Jensen's Stain Removal Tips
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Stain Removal Tips
Click Jensen’s Stain Removal Tips for a printable version of this page. Occasional carpet staining is to be expected. And when it happens, it’s important to understand that time is of the essence. The sooner a stain is cleaned, the easier it will be to completely remove. There are many commercial spot removal kits available in stores. Also, many manufacturers provide toll-free telephone help for stains (consult your warranty). If you do not have any commercial spot removers on-hand, substitute with a homemade solution:
- Club soda
- Nail polish remover made of Amyl Acetate (never use Amyl acetate on acetate fiber)
- 1 cup of lukewarm water and 1/4 teaspoon of mild liquid laundry detergent (non-bleach and non-lanolin such as Woolite™)
- 2 tablespoons household ammonia and 1 cup water (apply the ammonia solution before the vinegar solution)
- 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups water (apply the ammonia solution before the vinegar solution)
Read through the types of stains below to pick a cleaning solution.
Tackling Common Carpet Stains
- Bleach: Bleach stains on carpet can’t be removed, since the dye has actually been removed from the carpet. A carpet cleaner that does dyeing can spot-dye the bleached area to match the surrounding carpet.
- Blood: Blood stains on carpet will come out if you get to them quickly. Heat will set the stain, so use only cold water with a solution of a few drops of Dawn dish washing detergent. Work it into the blood stain, but be careful not to spread the stain or rub so hard that you damage the carpet fibers. Damaged fibers hold stains.
- Burns: Carefully clip off the blackened ends of the carpet fibers until no burn is visible. Then, if necessary, you can trim the tufts around the spot, shortening them slightly, so the remaining depression blends into the surrounding carpet.
- Chewing Gum: To remove chewing gum from carpet, get out your electric hair dryer. Heat the gum, being careful not to melt the carpet fibers. Use a piece of plastic wrap or a plastic bag to lift the softened gum away. Just allow it to stick to the plastic, then pull it up. Next, apply Extra Strength Ben Gay, or another muscle rub containing methyl salicylate. Use plastic again, or a rag to pull more gum out. Repeat if necessary. Once you completely remove the chewing gum, clean the area with a mild detergent solution, Rinse with warm water and let dry.
- Coffee: Heat the area with a hot, wet cloth, dab with white vinegar, rinse, blot, and repeat.
- Dye Stains: Dyes from medicines, foods, cosmetics, crayons and other household products can each react differently with different types of carpet. If the stain is permanent, it may be possible to hide it by spot-dyeing. Call a carpet cleaner that does this.
- Fingernail Polish: Apply non-acetate fingernail polish remover to a white cotton cloth and dab the area, working from the edges towards the center. Leave it for a few minutes, then blot it, rinse it, blot it, and repeat if necessary.
- Ink: Remove ink stains from carpet using rubbing alcohol. 90% isopropyl alcohol is best.
- Kool Aid: It isn’t always possible to remove Kool Aid stains from carpet. A shop-vac can suck some of it out if it is used quickly, before the spill enters the carpet fibers. For stubborn Kool Aid stains, call a professional carpet cleaner.
- Mustard: Depending on the type of mustard, it may be necessary to cut out the stain and insert an undamaged piece of carpet. Try general cleaning procedures first.
- Red Wine: Extract the remaining liquid (blot or vacuum). Apply white wine. This recreates the initial conditions, especially on old stains, making it easier to remove.
- Rust: If it is a fresh stain, try general cleaning procedures. Professionals can remove almost all rust stains, but the chemicals used are somewhat hazardous for casual use.
- Urine: Use 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish washing detergent in one cup of warm water. Spray over the stain. Extract the solution using a shop-vac, plain white paper towels, or a white cotton cloth. Rinse the area with warm water, extract, then apply the detergent solution again. Repeat as long as there is improvement.
- Wax: Scrape as much wax out of the carpet as you can, with a spoon. Then put an ice cube on the wax to freeze it. Leave it there for a minute. The wax should harden enough to break it up and get more of it out. To remove more wax put a clean brown paper bag over the spot, and place a clothes iron on it, set on low. The wax will liquefy and transfer to the paper. Apply a new paper bag as often as necessary until all of the wax is gone.