Carpet Cleaning Tips

Carpeting is a great investment that can enhance your décor like nothing else. Keeping it looking new doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task—with periodic professional cleaning and careful attention to stains and spills, it can look like the day it was installed. Here are some handy tips for cleaning carpets:


carpet cleaning

Stain Removal Techniques

No carpet is stain-proof. But by following these stain removal techniques for the type of spill and carpet fiber you’re treating, any synthetic yarn (such as nylon and polyester) can resist stains remarkably. None of these techniques are guaranteed to work in all cases.

The following definitions apply to the procedures that follow:

carpet cleaning

Techniques and Definitions

Apply

Apply all liquids to a clean white (not printed) paper towel and use to dampen carpet. Never wet a carpet through to the backing.

Blot

Press straight down with a pad of clean white paper towels—never rub. Rubbing alters carpet texture. Then in a final blotting, leave 1/2″ of paper towels on the spot overnight with a weight.

Detergent

Mix 1/4 teaspoon clear, see-through hand dish-washing detergent with 1 cup warm—not hot—water.

Dry Cleaning Fluid

Liquid, non-oily, non-caustic type sold for spot removal from garments (Carbona #10, Energine, etc.). Caution, may be flammable.

Hydrogen Peroxide/Ammonia

Mix 1/2 cup (3% solution available in drug stores) with 1 teaspoon undiluted, unscented, clear (not sudsy) household ammonia. Use within 2 hours of mixing.

Scrape

Gently scoop or scrape with the blunt edge of a spoon from the outside of the spill toward the center.

Weight

A weighted 1/2″ pad of white paper towels, left overnight, will absorb the last traces of liquid and foreign materials.

Stain Chart

Consult the chart below to find the best procedure for stain removal. Match the corresponding letter with the Procedure Description that follows.

Stain Procedure Stain Procedure
Beer B Kool Aid. M
Berries M Lemonade M
Blood M Lipstick Q-A
Butter A Makeup A-B
Candle Wax O-A Mayonnaise B
Candy (Sugar) B Mercurochrome M
Catsup M Methiolate M
Chewing Gum G-A Milk B
Chocolate B Mixed Drinks (Liqueurs) M
Chalk P Mud (Allow to dry) P-B
Coffee M Mustard (Allow to dry) M
Cooking Oil A-B Nail Polish L
Crayon A-B Paint – Laytex B
Dirt or Clay P-B Paint – Oil A
Dyes (Blue, Black, etc.) M Pet Food M
Excrement B Shoe Polish A-M
Fruit Juice/Drinks M Soft Drinks M
Furniture Polish M Tar A
Grease – Food A-B Tea M
Grease – Auto A Urine D-M
Glue – White B Vomit B-M
Glue – Hobby A-L Wine B-M
Ice Cream B
Ink – Ball Point Pen A
Ink – India, Marking Pen A-M
Stain Removal Procedures

Match the stain above with the stain removal procedure described below.

Procedure Method
of Cleaning
Procedure A: Apply dry cleaning fluid, use dry towel or cloth. Blot—don’t
rub. Repeat dry cleaning fluid application as above. Blot—don’t
rub. Finish with weighted pad of towels.
Procedure B: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Apply detergent (see
cleaning solutions above), use damp towel. Blot—don’t
rub. Apply water—with damp towel. Blot—finish
with weighted pad of towels.
Procedure D: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Apply detergent (see
cleaning solutions above), use damp towel. Blot—don’t
rub. Apply ammonia (see cleaning solutions above), use
damp towel. Blot—don’t rub. Apply water—with
damp towel. Blot—finish with weighted pad of towels.
Apply white vinegar (undiluted), only after stain is removed.
Procedure G: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Freeze with ice cubes. Shatter with blunt object such as the back of a spoon.
Vacuum chips away before they melt.
Procedure L: Apply nail polish remover (non-oily acetone type)—use
cotton towel to apply to the spill. Don’t wet through
to carpet backing. Pick up softened material—use
clean white paper towel and push toward center of the
spot to avoid spreading material. Repeat above—soften
and carefully remove a layer of the material each time.
Haste may spread the stain and/or damage the carpet.
Procedure M: Apply detergent solution (see cleaning solutions above),
use damp towel, and leave 3-5 minutes. Blot—don’t
rub. If stain is removed, finish with a water rinse, blot,
followed with a pad of weighted paper towels. If stain
is not removed, continue as follows. Apply hydrogen peroxide
solution (see cleaning solutions above), let stand 2 to
3 hours under a weighted sheet of plastic wrap. Repeat
application of hydrogen peroxide and dry under weighted
plastic wrap until removal is complete. Apply water with
damp towel. Blot—finish with weighted pad of paper
towels. Apply white vinegar (undiluted), only after stain
is removed.
Procedure O: Scrape off excess material. Cover with white cotton
towel or brown paper. Apply warm iron until material is
absorbed. Be sure towel is large enough to cover the stained
area. Take care never to touch the iron to the carpet
as the fiber may melt. Change towel or rotate to clean
area and repeat until all material is absorbed.
Procedure P: Vacuum away as much as possible. Loosen remaining material
by tapping with a scrub brush or toothbrush. Tap with
brush, do not scrub. Vacuum again. Follow with Procedure
B.
Procedure Q: Scrape off excess material. Lightly rub area with a
fresh slice of white bread. Complete removal with Procedure
A.