Sunday August 2, 2020
As surely as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, if you buy a house with carpeting, you are going to get spills on it. (If you have children, that probability goes up exponentially.)
So, if you know it’s going to happen, what should you do? Well, our first instinct is probably being flustered and running quickly to the linen closet to grab a towel to clean up the mess. However, your method may actually cause more damage to the carpet than you think.
Here’s how to really effectively spot clean your carpet:
- Rubbing out the stain — A lot of us think that all you need to do is use a little elbow grease and scrub those stains out of your carpeting. The reality is that this may actually spread the stain and cause it to soak in. For better results, you should blot the spill up gently instead of putting all of your force into it.
- Using color towels — Another problem is that many of us use colored towels to clean up the mess because we think the stain might ruin a white towel. The reality here is that the inks in a colored towel (or paper towels with a print design on them) may transfer into the stain and the carpet if you try to use them for cleanup. Instead, use plain white paper towels or a solid white towel to handle the spill.
- Use water — Get a spritz bottle full of water and thoroughly soak the area to help loosen up the stain on the carpet fibers. If you have a really tricky stain, substitute a spritz bottle with vinegar as this can help really clear up those problem spots.
- Blot twice and from the outside in — When you are cleaning, you want to blot the stain quickly and relatively gently. Start at the outside of the stain and move inwards. This will help keep it from spreading to other parts of the carpet. Also, once you have done this, blot a second time using either a clean portion of the towel or a new one altogether. This prevents transferring the spilled item back onto the carpeting.
A spill of wine or fruit punch on your new carpeting isn’t the end of the world. You just have to make sure that you follow these steps quickly before it has had time to soak in. If you do have a hard stain that you can’t get out, it is best to get a professional to take care of these areas.