Carpet or tile floor?
Carpet or hardwood floor?
What is at the core of this dilemma?
Well, it is the cleaning and maintenance issue that usually lurks behind the reason for the two camps splitting opinions on which type of flooring is easier to maintain. Would you agree?
Carpets and Rugs - What is what?
We can’t deny that carpets and rugs make a home feel cosy and inviting. There is nothing more satisfying than getting comfortable on the floor with a book next to the fireplace on a winter Sunday afternoon. That is if you are sitting on a fluffy rug or a soft carpet, of course. The joy, however, is slashed in half if you are fretting every two minutes about knocking your glass of red wine, perched next to you, no?
So, for this post, we team up with Dmitri (a professional at Fantastic Cleaners (London) and passionate curator at “Home & Love”), to put all carpet and rug converts at ease by sharing some helpful tips on eliminating the most common stains, perceived as hard-to-remove, as well as debunk several widespread myths about cleaning both carpets or rugs.
Cleaning Hacks to Get rid of Stubborn Stains
Spills are a common affair, especially if you have kids or you host one too many parties. Without the shadow of a doubt, spills on carpets or rugs most definitely result in stains. This is the most dreaded mishap that puts people off from getting a carpet in the first place. But even the most difficult-to-remove marks and smudges can be neutralised with patience and know-how.
Thus, check out the tips below before assuming that your carpet has been forever ruined.
#1 How to remove soot stains:
It is simply impossible to weigh out between the numerous well-wishing ideas on the Internet on how to remove charcoal marks from your carpet. From using the queen of the DIY cleaning lobby on the world wide web – the good old vinegar, to blotting out the black carbon stain with hairspray. While there are many DIY cleaning recipes that do help with handling other chores – all of the before-mentioned are likely to cause more damage to your textile floor covering than good. After all, if people are asking for tips on how to remove hairspray from carpets, it makes sense not to use the product to clean stains, right?
- The best hack for successfully eliminating a dry contaminant from fabric is to keep it dry.
- The capillary effect of any liquid used just makes things worse. It’s simple as that.
- Sprinkle some baking soda over the soot mark and leave it for a while to absorb the stain. Vacuum the area with a soft attachment. Avoid rubbing!
- Then, very gently moisten a cloth with a suitable dry cleaning product and blot out the stain.
- Repeat this procedure until the complete removal of the stain and let it dry naturally.
Extra tip: Why not consider placing a dark-coloured, inexpensive mat in front of the fireplace to avoid the risk of getting soot marks on your carpet?
#2 How to handle blood stains:
Blood, as a carpet contaminant, is an organic type of soiling that can vary in its pH (ranging from below 5 to 7.5). Hence, the same cleaning method may reap different results when applied for different blood stain carpet mishaps.
As a general rule of thumb, you need to use a water-based cleaning solution that is more alkaline than the blood stain. Another handy cleaning tip is to never involve heat in the process, such as blotting out the stain with hot water. Blood contains albumin – a type of protein, which if heated, will only set further into the fabric fibre, making the stain harder to remove. We all know what happens to the white of the egg when boiled, don’t we?
That is why the safest way to clean fresh blood spots on your rug or carpeting is to use cold water and cloths. Blout out the stains as many times as necessary, always with a fresh clean cotton cloth. You can add a little salt, a mild dishwashing liquid or ammonia in the water to create an alkaline cleaning solution. And remember, always rinse the area with fresh clean water afterwards to remove any residues.
Extra tip: When blotting the blood stain out, work inwards to avoid making the stain bigger by accident.
#3 How to clean red wine stains:
Red wine stains on a new beige carpet will give nightmares to any proud carpet owner.
- But keep your cool and swab immediately the liquid with a cloth or paper towel.
- Then, mix some baking soda with little water to make a paste and apply over the wine stain. Leave to dry and vacuum the access.
- Then, your best bet is to use a suitable alkaline carpet stain removal product that will not compromise your carpet’s warranty.
- Also, it is wise if you refer to the manufacturer’s literature for the type of cleaning products you should not use on your carpet, based on the material, which is made from.
Extra tip: Sprinkle salt on the red wine spill to absorb the liquid. Leave overnight to dry and deal with the stain properly on the following day. This tip is especially applicable if the incident happens during a lively party in the small hours of the night.
#4 How to handle mud marks:
Mud marks are a common carpet calamity not to mention that mud could carry spores for many types of mold within your home. It is way too easy for your cat or dog, young child or absent-minded teеnager to accidentally track in mud on your precious rug A proven cleaning hack for mud smears is to let them dry, first. Then, scrape the dry powdery soil with a brush and vacuum thoroughly the area to remove any mud particles embedded into the carpet fibre. Finish off the cleaning procedure by applying a light detergent solution on the stain. Rinse several times with clean water and let the wet spot air-dry. If by any chance, there are any unpleasant odors left, try a neutralizer and get rid of the smell.
Extra tip: Skip the step of scraping the dry matter with a brush and just vacuum if the mud is mixed with gravel. This way, you will avoid the risk of damaging the carpet fibre. Mud admixed with tiny stones has abrasive properties and if brushed, it can ruin the carpet pile.
#5 How to clean up chewing gum:
We have all done it – sit on a park bench and get an unpleasant sticky surprise. Yes, there’s nothing more disheartening than experiencing the chewing gum “disaster”, stuck on your favourite pair of jeans while on a date. But when you discover the gooey substance, glued to your expensive carpet or rug at home, the “who’s done it”, the “how to clean it” and the “oh, my carpet is ruined” suddenly get mixed in equal parts to form the nightmarish dish of the day.
Well, stay calm and follow this trick to save the day. Get a pack filled with ice cubes and freeze the gum with it. Then, scrape it gently with a butter knife or a spoon. Apply a suitable dry cleaning solution on the spot and blot it dry with a towel.
Extra tip: If the gummy accident happens on your shag pile carpet, release the sticky blob with some paper towel dipped in olive oil. Oils neutralise the stickiness of the gum, making it easier to remove from the rug fringe, carpet tassels or deep pile. Clean the oil with a mild detergent solution and blot dry.
#6 How to cleanup stains from candle wax
There is nothing quite like a romantic atmosphere full of candles but truth is wax stains can be a painful memory. Contrary to mud stains, with wax ones are harder to cleanup when dry. The best way to heat and remove is by using your iron.
- Place a few layers of paper on top the stain and gently iron it.
- Once warm enough, use a spoon, knife or anything else that will work for scraping.
- Once done, repeat the ironing with a piece of paper towel and wash the fabric.
* Note: Always use white paper towel! If coloured, heat might cause further damage and add an extra stain on top what you already have to deal with.
#7 DYK? – You can clean your carpet with shaving cream!
Many are caught by surprise with this tip, but shaving cream can do wonders!
- Apply it to the stain;
- Let it soak in for 30 minutes;
- Use a clean sponge and gently blot it away;
- Treat it with a mixture of vinegar and water;
- Blot it with a dry cloth.
To stain is without the shadow of a doubt easy, but to remove one is often way more difficult. If your stain is still there and you tried each and every DIY tip, then you should consider a professional solution. Not all carpet stains will surrender to DIY.