If you have carpeting you deal with spots: food spills, dirty feet, pet accidents, etc. It is a fact of life. How do you handle spots? There are plenty of guides both technical and otherwise about spot identification and removal. But, is there more to spot cleaning like a pro? Yes. This article will deal with aspects that do not get talked about that much.
Spots on your carpets can be likened to minor injuries (cuts, bruises, scrapes, etc.) to your body. They can happen without warning, need to be handled properly, and if left, can cause bigger problems. You are no doubt a pro and handling these things on yourself and your children. One of the kids comes in with a skinned knee and *WHOOSH*, you are right to the medicine cabinet and return with bandages, ointments, pain relievers, etc. When something happens to our carpets, though, often we are stunned a bit, not knowing what to do. We reach for whatever cleaner(s) is handy, whether it is the right one or not, and begin pouring and scrubbing; we grab another random cleaner and begin squirting and rubbing until frustration takes over and we give up. Often when we are called in literally everything under the kitchen sink has been used. So…, let’s prepare and do this right.
1. BE PREPARED!
We all invest money in cold/flu medicine, pain relievers, bandages, ointments and many other products that we think we may need. Do the same with your carpet. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ cleaner out there. Some are good cleaners, some good deodorizers. some good spot removers. Have a variety on hand and learn how to use them. Every product will advise you to test it on your fabrics to see if it is colorfast. This is not a process that can be done properly in the heat of the moment, for instance when someone spills red wine on your light carpet. Get the cleaners and test them out long before you have to use them. Make sure they are in an easily accessible spot. If you have home carpet cleaning machines, keep them in good running order and ready to be used. Why? Because you have to…
2. GET TO IT QUICK!
The faster you get to a cut or scrape, the better it will heal. In the same way get to spots right away. Every minute counts. Usually once dry the damage is done. When wet, many things can be removed with relative ease. So don’t wait, but…
3. TAKE YOUR TIME!
When treating a cut or scrape you don’t rush so as not to hurt the person or make the injury worse. That is smart thinking! So, don’t rush when spotting your carpet. It takes time to remove things properly. Be patient and BLOT don’t scrub. Use your body weight; you can be down on your knees or put the towel down and step on it using your body weight. Repeat this over and over again until the spot is gone or not changing anymore. It takes a moment to make a spot, but a lot longer to remove it, perhaps 10-20 minutes. Carpet cleaning takes time. We cannot overemphasize this. Not only will scrubbing push the spot deeper, but it can also permanently change the look and feel of the carpet. Nothing worse that getting the spot out but still having a constant reminder of it because the carpet was damaged.
4. HAVE AT LEAST A ROUGH IDEA OF WHAT WORKS!
We know that Advil works differently that Tylenol. Neosporin works differently that Hydrogen Peroxide. A fever is different than a headache, a bruise that a cut..Spot cleaning can is similar. Different products work differently on different carpets. Experiment and have a variety on hand. Also recognize that different carpets react differently to the same cleaner. If you have rugs made of wool or cotton, carpets made of nylon, a room of olefin berber, they will all clean differently and may need special cleaners. Be ready.
Hopefully these tips will help you out the next time you have the relatives over or have a dinner party, No need to stress; YOU WILL BE READY!