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The holidays are looking a little more normal this year. We can’t wait to gather with friends and family. Of course, we want every detail to be perfect for guests–from holiday decor to fresh, clean floors. But hosting also means more dirt, food and wine stains to manage. So there’s often even more cleaning to do after the parties are over. We’ve got some tips for addressing some of the worst offenders on your own (pro tip: baking soda isn’t just for holiday cookies). These DIY tricks are helpful on the fly. But keep in mind that a professional carpet cleaning is always an excellent choice when you want things spotless–even for a few days.
A word of caution when trying to remove stains on your own: more is not always better. If you use too much soap or cleaning product, it is hard to thoroughly rinse it off and can act as a sticky magnet, attracting more dirt.
How Can I Remove Pet Stains From My Carpet?
- Pet urine is one of the worst stains to tackle. And of course, it isn’t the appearance as much as the smell. What we’ve found works best for DIY is combining vinegar and baking soda. The acid in the vinegar neutralizes the odor-causing bacteria in the urine, while the baking soda helps lift the urine out of the carpet. Try to catch the stain while it’s still wet, so it doesn’t seep into the fibers. First, put a towel on the damp spot and push it into the carpet to absorb the urine. Then mix a solution of one part vinegar to one part water with a few spoonfuls of baking soda and spray the mixture on the stain. Leave for 10 minutes, then blot (don’t rub) gently with a clean cloth.
- Pet vomit is a different problem since it involves some solids. Our strategy for this challenge comes from the folks at Good Housekeeping:
Use a spoon, dustpan, or dry paper towel to remove solid pieces. Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch to absorb the liquid. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and vacuum. Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap into 2 cups of warm water. Apply this mixture with a clean white cloth and blot to lift it away. Then sponge with clean water to remove all of the detergent mixture.
How Can I Remove Mud Stains From My Carpet?
Unlike pet stains, where time is of the essence, mud on the carpet takes a little patience. Dirt is easier to clean when it’s dry. If you tackle it when wet, you’ll just grind it into the carpet fibers. Let it dry, and use a vacuum to remove as much dirt as possible. Then use a mixture of 1 cup water to 1 teaspoon mild liquid dish detergent. Use a clean cloth to apply the solution and blot to remove. Then use a fresh towel to blot dry.
How Can I Remove Red Wine Stains From My Carpet?
‘Tis the season for food and wine stains. Because red wine stains are so dark and visible, we want to focus on pulling the wine out of the carpet ASAP. The old standby– salt– remains one of the best materials for doing this–especially if you can get to the stain right away. Cover the stain thoroughly with salt, let it dry and then vacuum.
If the salt doesn’t work, try an oxy cleaner (sodium percarbonate) with water. First, blot the stain with a cloth, then apply the oxy powder and water mixture. Pour it on the stain and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, then blot until clean. Rinse with clean water and continue to blot a clean cloth. However, avoid using an oxy product or peroxide on a wool carpet as it can cause bleaching. Try the salt approach and follow up with baking soda or vinegar if needed.
How Can I Remove Gravy Stains From My Carpet?
With gravy, it’s all about getting the grease out without grinding it in. That’s why a scraping approach should come before blotting. Use a spoon to scoop up any excess gravy. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot, let it absorb the oil, and vacuum. Then spray a solution of 1 cup water to 1 teaspoon mild dish detergent and use your spoon to move it among the carpet fibers instead of rubbing. Blot with a clean cloth, rinse with water and blot again.
Is It Time For A Professional Cleaning?
Many of us operate by spot cleaning our way through the holidays. We take care of one mess at a time and keep things looking fresh. But sometimes, it’s just too much. Foot traffic, entertaining, and repeated pet stains can take a toll. There’s nothing like a professional carpet cleaning after all the guests have gone. Loudoun Carpet Care provides state-of-the-art cleaning for carpet, furniture, rugs, and ceramic tile. Our truck-mounted equipment offers ten times the cleaning power of a portable unit. Trained and certified teams conduct every cleaning.
- A choice of hot water extraction or steam cleaning.
- Wall-to-wall cleaning.
- General stain removal and pet stain and odor removal.
- Special products to sanitize and disinfect your carpets.
And sometimes, the holidays or the post-holiday period is when we realize it’s time to replace our aging carpets. If smoke, pet stains, and dirt have taken a toll over the years, Loudoun Valley Floors has a gorgeous selection of carpets for every room in the house. Think of it as a gift to yourself, one that keeps on giving.