It could be children, guests, or our very own clumsiness that causes it, but one thing’s for certain: Sometimes spills are inevitable. The sad part is that those spills can happen right on a carpet or rug, which is something that every homeowner dreads from the moment they lay it down. If you’re unlucky enough for this to happen to you, don’t panic! You can still save it with some elbow grease and the right ingredients, and all without handling noxious chemicals that will probably further damage a particularly delicate fabric.
These are some of the most common substances that get spilled over carpets, and we’ve described how to get rid of them chemical-free. You have to act fast, however, as you might not have a chance to do any of these properly if you wait for even a couple of minutes. Keep this guide handy at all times to prevent a disaster!
Coffee, tea, and wine stains
We all know that spills are bound to happen, but you can’t let them sit too long on your carpet or the stain will be next to impossible to remove later. Even if you get most of it off, coffee tends to leave some yellow-brownish coloring on fabrics, which will be especially noticeable on light-colored carpets and rugs. If such a spill occurs, you’ll want to immediately use a cloth to soak up as much excess liquid as you possibly can, then spray a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar over the affected area, then wipe with a cloth. Repeat this process until the stain is gone, and whatever you do, do not let it dry. Also, remember to only dab the cloth on the spill, because rubbing it will probably cause it to spread around.
Food or pet messes
We really don’t enjoy talking about these things in the same sentence, but their composition and texture (again, we’re sorry!) have similar effects when they touch your carpet. These are stains that will be harder to remove using only water and vinegar. First of all, try to quickly but carefully pick up as much of the offending substance from the carpet without spreading it around or dropping it somewhere else, then dab on what’s left with a damp cloth. Finally, pour baking soda over the area to dry out and remove the residue while sanitizing the carpet at the same time, and vacuum it afterwards. Club soda can help you deal with urine stains if you soak a cloth or paper towel and dab it on the stained spot until it’s clean again.
This is a nightmare scenario for most homeowners, and while that reputation is definitely earned, it’s not outright impossible to remove gum from a carpet. Like we’ve been saying, do not let the gum dry before attempting to remove it, or it could harden while stuck to the fibers and damage them, or at least cause some discoloration. Try to pull as much as you can of the gum upwards so only a little remains stuck to the carpet; then, place some ice cubes over it (so it hardens without drying) and scrape it up carefully with a knife. Sadly, this measure still carries some risk of doing some damage to your carpet, so it might actually be a good idea to get a strong cleaner over the area after doing the above process.
Paint or Nail Polish
Another bad scenario, you can never relax when paint is around the carpet. If for some reason a spill occurred, use a mix of ½ a teaspoon of vinegar, 1 part detergent and 1 part water, then soak up a sponge with it and apply over the affected area to remove the spill. Repeat this until the paint is completely gone, and rinse the carpet using cold water. Which detergent should you use? Whatever you have at home is good, provided that it’s not bleach-based or any other product that can further damage your carpet, such as burning out the colors or causing the fibers to become thin and brittle.
This is such a classic “oh no, my carpet!” problem that any self-respecting miracle cleaning product would not be complete without an overly dramatic montage of wine spilling. Thankfully, you can still save yours without spending hundreds of dollars if you act fast. All you have to do is fight wine with wine; pour some white wine over the affected area to dilute the offending red wine, so it’s easier to clean. Use the same mixture of water and vinegar described in the first entry with a sponge and absorb the liquid thoroughly. Finish it off by sprinkling some salt over it, letting it rest and vacuum up the mess.
These emergency carpet cleaning tips are all a good stalwart against fiber damage for a while, but you should still call a professional carpet cleaning service. Granted, it’s not that easy to find cheap professional carpet cleaners, but they do exist! And it’s better than just leaving a spill to eat away at your carpet’s style for long. Good luck!