What NOT to Do With Holiday Carpet Stains
Keep Calm and Jingle On
When it comes to carpet spills, there are nuisances and then there are nightmares. Anything that falls into the latter category causes the involuntary hand-to-the-face reaction because you know exactly what’s just occurred. It’s not just a spill; it’s a stain. And removing it is going to be a serious struggle.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. The reason why these stains are so notorious is because most people don’t know how to properly remove them. They’ll desperately try to remove the stain and, in doing so, will actually make it worse. This is the difference between do-it-yourself stain removal and professional stain removal. While the former relies on store-bought products, the latter utilizes tools and technologies specifically designed for carpets. This is key to reliably removing stains without damaging the carpeting in the process.
It just so happens that some of the most infamous carpet-staining agents are heavily consumed during the holidays. Some of the worst offenders include:
- Red wine
- Cranberry sauce
- Tomato sauce
Basically, it’s a bunch of our favorite foods and beverages that create the worst kinds of stains. So what’s a homeowner to do? (Or in this case, not do!)
If a Spill Occurs…
- Don’t use store-bought stain removers. If those products from the hardware stores actually worked, we wouldn’t be in business! The fact of the matter is that the chemicals in these products are harsh and designed for intensity, not efficiency.Because many of these products are high in alkaline, they can strip the color right out of the carpet. So while the stain might lighten in color, so will the surrounding carpet. It will basically look like a bleach stain even though you didn’t use bleach. Additionally, many carpet cleaners are detergent-based. When you use these products, the detergent remains in the carpeting, causing dust and debris to stick to the carpeting and make the stain appear darker rather than lighter.
The problem is that even some of the most well-known and trusted brands sell products that don’t work. Carpet cleaning is not their main game and it’s reflected in the quality of the product. Here at The Carpet Chemist, carpets are the only thing we do. That’s why we were able to develop a general spot remover that cleans carpets without damaging them. But for the more brutal stains, we offer specialty stain removal that starts and ends with science. We are carpet geeks through and through and know how to remove the harshest stains in the kindest way possible. This means using techniques and products that are EPA-approved and completely safe for your pets and family!
- Avoid hitting the pantry. A common misconception is that baking soda can act as a stain remover. While baking soda is great for many things (cake, anyone?), it’s not meant to remove carpet stains. The chemical properties can damage upholstery and carpeting. The same goes for vinegar, another versatile product that solves just about anything according to the search engines. But the truth is that the acidity in vinegar can ruin the dyes in carpet fibers and upholstery.
- Don’t scrub away. It works for the dishes, so why not give the carpet a good scrub? Scrubbing the stain will do nothing but push the staining agent deeper into the carpet fibers. In trying to remove the stain, you’ll make it worse. You’ll also damage the physical makeup of the carpet, which will cause it to feel less soft. Instead of scrubbing, blot the stain with a dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Then, blot with another cloth that’s been dipped in warm water. After that, leave it be. This is when folks will resort to using those store-bought products that can cause more harm than good. After doing some damage control by blotting the stain, call us to handle the rest.
- Don’t pour heaps of water on the carpet. This is a common mistake that can cause several problems. While water might reduce the intensity of the stain, it will also expand the stain. So instead of a smaller and darker stain, you’ll have discolored carpeting across a wider area. Too much water will also soak the padding and create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Leave the Tough Stuff to the Carpet Geeks
Standard products simply aren’t enough to combat tough stains. Even worse, they can ruin the color of your carpet and create more problems. Don’t let the holiday spills put a damper on your day. Simply blot up the area of any excess liquid and then leave the rest to our carpet experts.
To learn more about our full-circle carpet solutions, including professional carpet repair, carpet cleaning and much more, call The Carpet Chemist at 800.515.1342 or contact us online today.