Cleaning Tips

Carpets can be one of the longest lasting investments that we make for our home, provided that it is well maintained and cared for. Dirt and soil are everywhere are and it's inevitable that it will get into your carpet. How you deal with this dirt and soil is what will determine how long the carpet will last.

Even though today's carpets are designed to hide soil and even repel it, they still need regular vacuuming to prevent dirt and soil from getting deep into the carpet pile. It is also recommended that you get your carpets, rugs, and upholstery professionally cleaned once every year.

In addition to regular cleaning, here are some tips for handling stains:

Spot/Stain Removal

The key to dealing with stains effectively is to attend to them as promptly as possible. After reading the suggestions below, it might be a good idea to compose an "emergency stain removal kit" that contains all the cleaning materials needed to handle any stain.

Step 1 - Remove any solid objects
Remove anything all solid portions of the spill using a spoon. Be careful not to rub the liquid portion of the stain further into the carpet.

Step 2 - Apply a small quantity of detergent solution to the spot.
Use a blotting motion to work the detergent into the affected area. If spot is being removed continue applying detergent and blotting with a white paper towel until spot is removed. Rinse with tap water using a spray bottle, blot to remove excess moisture, spray lightly with water, do not blot this time; apply pad of paper towels and brick and allow to dry. If there is still some stain on the carpet and blotting is not removing it, then moisten the tufts in the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let stand for one (1) hour. Blot and repeat until carpet is stain free. Light will cause peroxide to change back to water so no rinsing is necessary. Apply pad of paper towels and weight down with brick.

If water and hydrogen peroxide don't work. Try any of the following:
Blood, catsup, cheese, chocolate, cough syrup, mixed drinks, soft drinks, soy sauce, starch, toothpaste, water color and white glue.
Blot with white paper towel to remove as much of the stain as possible then neutralize with an ammonia solution. Saturate spot using spray bottle. Do not wet backing. Blot with a white paper towel to remove excess moisture. After neutralizing begin with step 3 of general procedure. All solutions for removing blood must be cool.

Nail Polish.
Remove as much of the nail polish as possible using a spoon or dull knife. Apply a non oily nail polish remover to a clean white cloth and gently rub (in only one direction at a time) or blot the spot. Continue until spot is removed. Do not allow nail polish remover to get to the latex backing. Go to step 3 to remove nail polish remover.

Beer, coffee, perfume, tea and wine.
Blot with a white paper towel to remove as much of the stain as possible then neutralize with the white vinegar solution. Saturate spot, using a spray bottle and blot to remove excess moisture. After neutralizing go to step 3 of general procedure.

Allow mud to dry completely. Shatter the dried mud with the handle of a knife and vacuum. Go to step 3 of general procedure.

Candle wax or other types of wax.
Spread brown paper (such as grocery bag) or a terry cloth towel over the area and iron with the setting on "warm." The wax will be absorbed into the paper or towel. Remove any traces with alcohol or dry cleaning fluid.

Chewing gum.
Freeze the gum using an ice cube. Shatter the frozen gum with a knife handle and vacuum. Some citrus based products such as De-Solv-It* by Orange-Sol have been demonstrated to break down the sticki - ness of gum so that it can be removed.
*De-Solv-It is a registered tredemark of Orange-Sol

Saturate spot with lemon juice, using a spray bottle, and allow to remain for 5 minutes. Go to step 3 of general procedure to remove lemon juice. If this does not work, and it may not, call a professional. Most rust removers contain a very strong acid and are, therefore, not recommended for use by homeowners.

Egg, excrement, urine and vomit.
Remove as much of the stain as possible by using a spoon or dull knife. Blot up as much of the stain as possible, then neutralize by spraying the affected area with the ammonia solution. Care should be taken to remove all protein matter. Blot to remove excess moisture and go to step 3 of general procedure.

Soot, graphite, copier material.
Vacuum using crevice tool of vacuum cleaner to remove the soot. If all, or most, of the soot has not been removed, call a professional cleaner. If vacuum- ing has removed all particles go to step 1 of gen- eral procedure to remove any traces.

Stains That Can't Be Removed
Acid toilet bowl cleaners, acne medication, alkaline drain cleaners, chlorinated bleaches, hair dyes, iodine, insecticides, mustard with tumeric, plant fer- tilizers and stains of this nature cannot be removed as they have permanently altered the carpet's color. Call a professional. Most likely the only solution is to insert carpet from a closet, or some other area into the area where the spot was cut out.

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