, and then apply the detergent solution again. Repeat as long as there is improvement in the pet stains. Then apply a solution of two tablespoons ammonia in a cup of water. Rinse, extract, and repeat. Blot or use a hand vacuum until most of the moisture is out. Lightly apply a solution of one cup white vinegar in two cups of water. Rinse and extract. Dry the carpet completely by putting a layer of white paper towels over the spot and weighing them down with something that wont stain if it gets wet. Change paper towels until the carpet is dry.

Ink stains: When you remove ink stains from carpet, or any other stains, using a solvent other than water, be sure to rinse the area and extract the water. Again, vacuuming out the water is quicker, and less likely to damage your carpet, but you can use a clean white cloth to blot the moisture out also. Rinse, extract, repeat.

You can remove ink stains from carpet using rubbing alcohol. It will work better if it is 90% isopropyl alcohol, but you can try the ones that are 70% if that's what's available. In either case, carpet ink stains will come out more easily if you catch them quickly.

First of all, don't pour rubbing alcohol on your carpet. Apply it to a white cotton cloth and dab the stain carefully, so you don't spread the ink. Suck it out after a few minutes using a hand vacuum, or, if you use a cloth, blot carefully. Don't rub! Repeat the process until you remove the stains from the carpet, or until you get no more transfer to the cloth. In the latter case it may not be possible to remove the stain completely, although you can try a commercial cleaning solvent. Finally, dry the area quickly. There may still be some ink hiding deep in the fibers.

Quick drying prevents this remaining ink from wicking up to the surface of the carpet where it can become visible again. Paper towels work well to get the moisture out, and a fan left blowing on the area will complete the process.

Semi Liquid fluids and eatables: Carpet cleaners will tell you that "spots" are removable, while stains are permanent. Blot liquids, don't rub them in! Use a clean white cotton cloth or plain white paper towels. Once you have removed the liquid, rinse the spot with water and blot again until dry. Repeat if necessary to remove more of the stain, but don't scrub the area, or you may damage the carpet and set the stain in more permanently.

For semi-solids, such as peanut butter, pudding and such, scrape and lift gently with a spoon. Rinse the remaining spill out and blot dry. Dried solids should be broken up and vacuumed. Repeat until it is all gone, and then rinse with water and blot dry.

Bleach: Bleach stains on carpet can't be removed, since the dye has actually been removed from the carpet. A carpet cleaner that does dyeing can spot-dye the bleached area to match the surrounding carpet.

Burns: Large burns require repair. You can improve the appearance of small burns by clipping the blackened ends of the carpet tufts with sharp scissors. Trim tufts around the spot, so the remaining depression blends into the surrounding carpet.

Coffee: You can try white vinegar. Heat the area with a hot, wet cloth, dab with vinegar, rinse, extract, and repeat. Dry the carpet well when you are done.

Fingernail Polish: Apply non-acetate fingernail polish remover to a white cotton cloth and dab the area, working from the edges towards the center. Leave it for a few minutes, then blot it, rinse it, blot it, and repeat if necessary.

Blood: Blood stains on carpet will come out if you get to them quickly. Heat will set the stain, so use only cold water with your cleaning solution. The short lesson on blood stain removal: act fast. Most carpets today come with stain-resistant treatments, so even blood can be removed if you get it right away.

The longer you delay, the more difficult removing any carpet stains becomes, and there are no stain-proof carpets (yet). With blood, the process of coagulation makes it especially hard to get the stain out if it is old.

  1. Rinse and extract the blood with cold water. Use just a little at a time, so you don't spread the stain. Hot water will set the stain, possibly making it permanent, so use only cold water. Just add water, and then blot it up with a clean white cloth or white paper towels. Alternately, you can suck the solution out with a hand vacuum, which means less of a chance of spreading the stain.
  2. Try to remove the remaining stain with a solution of a few drops of dish washing detergent in a cup of cold water. Work it into the blood stain, but be careful not to spread the stain or rub so hard that you damage the carpet fibers. Damaged fibers hold stains.
  3. Repeat as many times as is necessary, or until there is no more transfer of the stain from the carpet to the cloth or paper towels. Blot up excess water when you are done.
  4. If you have a fan, leave the fan blowing on the area to dry it quickly. Otherwise set a stack of paper towels (white) on the stained area, or a couple clean white cotton cloths, and put something heavy on them. Leave this to blot up the remaining liquid, replacing the cloth or paper towels if necessary.

