Every home is at risk of the occasional coffee spill or shoe stain. It’s unavoidable. However it’s all about the way that you manage the stain later on that matters. Here’s our expert-approved technique, from Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, for how you can clean carpets which have typical dried-on stains, like red wine, gravy, mud, pet messes (ick), and more.
- Get two empty small plastic spray bottles, and fill up one with cold water. In the other, mix 1/4 teaspoon mild dishwashing liquid, like Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap ($2, amazon.com), together with 1 cup warm water.
- Spray the cleaning agent solution onto an absorbent cloth (not the carpet — you don’t want to wet it too much), and then apply (don’t rub !) it on the spot. Rubbing could result in the stain being pushed further and deeper into the carpet, making it even harder to get out in the long run. As the stain dissolves, blot it continuously with a dry cloth. Keep applying and blotting exactly as directed until the stain is removed.
- Spray another cloth with cold water, and then use it to wash the detergent solution from the carpet. After that blot once again with a dry fabric.
- Add a small pile of paper towels on the spot, and then put a heavy pot on the top of them. “Overnight, the towels are going to absorb any residual stain deep in the carpet. Next morning, fluff the fabric with your fingers and then allow to air-dry,” Forte says.
- In the event that the stain remains, try a more specific approach according to the stain you might be dealing with. A google search should provide you with all of the methods you can ask for, for your specific stain.
The best way to Maintain Your Carpet
Refresh high-traffic locations – Spy a gray, matted path on the carpet leading from your couch to the kitchen area? You can try to clean up the dingy area with a powdered or perhaps foam carpet cleaner, like Resolve High Traffic Carpet Foam ($4, amazon.com). Put it on according to the package instructions, and vacuum it up when you’re done.
Always keep dirt outside – Make an effort to apply a no-shoes-in-the-house rule. Stow extra slippers or perhaps flip-flops beside a shoe rack close to your door, as well as encourage members of the family to make the change inside. Stash a broom in your closet next to the entryway to gather dirt before it gets ground into doormats, as well as put down mats outside your door, too, so that you can wipe your feet before going inside. As long as everyone that enters takes reasonable care and cleans up after themselves if they leave a mess, you shouldn’t have much dirt entering your house on people’s feet anymore!
De-grit doormats – Interior door-mats are only able to stop dirt from getting tracked inside and all onto your carpet if they are clean. If the care tag says so, it is possible to toss mats into the washer and dryer and then wash them using the gentle cycle on warm and then tumble-dry low. Elsewhere, you can simply use a vacuum to go over the mat and pick up any loose dirt or particles. Go over the front of the mat, turn it over, after that vacuum the back, even if it is rubber or plastic (this loosens any specific embedded dirt). After that flip the mat again, and vacuum up the grit that came out. For a quick refresh, get the mat outside for a good shaking. Hit it with your hand or perhaps a stick several times on both sides, and you should see dirt and dust flying all over, be careful not to get any in your eyes!