There are many tips and tricks to cleaning and maintaining your carpet. It is always best to vacuum regularly and clean up spills as soon as possible. In addition to regular maintenance, you should steam clean or hot water extract your synthetic fiber carpets like nylon, polyester or olefin at least once a year. Natural fibers like wool, sisal or sea grass should be professionally cleaned as needed. Here are some tips on what to do in the event of a spill.
- Blot up as much of the spill as possible with a white cloth or white paper towel. Gently press the clean cloth/towel into the stained area to remove moisture. Blot the spot, don't rashly rub or scrub. Scrubbing can damage the fiber and set the stain into the carpet. For semi-solid spills scoop or scrape up as much of the spill as possible using a spoon.
- Apply warm, not hot, water to the stained area and blot until the stain stops transferring to the cloth. If you can still see the stain, make a Detergent Solution by adding 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid (Dawn Original Blue works great) to one cup warm water. Don't use too much soap because it's difficult to rinse out of the carpet. Apply it to a cloth first. Then work it in from the outside of the stain to the center, so you don't spread the spot. The procedure is to apply the cleaner, blot, rinse, blot, and repeat until you can't get out any more of the stain. Always extract detergents completely. Do not scrub the area or you may damage the carpet and set the stain in more permanently. For larger spills, place layers of white paper towels on the spill to absorb the liquid. Weigh down the towels with a non-staining glass or ceramic object. You can let them sit overnight. This will help wick spills up to the surface that have penetrated deep into the pile. Then you may need to repeat the process.
· When the carpet is dry, vacuum to help restore the texture.
One of the most useful tools for removing carpet stains is a shop-vac. With a wet/dry vacuum cleaner you can quickly suck up spills, but more importantly, you can repeatedly flush the area with water and suck it out. This is much more efficient than blotting with a cloth and less likely to cause damage to the carpet.
You can also find stain removal guides on the carpet manufacturer’s website. This will give you a guide of what to use to remove a particular stain on a specific fiber (i.e. nylon, polyester, wool, etc.). There you will find some surprising tricks for removing stains.