When should I give up on removing carpet stains?
You know the old axiom: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Though the words of wisdom may apply to various aspects of life such as relationships and sports, you're not inspired whatsoever when it comes to ridding your carpet of stubborn stains. Your once-perfect carpet is now a hodge-podge of red wine, coffee, grease, and pet urine stains, and you're not sure if it's even worth fighting the good fight anymore. Can you save your carpet, or is it time to call a carpet service professional? Let's take a look at some things to try before throwing in the towel.
Get to the spills and spots immediately.
Bring on the strong cleaners if water doesn't work.
Next, try a drop or two of a non-bleach dishwashing detergent (like the original blue Dawn) in a cup of water as a cleaning solution. Gently blot with the white cotton cloth as before. If you rub too hard, you'll add another eyesore stain to the existing hodge-podge. Use a spray bottle to rinse the stain and blot dry. The faster you dry it, the better you can avoid the deep-down stains that become permanent. Use a fan nearby to help dry the spot faster as you blot dry with a cloth.
If the stain still lingers, consider renting a carpet-cleaning machine from your local home center. The carpet-cleaning machine injects hot water and detergent under pressure into the fabric, and the detergent breaks down grease and dirt. A powerful vacuum then extracts the dirty solution from your carpet. You can rent one starting around $25 per day plus the cost of the cleaning detergent. Carpet cleaners are very easy to use, but make sure to follow the instructions (or ask for a demonstration when you rent the machine).
The downside to renting one of these carpet cleaners is that other people have used the same machine to clean all sorts of stuff. Make sure you inspect the carpet cleaner for dirty bristles, dirty attachments, and a dirty water tank. People who have animals in their homes often use carpet-cleaning machines, and the animal odors and leftover hair are hard to eliminate inside the machine. If renting a carpet cleaning machine isn't appealing, you could consider buying your own. But the upfront cost is quite steep (about $90 plus the cost of the cleaning detergent), and you may have permanent carpet stains that may be best left to the professionals.
Uh-oh. You've made the carpet stain worse. Now what?
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