When Disaster Strikes

No matter how careful we are, sometimes spills will occur. A little know-how can help keep an annoyance from turning into a tragedy.

Wet spills – whatever the liquid begin to blot it up immediately. Use a clean cloth or anything absorbent, such as a disposable diaper. Blot the liquid first, THEN go after any staining.

Dry spills – if the spill is dry, loosen residue with the dull edge of a knife or spatula. Scrape and vacuum up as much of the residue as possible. Dampen a color resistant cloth with the proper cleaning agent for the type of stain. Blot the area gently to prevent the stain from spreading. Work from the outer edge of the spot toward the center. Turn the cloth frequently, so you are using a clean area. Repeat the process until the spot is completely removed or your cloth is not picking up any more of the stain. Be sure not to overwet the carpet! Rinse the spot with water and blot up any excess moisture. Rake up the carpet pile with your fingers and allow it to dry before walking on it.

Treatment of some common stains:

  • Pet urine – immediately pour a liberal amount of table salt onto the area. Let it soak up the urine and then sweep up the salt. Repeat this step until most of the urine has been removed. If there is still a stain, dampen the area with equal parts white vinegar and water. Blot dry.
  • Mustard stains – soak the stained area with a dilution of 1/2 ammonia and 1/2 water. Use a hairdryer to dry the area.
  • Red wine – use club soda to flush the wine from the carpet fibers. Blot dry.
  • Grease and oil marks – rub talcum powder, cornmeal or cornstarch gently into the stained area. Let it sit for awhile and then brush or sponge the substance away.
  • Blood stains – flush with cold water. Warm or hot water will set the stain. Blot dry.
  • Gum – Freeze the gum with ice and use the dull edge of a knife to remove it.
  • Latex paint – soak with dish detergent diluted with 20 parts of water. Agitate the area, blot, rinse and bot again.
  • Ball point ink – apply hair spray liberally to break up the stain. Rinse the area well with water. Blot dry.
  • Soft drink stain – apply a solution of one quart water with one teaspoon mild detergent and one teaspoon white vinegar. Blot dry.
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