In a recent post we laid out some vacuuming basics. Â While vacuuming is a critical step in carpet maintenance, it's not going to do much for spills and stains.If you find yourself in a panic, standing over muddy footprints or spilt soda, here are some helpful tips from The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI):Step 1 - Absorb
- Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels (no prints or colors).Â Use of a printed or colored material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet.
- Start at the outside of the spot and continue toward the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Â Continue step one until the area is barely damp. Semisolids, like food spills, may need to be scooped up with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed up.Â Warning:Â do not scrub or use a brush.
Step 2 - Treat
- Use a CRIÂ Seal of ApprovalÂ carpet cleaning product. Â Though these have been laboratory tested, you should still pretest any cleaner on a scrap of carpet or in a hidden area of your carpet.
- Follow the productâ€™s directions carefully. Â Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the center. Â Blot; donâ€™t scrub. Â Never use a brush. Â You may need to do this several times to remove the spot.
Don't have a cleaner on hand? Here are CRI recommends the following homemade remedies:
- Use plain water.Â Surprisingly, water often works better than untested carpet cleaners do.
- Use a detergent solution. Â Mix 1/4 teaspoon of a clear (nonbleach, nonlanolin) dishwashing liquid with one cup of warm water. Â Never use laundry detergent; it may contain bleach or simply be too harsh.
- Use a white vinegar solution. Â Mix one cup white (not red wine or cider) vinegar with 1 cup of water. Â White vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) is sometimes effective on tannins (weak vegetable dyes found in tea and coffee), and it leaves no residue. Â However, be careful because acids can set some other dye stains.
Remember, acting quickly is your best chance of avoiding a permanent stain!For more helpful carpet cleaning information and tips, visitÂ http://www.carpet-rug.org.Â Source: CRI###