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Tough Stains? Now What?

Sometimes you just can’t avoid them; the dirty dog footprints, the coffee stain, or the chocolate ice cream spot although you knew you shouldn’t have played nice and let everyone eat in the family room. But in the end it’s pretty much bound to happen; your carpet gets dirty and it needs to be cleaned. Lucky for you Barefoot Flooring has put together some tips and tricks that will make your dirty carpet experience so much easier.

But first, a quick tip. To remove a stain, simply blot the spot and try working from the outside in, rinse thoroughly with clean water, then blot again. You should never scrub the carpet since you risk ruining the fibers or letting the spill soak through to the carpet pad.

The ice cream spot (or any water soluble stain)

These types of stains should not require store-bought cleaners. Instead, all you need is to make a simple cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of non-bleach detergent (or white vinegar) mixed with 32 ounces of water.

The coffee stain (or any special water-soluble stain)

These stains also should not require any store-bought cleaners. Instead, try mixing together 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of water (on wool or wool-blend carpet use mild detergent and water instead). If the stain is still not gone, try one part chlorine bleach to five parts water, but only on solution-dyed carpets, such as polypropylene. Bleach will harm other types of carpets; check with the manufacturer if you are unsure what type of carpet you have.

Other Types of Stains

Wax and Gum

Use ice to freeze the wax or gum, then crack it with a blunt object, such as a spoon. Vacuum and then blot the carpet with a white towel.

Nail Polish

Blot the area with a rag dipped in nail polish remover.

Ongoing Maintenance

Stains or not, you should always have your carpet thoroughly cleaned every 12 to 18 months whether you use a professional carpet cleaner or use your own or rented steam cleaner. If you decide to do it yourself there are a few things you should keep in mind:

• Make sure the cleaning equipment you choose has enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry in 6 to 12 hours or you may risk damage from getting it too wet.

• Use fans or a dehumidifier to expedite drying time after cleaning. Be aware that if your carpet is wet for more than 24 hours, you risk mildew and bacteria growth.

• Choose a cleaning solution that has a pH of 10 or less, and make sure you remove all detergent after cleaning.

• Double-check your warranty. Carpets with stain resistance must be cleaned with products formulated for them or you risk impairing their effectiveness and voiding your warranty.