Fast drying assures you that any remaining stain deeper in the carpet doesn't "wick up" to the surface and become visible again. Some people have reported that club soda can help remove blood stains, so if the above instructions don't work, you can try that. It is not easy to predict which stains will come out and which are permanent until you try. This is due to the various types of carpet fibers and other factors.

Natural fibers are usually more difficult to remove stains from, for example. As with all stains, start with water first before trying other solvents for blood stain removal.

Red Wine: Extract the remaining liquid (blot or vacuum). Apply white wine. This recreates the initial conditions, especially on old stains, making it easier to remove. Extract and repeat, or do this in conjunction with a commercial spot cleaner. Rinse well and dry the carpet quickly.

Rust: If it is a fresh stain, try general cleaning procedures. Professionals can remove almost all rust stains, but the chemicals used are somewhat hazardous for casual use.

Wax: Yes, you can get candle wax out of carpet. It isn't always easy, but the wax itself can be removed with patience. The dyes in the wax are another issue, and getting those out depends on what's in the particular dye. To begin with, scrape as much wax out of the carpet as you can, with a spoon. Then put an ice cube on the wax to freeze it. Leave it there for a minute. The wax should harden enough to break it up and get more of it out. Now, to get the rest of the candle wax out of the carpet, put a clean brown paper bag over the spot, and place a clothes iron on it, set on low.

The wax will liquefy and transfer to the paper. Apply a new paper bag as often as necessary until you get out all of the wax. This may take a little time. If this doesn't get all of the wax out of the carpet, you can try rubbing alcohol. This may help with some of the staining from dyes in the wax as well. Using a white cloth or a plain white paper towel wetted with the alcohol, dab at the area. Repeat this with a fresh towel until you get no more transfer of wax or dyes to the towel. Whichever method you use to get the candle wax out of the carpet, when you are done, rinse the area with clean water, blot up the excess, and dry the area quickly.

Finally whenever using a cleaning solvent, apply it to a cloth first, and then work it in from the outside of the stain to the center, so you don't spread the spot. The procedure is to apply the cleaner, extract (blot), rinse, extract, and repeat until you cant get out more of the stain. Always extract solvents completely, and dry the carpet quickly when you are done. If there is any stain remaining deeper down in the carpet, quick drying prevents it from wicking up to the surface.

One of the most useful tools for removing carpet stains is a hand vacuum. With a wet/dry vacuum cleaner you can quickly suck up spills, but more importantly, you can repeatedly flush the area with water and suck it out. This is much more efficient than blotting with a cloth, and less likely to cause damage to the carpet. Now to deal with what's left (if you couldn't get it all out)? If the stain isn't too deep in the carpet, you may be able to snip away the stained edges with small scissors or with a razor blade. You can use tweezers to pull out severely stained fibers. If you try the latter, you may want to remove clean carpet strands from another, hidden areas in the room, then glue them into the stained area. Leave a heavy object on the spot for several days before walking on it.

I hope these home remedies with easily available ingredients and chemicals will help you all to preserve your ancient, traditional of modern carpets for a long long time. Part II of this article would be on How to Keep Your Carpet Clean (and why it saves you money).

About the Author:

Ms. Sonali Soni Pal is a PG in Knitwear Design & Technology from NIFT , New Delhi and a graduate in Sociology Honours from Delhi University. She has been awarded with "The most commercial collection" for her design collection. She has over 8 Years of experience in Designing, in areas of apparels and textiles in knits and wovens. She has worked with renowned brands such as Maral Fashions(buddy davis), Manish Arora(Fish Fry), Sandy starkman...etc. Presently she is working as a faculty in the premium design institute, Pearl Academy of Fashion at New Delhi, in the Textile department. She has a teaching experience of over 3 years and is in constant touch with the industry.

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