We all do it! Spill our coffee or tea, wine or beer. Maybe the dog or cat decides to use your carpet as a litter tray. Whatever the spill or accident there is a way of minimising the damage.
It’s always a good idea to keep some sort of stain removal product that is safe to use on carpets. You can purchase these at your local supermarket or DIY store, but often they are quite harsh and can cause bleach marks. Nine times out of ten we go to the cupboard and there is a stain remover staring us right in the eyes. So here’s what you can do …….
Emergency Carpet Spill Treatment
Treating a red wine spill with white wine will put more wine in your carpet so blot first and then spray some white wine or 50% white vinegar & 50% warm water. Blot and finish off with a mild detergent solution (see below). Blot some more and then neutralise with warm water. Dry ASAP.
So lets say you spill a large glass of red wine on your cream carpet. Don’t panic! Go get some towels, preferably old. Double up the towel and lay it over the spill. Stand on it and blot up as much as possible. Try and find a spray bottle. Clean it out and fill with warm water. Spray the stain and blot up. Keep doing this until you can do no more. If you have a stain remover then now is the time to use it. Follow the instructions. Finally dry the area with a hair dryer but be careful not to burn it. Use a medium heat and do not put the dryer too close. If there is trace of the stain then call a professional carpet cleaner to finish off with professional stain remover and carpet cleaning to blend the entire carpet. Do this for most types of spills like tea, coffee, wine, beer, fizzy drinks, kids drinks, urine, blood, water based paints. As long as water mixes with the spill then this procedure is safe and effective.
Mild Detergent Solution
If you struggle with the spill then use a carpet cleaning solution or make a mild detergent solution with 1 teaspoon detergent for washing woollens with half a pint of warm water. 1 teaspoon of white vinegar can also be added to the solution. Apply to a clean towel and lay on the stain. Stand on the towel and repeat. Finally spray on clean warm water and blot up. Dry the area.
If you have spilled something on your carpet and it has been left to dry then call a professional. There is no guarantee that a stain can be removed. It really depends on the composition of the carpet and the type of liquid spilled.
Washing Machine Powder
Biological washing machine powder is low foaming and contains enzymes for effective stain removal. Make it up with hot water and mix well. Approximately 1 litre hot water with 2 tablespoons of washing powder. Put it in a spray bottle. Spray on the spill or stain and allow to work. Great for organic stains including vomit and faeces. If you need to treat blood then make the mixture with hot water and allow to cool before you spray. Try to rinse as much as possible with plain water in a carpet cleaning machine or by hand with spray and towels.
Solid Fats, Oil, Tar, Chewing Gum, Ink, Shoe Polish
Use a dry cleaning solution or surgical spirit (available from most chemists). Scrape up the worst with a blunt knife. Apply the dry cleaning solution to a towel and blot up. Repeat as necessary. Finish with a mild detergent solution and blot. Seek professional advice.
Do’s and Don’t’s
- Don’t leave a spill to dry without trying to blot it up and water it down
- Don’t use water if the stain is oil based (example oil based paint)
- Don’t try to scrub a stain with soapy water as it will spread the stain
- Don’t use washing up liquid, harsh washing powder, bleach, harsh detergents
- Do use towels to blot up the stain with the use of water to dilute the stain
- Don’t over wet the carpet as it can draw dirt from beneath and stain
- Don’t leave the area to dry naturally as the backing of the carpet might bleed through
- Do use your carpet cleaner (if you have one) after treating the spill
- Do seek advice if the stain cannot be removed and employ a carpet cleaner
- Don’t scrub a stain. Always use the blotting method with absorbent cloth or kitchen roll