Four Mistakes That Might Be Making Your Carpet Stains Worse

When something spills on your carpet, do you feel like your cleanup efforts make matters worse, rather than better? Does the stain seem to linger or even grow larger as you work, rather than fading away? Chances are, you're making one of these four common mistakes when attempting to remove carpet stains.

Mistake #1: Applying the cleaner before soaking up the spill.

If your first reaction is to grab the cleaning solution and spray if on liberally, you're doing it wrong! Most stain removers work by reacting with the staining material to neutralize it. If you don't first soak up the staining material, there will be too much of it for the cleaner to effectively neutralize. So, start by soaking up as much of the spill as you can -- and then apply the cleaner.

Mistake #2: Rubbing, rather than blotting, the stain.

After you spray on the stain cleaner and wait the recommended amount of time, you should blot the area. Press straight down, let the liquid soap into your rag, lift up the rag, and then press down again. If you rub back and forth rather than blotting in this manner, you'll just be working the stain deeper into the carpet fibers. Use the same blotting action when initially soaking up the spill and again when soaking up the stain removal solution. 

Mistake #3: Working your way out towards the edges of the stain.

When you are blotting the spilled material or the stain cleaner, always start at the very edges of the stain, and blot your way towards the middle of the stain. If you start at the middle and work your way out -- as many people tend to do -- you will only spread the stain and make it larger. Working your way in keeps the stain contained.

Mistake #4: Relying only on homemade cleaning solutions.

Homemade, natural solutions with ingredients like vinegar and water will work for some stains. But if you have a serious stain, such as one made from red wine or chocolate, conventional cleaners will work better. They contain specialized ingredients to lift the staining material out of the carpet fibers and neutralize its color. If you are sensitive to such ingredients, wear gloves when applying them. While you do not want to swallow such stain cleaners, they are not dangerous to be around every once in a while when you spill on the carpet.

Contact a service, like Blue Ribbon Cleaning Services, for more help.