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Put Away the Spray: 3 Eco-Friendly Steps for Removing Carpet Stains

By Michael Hilton

Accidents happen, especially when you have kids. And, when kids are around, you may be more reluctant to reach for those commercial stain-removing sprays to get your carpet clean. So, what's the modern mom or dad to do? While you may not have fond memories of the time your mother used peanut butter and ice cubes to get bubble gum out of your hair, some of those old-fashioned household tricks really do work--even on carpet stains. Plus, they cost less.

Step 1: Clear the Area

Start by cleaning up the initial spill. Don't rub it in; blot the area with a dry cloth or wait for the area to dry and scrape it off. Rubbing the carpet can spread the stain and even force the offender into the carpet pad.

Step 2: Choose Your Carpet Cleaning Solution

Always test a small, inconspicuous area before trying any carpet cleaning solution--natural or not.

  1. Toothpaste. This method works best for small, immediate carpet stain removal. Start with white toothpaste with or without baking soda--the plainer the better. Work it in gently and then blot the area with an absorbent white cloth. "Rinse" with a damp white towel.
  2. Dish Detergent and Vinegar. This works great on everyday carpet stains like food. Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Mix in a few drops of uncolored dish washing liquid. Some people even keep a spray bottle of this mixture handy. Apply the detergent mixture. Then, blot with a damp white towel. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide and Ammonia. When Fluffy has left you a present in the dining room or little Timmy has gotten a bloody nose in the den, choose this heavy duty cleaning method. Start with Step 2. If the stain's still there, sprinkle baking soda on top. Wait 2 to 3 hours until the area has dried. Apply a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and non-sudsy household ammonia. Dab with a damp white towel. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Step 3: Finish The Job

Once a stain is gone, rinse the area with a distilled white vinegar solution (1 part water to 2 parts vinegar) and blot again. It's important to dry your carpets properly after removing stains. Start by placing a pad of white towels over the area. Weight them down with something flat and heavy, and leave it overnight. In the morning, vacuum thoroughly.

Know When To Quit

No matter how hard you try, some stubborn stains will require you to call in a carpet cleaning service. Give yourself a fighting chance by starting off with high-quality, stain-resistant carpets and getting them regularly steam cleaned by professionals, preferably those who use all-natural cleaning solutions.

Sources

http://www.back-to-basics-cleaning.com
http://www.naturalhandyman.com
http://www.mrscleannw.com

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

Other Helpful Links
Carpet Cleaning Checklist
Preparing to Clean
Carpet Cleaning Standars
3 Eco-Friendly Steps for Removing Carpet Stains
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