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Cleaning Stains From Carpet Without Marking
[Updated 1 June 2020]Carpet stains and how to remove them with a handheld steamer is informative if not witty subject for today and for a very good reason – I’ve had to have a bit of a clear up and cleaning stains from the carpet without either marking them or rubbing the pile off is an art form.
Do you clean up before your mom arrives? I mean even if she only lives a few minutes away and you’re in and out of each other place a lot, do you still pick up and put away before she gets there?
I can’t help it and it hasn’t changed with age either, I reckon when she’s 90 and I’m 70 there will still be a walking stick powered cleaning frenzy if mom’s calling by – not that I always get any notice!
It may have been the way the sun is so sharp in this bitterly cold air, or maybe I just saw them today when she rang to say she was popping over, but the brother has we got some ugly rug marks!
We’ve got carpets and rugs everywhere over the wood flooring to stop the greyhound slipping, and over the festive season, there have appeared several unsightly and vaguely sticky stains, from what I’ve no idea but can nevertheless guess – and it isn’t what you might think!
Most Carpet Stains Are Built Up Sticky Grime
Often it isn’t actually a stain but a patch of grime which has built up on top of a stain, so something sweet or maybe sticky drips on the rug and the dog, kids and man (usually in boots), transfer the dust and grime on their feet to a very receptively sticky patch.
The muck and dust build-up and begins to darken – suddenly you’ve got what you think is a bad stain and you have no idea where it came from or what it might be, both of which are helpful to know when contemplating cleaning it. These stains are perfect for my handheld steam cleaner and are lifted and shifted in minutes.
With carpet stains ideally you should know what the carpet is made of as well, is it acrylic, a wool mix or mainly wool, they need to be treated differently if you are using a stain remover, but not so much an issue if you use a steam cleaner.
Clean Upholstery The Same Way
Use the same method outlined above with any unsightly stains on upholstered chairs, suites, mattresses, drapes, and cushions.
Test first on the underside as soft furnishing fabrics are far more delicate than a carpet. But once tested – and I’ve never had a problem yet – then go ahead and begin gently steaming and blotting, repeating until the mark has gone.
You’ll find a quick all over steam will bring out any stale pet odors and that persistent whiff of garlic from pizza two nights ago!
Removing Coffee Stains From Carpet
Stains like wine or coffee should be blotted up as soon as they happen then sponged with water to dilute what remains, then blot again thoroughly before steaming to get any remaining marks out – if you can prevent a stain drying into a carpet you treble your chances of getting it out again.
The overall method with any steamer is the same and very simple. Have a towel handy and personally I wear rubber gloves to be safe from scalds – paranoia with good reason!
Apply a good burst of steam then leave a moment or two and repeat, do this two or three times then firmly blot the stain – I’ve been known to stand on the blotting material, on one leg, and on tiptoe to get the maximum leverage!
Repeat several times and the majority of stains, sometimes even very old ingrained ones will put their hands up and melt away. You might find after a couple of days it almost seems to reappear – just go at it again with a steam cleaner and eventually the last of any sticky residue which keeps picking up dirt, will be gone.
If you’ve got a really stubborn stain, you can apply a weak solution of carpet cleaner, allow to dry for an hour then steam again – it’s never failed for me even with oil. Always do a patch test if using any detergents – you never know until you try, what the carpet will do. That’s one reason where possible sticking with steam and working away at it is a much safer option.
These really are a fast and inexpensive way to clean and sanitize the whole house and can be filled and good to go in under five minutes. The one thing I use mine for almost every day is the dog’s bed, a few good puffs of steam and a little time to air and any doggie whiffs are gone – no kidding, it just doesn’t smell of anything. Don’t forget to checkout this post on handheld steam cleaners if you want to read reviews or find out more.