Carpets and rugs can make any room feel warm and welcoming, but only if residents put in the work to keep them clean. As anyone with pets, kids, or messy family members can attest, that’s not always an easy task. There’s no replacing the deep cleanings offered by carpet cleaning services, but there are a few things frugal homemakers can do to keep their rugs looking their best in between professional cleanings. Find some DIY tips and tricks that will help below.
Never Rub in Spills
Cleaning up spills as soon as they happen is the best way to minimize stains, but there are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. Homemakers should never rub the carpet when cleaning up spills. It will only push the liquid further into the rug and increase the risk of permanent staining.
Instead of rubbing the stain in, blot at the carpet gently with a sponge, clean rag, or paper towel. Start from the outer edge and move inward until the liquid is absorbed.
Break Out the Shaving Cream
Catching spills early can help to minimize stains, but it won’t get rid of them. Catching them early then applying a foam shaving cream can.
Just apply the shaving cream at a thickness of about an inch to the entire area around the stain, then wait for it to set and melt into the carpet. Use a clean cloth and water to blot the area. Repeat the process as necessary until the stain is removed, then pat the area dry.
Use a Dry Iron to Remove Wax
Dealing with candle wax spilled on the carpet? The situation isn’t as dire as it might seem, even if the wax has already hardened. It can be reheated using a dry iron. Cover the area with a clean piece of fabric, then use the dry iron to melt the wax beneath it.
The wax should absorb into the piece of cloth and harden. If there is any leftover, it can be scraped off with a butter knife while it is still soft from the heat.
Try Freezing Gum
Misplaced gum is one of the most common sources of carpet staining. Residents or visitors step on it on the sidewalk, then track it inside. Getting gum out of a carpet may sound like an insurmountably difficult task, but it’s not. It just takes some ice cubes.
Place four to six ice cubes over the affected area of the carpet and press them in. Wait until the gum is frozen, then use scissors or a teaspoon to remove it from the carpet fibers. Be careful not to remove the fibers themselves, as this could leave the carpet with a bare patch.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Remove Blood Stains
Bloodstains aren’t just gruesome. They’re also difficult to remove. Getting the stain out isn’t an impossible proposition, though. It just takes some hydrogen peroxide and mild detergent.
Use a mix of water and mild soap to remove the majority of the blood, scraping off any excess with a knife. Once most of it is gone, apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain and blot it with a clean cloth.
When to Call for Professional Help
Already tried these at-home tips and tricks to no avail? It’s time to call in a professional carpet cleaner. Even people who make a point of staying on top of routine vacuuming and stain removal should have their carpets cleaned professionally at least once a year. Periodic deep cleans help to keep carpets looking their best and prevent them from developing mold.