We put a lot of thought and energy into cleaning before the holidays. But what about cleaning up after the holidays? For many of us, that’s even more important. We want our homes to look their best for holiday guests, but with all of the hustle and bustle, eating and drinking, it’s hard to keep things spotless while celebrating. What’s really wonderful is starting the new year with a fresh, clean house after the crowds have gone home. We recommend a few DIY cleaning tips for the holiday crunch--then plan for a full-on professional clean to get 2019 started right.
What’s The Best Way to Remove Stains from My Carpet?
As we move from holiday party to holiday feast, it’s no surprise that many of the most common stains at this time of year are food and drink-related. Then there’s the above-average amount of dirt and mud that gets tracked into our homes by guests. Here are some tips for quick DIY solutions to common holiday stains:
- Cleaning Gravy Stains - Gravy is just about everybody’s favorite holiday condiment, but grease on carpet is a problem. The University of Illinois extension office offers some great tips for spot cleaning gravy.
- First, use a white paper towel or dull knife to remove as much of the solid material as possible and avoid pushing down and rubbing goop further into the carpet. Then apply rubbing alcohol to a white paper towel, cloth or cotton ball and blot (don’t rub!) to remove the stain. Make sure to keep the alcohol off the carpet backing and apply to fibers only.
- If blotting with alcohol doesn’t work, the next step is to make a detergent solution using a small amount of liquid dish soap mixed with water. Apply a small amount of the solution to the spot and use a blotting motion to remove it. Use a spray bottle with tap water to rinse and remove excess water with a paper towel, again using a blotting motion.
- If you’ve tried everything else, the last trick (for synthetic carpets only) is to try three percent hydrogen peroxide solution. Lightly moisten the carpet fibers and let stand for one hour. Then remove with a blotting motion
- Cleaning Red Wine Stains - For wine stains, the University of Illinois recommends a two-step process. First, use a detergent mixture made up of one teaspoon of mild detergent combined with lukewarm water. Use this to blot the stained area and then follow up with a second solution made up of one-third cup white vinegar and two-thirds water and blot. Repeat the detergent step one more time and then sponge the stained area with fresh water.
- Cleaning Dirt and Mud Stains - For dirt and mud stains, we recommend vacuuming any dry dirt before cleaning, then using the detergent solution and vinegar process outlined above. If you have lots of visitors and guests over the holidays, don’t sweat it. Just keep vacuuming heavily trafficked areas regularly and then call in a pro for a deep cleaning.
- What About Christmas Tree Stains and Needles? - We love the look and smell of a natural Christmas tree. But they can be hard on flooring. Be sure to check your tree stand and water dish regularly to look out for spills and leaks. If you get water on your hardwood, the most important thing is to wipe it up right away. If you find white spots or rings caused by water drips, try mixing olive oil and vinegar and gently rub with a soft cloth. If you have tree water stains on your carpet, try a dish detergent and water solution--and plan for a professional cleaning after the tree is taken down. If you have pine needles in your carpet that your vacuum doesn’t catch, try a pass with duct tape and then vacuum again.
Schedule Your Twice Yearly Cleaning with Loudoun Carpet Care
Once the parties are over, the tree is down, the relatives have gone home and the kids have gone back to college and school, treat yourself to a post-holiday carpet cleaning.
Loudoun Valley Floor’s highly rated Loudoun Carpet Care is a great choice for your big clean-up. We recommend two cleanings per year to keep dirt and allergens down and keep your carpets clean. January is the perfect time to schedule a cleaning as we look to simplify and deep clean after the holidays.
Loudoun Carpet Care’s truck-mounted cleaning system is ten times as powerful as any portable system you could rent. We use environmentally friendly cleaning products and always follow manufacturer’s carpet care guidelines. We also clean and seal ceramic tile and slate surfaces and strip and polish vinyl tile after so many feet have walked on them over the holidays. And we offer top-quality upholstery cleaning so you can start the new year with the incomparable feeling of a whole-house deep clean.