Imagine this. It’s the holiday season, and you’re hosting a fabulous party for your friends and family.
You’ve put out the red wine, the appetizers are on the table, and delicious scents are wafting from the oven. Then the doorbell rings.
Your cousin arrives with her dog, muddy paws and all. Your niece and nephew decide salsa makes excellent finger paint. Then, to avoid being outdone, your neighbor spills an entire bottle of expensive Bordeaux on your Persian rug.
Carpet stains and the holidays go hand in hand. But you don’t have to let stained carpet ruin your plans or your carpets. Check out these eight valuable tips to help you eliminate stains and save Christmas.
1. Prevention Works Wonders
One of the best ways to protect your carpet this holiday season is to stop stains before they start. Prevention will take a bit of effort, but the rewards are worth it.
Print festive signs to hang on your doors. These signs encourage guests to wipe their shoes before they enter the house. Add extra door mats outside for maximum wiping space.
Be sure that you have ample table space. Extra tables help ensure that your guests won’t put full plates and glasses on the floor.
Place washable rugs around your dining table, bar area, and kitchen. When the party is over, you can toss these rugs in the washer and put them away until next year.
2. Pet Stains
You love your pets, but you might not love what they do to your rugs and carpet. Whether it’s mud or urine, pet stains need cleaning right away, or they might become permanent.
One of the best ways to remove muddy paw prints is dish soap and white vinegar. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap with one-half cup of white vinegar. Dip a scrub brush into the mixture and apply it to the stains.
Rinse with cold water and blot with a clean cloth. If traces of mud remain, repeat the process.
Urine and feces stains are a bit trickier. If you catch the mess right away, use paper towels to clean and blot the area. A wet vac carpet cleaner helps remove lingering stains.
3. Wine Stains
Wine stains are among the most common, but they’re also frustrating. Thankfully, there are several ways to remove these stains.
Club soda is a tried and true method. Blot the stain with a clean cloth and pour cold club soda over it until it’s saturated. Sprinkle salt on top and wait until it dries, then use a shop vac to remove the salt.
White vinegar is also an excellent treatment for wine stains. After blotting the stain, mix a tablespoon of vinegar with two cups of warm water. Use this solution to blot the stain until it’s gone.
Remove the vinegar odor with dish soap.
4. Grease and Oil Stains
Holiday food wouldn’t be the same without copious amounts of butter and fat. But when these greasy foods land on your carpet, they create tough stains.
Baking soda is a grease stain’s kryptonite. Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over the stain, then get to work.
Use a spoon to mash the baking soda into the carpet. Let the baking soda sit on the stain for a few hours, then vacuum it up.
If the grease stain persists, you may need an extra step. Mix water, isopropyl alcohol, and dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray the stain until it’s soaked.
Use a shop vac to remove the liquid and repeat until the stain is gone.
5. Wax Stains
Candles are an essential part of the holiday season. Unfortunately, cleaning candle wax out of your carpet takes some work.
If you spot the offending candle spill right away, place a bag of frozen vegetables on top of the wax. The wax will cool, letting you break it apart. Then you can remove the large pieces by hand and use tweezers to capture the strays.
Finish with your regular vacuum cleaner. You may also need to use a commercial spot cleaner if your carpet absorbs the color of the wax. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
6. Chocolate Stains
Having a holiday party without chocolate is unthinkable. That’s why you need to be prepared for the fact that a piece of chocolate will end up on your carpet.
For fresh chocolate stains, you can treat them like you would treat wax. Lay a bag of frozen veggies on the chocolate to harden it. Then use a butter knife to scrape it off.
If the chocolate stain has worked its way into the fibers of your carpet, you might need a different approach. Mix dish soap and warm water, then dip a clean cloth into the solution. Starting at the outer edges of the stain, blot heavily until the area is saturated.
Leave the soapy water on the stain for a few minutes, then blot again.
7. Crayon Stains
Kids love to lay in front of the fire and color. And while we encourage them to color outside the lines, sometimes that extends to your carpet.
Thankfully, most modern brands of crayons are washable. You can treat these stains like wax and chocolate and place a bag of frozen vegetables on the stain to harden it. Then use a butter knife or spoon to scrape the crayon up.
You may need to use dish soap and water if it’s a deeper stain. Dip a scrub brush in the soapy water and scrub gently. Blot with a clean towel and repeat if needed.
8. Know When to Call the Professionals for Carpet Stains
Most carpet stains only require household cleaners and effort. However, if your wool or silk rug is stained, it’s wise to contact a professional rug cleaning service. They have the proper tools and expertise to clean your valuable rugs.
Many carpet cleaning professionals offer off-site services. They’ll pick up your rugs, clean them, and return them in beautiful condition.
Preventative care for fine rugs helps keep them in good shape. On sunny days take them outside for a few hours. Sun helps remove odors and lifts the pile.
Keep Your Home Clean All Year Round
Carpet stains don’t only happen during the holidays. Having the knowledge and the tools for stain removal is vital throughout the year. Now your rugs and carpets will always look their best.
Are you interested in learning more handy cleaning tips? Browse our other articles and stay up-to-date on the best ways to keep your home sparkling.