Forget what you thought you knew about carpet stains. Here are four common mistakes you could be making, along with some advice on what you should do instead.
When a glass of wine slips out of your fingers, or your coffee cup gets bumped, the first thing you might do is panic about your carpet, dreading the thought of permanent stains. Unfortunately, it is just that panic, that instinct to attack it immediately, that might just make things worse.
Mistake 1: Attacking the Stain
It is natural to want to attack a stain with vigor, but rubbing at the stain carries the risk of deforming the carpet’s pile, which will make it look matted. Instead, start on the outside of the stain and blot your carpet with an absorbent cloth. Rotate your cloth or use more than one as it becomes soiled. You want to blot the stain first, before adding any cleaning products.
Mistake 2: Using Too Much Carpet Cleanser
Spraying carpet cleanser directly on a stain seems intuitive, but more soap does not mean more cleaning. It can be difficult to get an excess of carpet cleaner out, and any residue left behind will attract dirt.
The best way to apply the correct amount of cleanser is to spray it on a clean cloth and use the cloth to dab at the stain. Use multiple clothes, if needed, until the stain is completely absorbed.
Mistake 3: Using Too Much Water
Some carpet cleansers require a rinse with water and some do not, so check the manufacturer’s instructions before you rinse. If you do need to apply water, go sparingly. Do not pour or spray water directly on the carpet. This could soak the carpet pad and the flooring underneath. The proper way to rid a carpet of cleanser is to wet a cloth and then press the cloth to the carpet. Change damp clothes as needed, and then finish by blotting with a dry cloth.
Mistake 4: Assuming the Stain is Gone
Carpet stains are sneaky things. Just when you think you’ve banished one, it reappears. This happens when soil that is deep in the carpet rises up through the fibers as the carpet dries. To prevent hidden residue from re-staining the carpet, Place a clean white cloth, or several layers of paper towels, over the stain. Place a heavy object, such as a large book, on top, and leave it to set overnight. In the morning, remove all, and fluff the carpet fibers.
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