It happens to the best of us every once in a while- a big, unsightly stain on the carpet which looks impossible to remove. If you have kids, pets or regular guests you’re almost certain to experience a stain at some point or another, so the best thing is to always be prepared. Battersea estate agent, Eden Harper explains that there are always ways to tackle carpet stains and you may well be able to handle them yourself without having to call in a professional.
Before You Begin
There are a few golden rules to remember before you start- stay calm, never rub or scrub the carpet and work from the outside in. Bearing these little tips in mind will help you to avoid a lasting mess and have a carpet maintenance meltdown.
Next, you need to understand the three main different types of carpet stain- Water Soluble, Special Water Soluble and Oil. It goes without saying that the last one on the list is probably going to be your biggest problem, so we’ll get to that in a bit.
So, the different types of water soluble carpet stains include:
- Washable Ink
For this kind of carpet stain you can usually get away with a simple cleaning solution made up with 1 part non-bleach detergent to 8 parts warm water.
Special Water Soluble Stains
These are easier to shift than oil based stains but still require a fair amount of elbow grease to remove thoroughly. The stains in this category include:
Your best bet for this kind of stain (if you can handle the pong) is a tablespoon of ammonia mixed with some warm water. You’ll need some open windows because ammonia can be a little eye watering, but this should give you lasting results. Fulham estate agent Lawsons & Daughters recommends, “If the stain is too deep, you can try a bleach based carpet cleaner, but remember to do a spot test first so you don’t end up with one discoloured patch in the middle of your floor.”
Oil Based Stains
These little monsters also include stains from fat and wax. You can’t just set about tackling them without doing some prep work first, and in this case paper towels are your friends. Place the towel direct onto the stain and then cover it with a warm (not hot!) iron. Gently move the iron over the paper and the wax or oil should come away nicely.
Other fat, oil and wax based stains include:
- Cigarette Burns– rubbing the fibres around the hole with a blunt knife will cover up any damage
- Glue– A little bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton wool ball should do the trick.
- Gum– Freeze with ice, leave to dry, then hoover it away when brittle
- Nail Varnish– A little bit of nail polish remover should work wonders
- Urine– A little bit of white wine vinegar mixed with warm water is just as good as any expensive carpet cleaner- just be sure to open the windows!
If all else fails, you may want to enlist the help of a professional. M&M Property says, “Some stains are just to tough to shift without expert help, so it pays to find an experienced professional who can help. A quick online search will help you find someone who can deal with the stain quickly, professionally and leave your carpet looking and smelling as good as new again.”