Monday, August 23, 2010

Do-It-Yourself Spot Cleaning

Children, pets, parties and other things can create accidents on your carpets and rugs. It is wise to clean them and remove any spots as quickly as possible to prevent stains. We have found that many people will use products purchased from the store to try and remove these accideents. We do not recommend that approach for the following reason. Consumers tend to assume that if a little bit of something works well, than a whole lot of it should work even better. This philosophy is bad in the spot cleaning world. The reason is that store bought cleaners will leave a residue. The amount of residue left is based on how much cleaning product was applied to the spot and how good of a job the consumer did removing the cleaner after application. The problem is that the residue left on the carpet (or rug) will then attract dirt (see picture above).
So, what do you do? First, removal of the initial insult is top of the list. For liquid spills, use a dry clean white cloth or towell. Put it on the spill and apply pressure. The liquid will migrate from the carpet or rug onto the towel. Keep moving the towel so a dry area is over the spill and keep this up until no more liquid is transferred to the towel. For any solid particles, scrap them off with a spoon or dull object.

If a spot is still visible, we recommend starting with clean water first. If the water does not work, try either 1 teaspoon of a neutral detergent with 1/2 pint of lukewarm water (a non-alkaline detergent that does not contain bleach such as used for washing delicate fabrics) or 1/3 cup white vinegar to 2/3 cup of water. Using a spray bottle, sprits the spot with the cleaner but do not over wet the spot. Then blot it up as described above.


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