No matter how many precautions we take, “it” happens. A sloppy sippy cup of Kool-Aid, a takeout container of soy sauce runneth over or maybe the dog just couldn’t hold it — and your new carpet is suddenly stained. Fear not, there’s hope. “The main key is to deal with it right away,” says Reid Mochizuki of American Carpet One. “Plus, if you act immediately you’ll know exactly what spilled, so it will be easier to find a solution.”
Here are five common carpet stains for Island homes and expert tips on how best to clean them up … fast. (Hint: Never rub. Always blot.)
DO GET: SmartStrand by DuPont Sornoa — “My clients have spilled blue Easter egg dye, burgundy hair dye, Kool Aid, red wine and mustard and it cleans up with warm water and a towel,” says Leilani Olinger of Complete Custom Floors. “Plus, it’s made from plant-based material.”
DON’T GET: Nylon carpets use topical treatments to protect from stains. On average, nylon loses 50 percent of this protection after just three cleanings. “Nylon is durable but easy to stain,” says Olinger.
Dampen a clean white cloth with isopropyl alcohol (the higher the percentage, the better it will work) and dab with wet cloth. Do not rub or scrub. Let stand and then use a wet vac to remove excess moisture. Repeat if necessary.
Blot up as much as possible. Sponge the stain with the solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Apply a little at a time, blotting frequently with a dry cloth until the stain disappears. For stubborn stains, consider a commercial stain remover like Wine Away.
Get as much of the excess polish off as possible. For a light-colored carpet, place a small amount of non-acetone remover on a cloth and blot the stain until no color remains. For darker carpets, use hairspray or rubbing alcohol.
Use a mixture of white vinegar, dish soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray liberally, let soak for 10 minutes, and blot with a clean, dry towel until stain is removed.
Blot, then mix 2 tablespoons of household ammonia in 1 cup of water. Apply a small amount of the mixed solution to the white terry towel and blot on the stain.
Always test cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous area of the carpet to make sure they will not damage your type of carpeting.