How to remove tough carpet stains
Along with the fireplace, potted plants, colourful curtains and a pet, cosy carpets contribute to really making a house a home, a warm haven of comfort and joy. The idyllic effect gets somewhat diminished when the carpets doggedly display those obstinate stains-in-residence.
Those tough old stains
Those veteran stains remain there, ugly spots on lovely carpets, usually because we did not deal with them adequately when the misdeed occurred. Believing there is no remedy for stains due to wine, tea or anything with a reputation for permanent staining, we tend to accept the situation (i.e. The Stain), rather than risk damaging the carpet with aggressive removal treatments. So, those tough old stains are still there, with their reputation intact, mocking us. Their days are numbered! From old-wives remedies to modern formulas, there are many tried-and-tested ways to conquer stains, although those long-established tough ones may eventually need the intervention of competent carpet cleaners.
Spilled wine: the woes of wet stains
Most stains are the result of spilled liquids; immediate action can prevent the stain from taking hold and turning into a permanent blotch. As soon as that glass of wine hits the floor (speed is of essence), instantly attack the stain-in-waiting with spurts of soda water, a little at a time, whilst blotting it up with a clean cloth. This same treatment is valid for blood, tea, juice and beer stains. Beer could leave that beery smell behind, along with a more stubborn stain. In this case, and for all obstinate stains, trying using a solution of one part white vinegar with two parts warm water. Using a sponge, apply it to the stain then blot it dry. If stronger tactics are needed, try a solution of water and washing-up liquid or enzyme detergent.
Blot, blot, blot
To successfully eradicate that blot on your landscape, the secret is to tirelessly blot, never rub. Act fast and keep blotting from the outside towards centre (to avoid spreading the stain), using a clean absorbent cloth. Continue blotting until the cloth no longer absorbs any colour from whatever was spilled; the stain-in-the-making at this point should present a less vivid aspect. Next, apply stain remover, a little at a time and not too much, just enough to cover, not soak, the stain.
There is a wide range of store-bought, specific stain removers on the market, for every exigency, and stain removing solutions can even be home-made: a mix of warm water, washing-up-liquid and white vinegar. After applying stain remover, do not rub it in, just let it sit for ten minutes. Then, return to blotting, as above, until the stain disappears into your blotting cloth. Apply a little water to rinse out any residue and blot it again to dry the surface. If the non-cooperative stain does not magically disappear, maybe it is the moment to call in professional cleaners.
Ravioli, buttered toast, pet mementoes and similar all have humid components so, after scooping up the more solid part, the remaining mess should be treated as above (wet stains). Most stains have their relevant, specific stain remover. Fat-based stains (butter, gravy and similar) need a dry-solvent carpet cleaner. Pet shops all stock a range of specific stain removers for pet accidents on carpets. Tougher stains may just need a repeat treatment. However, where all else fails, professional cleaning services can solve the case.
Drying the carpet
Do not blow dry, do not air dry and, above all, do not rub. Effective carpet drying techniques are also based on the blotting principle. Place a small pile of paper towels or kitchen paper on top of the treated area and keep it weighted down with some heavy object. Just keep changing the paper towels as they absorb moisture, until the patch-where-a-stain-might-have-been is completely dry. It may take a day and a night, but results will be literally spotless! If they are not, then professional carpet cleaning services are always ready to solve your carpet problems.