When I had a new carpet installed in my house, I decided to look up methods of removing stains from carpets because I had a young child and two dogs at home. As most parents know, there is always an accident waiting to happen when you have kids. When you add dogs to the mix, there is just no way to avoid all spills and mishaps. I figured it would be a good idea to have a few tricks up my sleeve, just in case something got spilled on my beautiful new carpet. Luckily, no major stain catastrophes happened, but if they had, I was ready for them. While researching ways of removing stains from carpets, I discovered some pretty interesting stain removal tricks.
1. Coffee and Tea Stains
When I set my cup on the coffee table, I sometimes worry that my dog's big tail will swish past it and knock the cup on the floor, especially when he's excited and running around the house. This is just one of the many reasons I wanted to research methods of removing stains from carpets. Believe it or not, but coffee and tea stains can often be removed with beer. You just need to dribble a little bit of beer over the stain and let it set for a minute or so. Then use a dry paper towel to blot up the liquid. If the entire stain is not lifted, repeat the process, as needed.
2. Ink Stains
With light-colored carpet, no one wants to find an ink stain left by a leaky pen that fell on the floor. Since my daughter always enjoyed sitting on the floor to play and color, I was particularly interested in this trick for removing ink stains from rugs. Using lemon juice and cream of tartar, make a paste and dab it on the stain. Let it sit for five to ten minutes, then blot it off with a damp sponge or cloth.
3. Fruit Juice and Red Wine Stains
Some people swear by this stain removal trick, but I have yet to try it. Squirt a little bit of shaving cream in your hand, then spread just enough of it on the stain to completely cover it. Let it sit for about two minutes, then use a sponge that is dampened in club soda or water to clean it off. If the entire stain is not removed, repeat as needed. This trick is supposed to work for both red wine stains and spots left by red juice or punch.
4. Bubble Gum
Most parents have had to deal with their kids' gum stuck to the carpet at least once. In the past, I always heard that using ice to freeze the gum allows it to be chipped off the rug. Well, I have since learned another trick for removing gum, if ice doesn't work for you. Analgesic heat rubs, like Bengay, have a chemical in them that is supposed to lift gum out of carpet fibers. Simply rub some Bengay on the gum spot, then warm it up with a blow dryer. Press a plastic sandwich bag on the spot and the gum should pull away from the carpet.
5. Blood Stains
Blood can be one of the most difficult stains to remove from carpets and fabric. If you have an ugly blood stain on your rug, try this trick to remove it. Mix equal parts cold water and meat tenderizer. Dab the mixture on the stain and let it sit for a half-hour. Finally, use a water-dampened sponge or cloth to blot it off the carpet. Some people say this trick works amazingly well, so it's definitely worth a try!
6. Urine Stains and Odors
For pet owners, this is a good trick to have in your back pocket if your pet has an accident on the carpet. It is supposed to remove both urine stains and odors. Mix together three tablespoons of white vinegar, a healthy squirt of liquid dish soap and a quart of warm water. Dip a sponge or rag into the mixture and dab it on the urine spot. After a few minutes, blot it dry with a clean cloth. There is no need to rinse.
7. Grease Stains
Ugly grease stains can ruin a light-colored rug. If you are in this predicament, try using a bar of Lava soap to remove it. Just rub the wet bar of soap over the grease spot, then rinse it well with a damp sponge. If you do not get all of the soap off your rug, you will notice that the spot looks lighter than the rest of the rug when it dries. If this happens, rinse it again.
Of course, if you have an exotic Oriental rug or expensive carpet, you should read the manufacturer's directions before you attempt any stain removal trick. Either that, or try it on an inconspicuous spot, first. What stain removal trick have you tried and did it work?