VACUUM – VACUUM – VACUUMM
Vacuum your carpet regularly. The very best thing you can do to maintain the health and look of your carpet is to vacuum it on a regular basis.
Do not use liquid carpet shampoo to clean clean your carpets.
Have you ever washed your hair and not managed to rinse out all of the shampoo? Your hair feels greasy and oily and it becomes dirty very quickly. The same thing happens to your carpet. The shampoo is made from soap and oil and cannot be completely rinsed out of the carpet, leaving a sticky residue behind that attracts and holds dirt. The residue that remains in the carpet acts like a big magnet, pulling the dirt from the bottom of your feet, your dog’s paws, and many other surfaces and holds on to it. Now you have clean shoes, dry pets and even dirtier carpets.
To get out old shampoo, rent a shampoo machine that cleans with water. Mix 1 cup vinegar per 2 ½ gallons of water and clean according to directions and repeat as needed with warm water only. The vinegar should pull out the old shampoo and clean the carpet as well. The hot water reactivates the shampoo already in the carpet, providing the needed cleansing action.
DO NOT OVER-WET THE CARPET.
Over-wetting the carpet can lead to molds and mildew, as well as possibly harming baseboards and sub-floors. Always try to have fans blowing on the carpet to help dry it quickly.
Remove any solids in the stain. Blot excess liquid immediately. Always use a white towel to avoid dye transfer from the towel to the carpet.
Never rub a stain, just blot. Rubbing breaks down the fibres and spreads the stain.
Club soda generally removes most of a red wine stain.
To remove red dye stains such as drink mixes, Popsicles, dog and cat food, use a 30/70 solution of peroxide to water. Remember, peroxide is bleach, so test an inconspicuous spot first for color-fastness. Apply the mixture, wait 30 minutes, then remove as much moisture as possible and rinse with a 70/30 vinegar-to-water solution. If the stain remains, add a bit more peroxide to the mixture and retreat.
If your pet has had an accident and the stain and smell refuse all attempts at removal, try an enzyme product. Pour on enough to saturate down to the underlay and treat an area twice as large as the stain. (The underlay is a big sponge. When urine hits the underlay, it usuallyspreads twice as far as the stain on the carpet). Let it set a couple of hours. You’ll find enzyme products at pet stores, RV or marine stores. They are used in the holding tanks to dissolve solid material.
If that doesn’t remove all the stain or odour, baking soda and peroxide still remain your best hope. Mix a 30/70 solution of peroxide to water, adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of mixture. Yes, it bubbles and fizzles, but not before removing the stain and smell. Remember, always test a spot first for colour-fastness. Peroxide is bleach and may discolour the carpet. Blot up what you can with an old towel and rinse well with 1/3 cup vinegar per quart of water.
If you see red spots on your carpet where your pet threw up, switch to a neutral-coloured pet food. The red dye in pet food is the culprit behind those spots. Dogs and cats are colorblind, so they can’t tell the difference. Again, use the 30/70 peroxide and water combination for removal.
A few points to remember
- Don’t use vinegar on cotton
- Don’t use alcohol on acrylics
- Don’t use enzymes on wool or silk
- Never use heat or hot water, as that could set colours
- Always work the spot from the edges to the middle