Monthly Archives: July 2014
- Air out the room(s) – Open windows and turn on ceiling fans.
- Vacuum the carpet. Many odors in the carpet are just on the surface, and giving the carpet and thorough vacuuming can improve the smell especially if you have pets and kids. Hair and pet dander can create a lot of unfresh odors. It’s important to cross vacuum (vacuuming in one direction then vacuuming in another direction). Make sure the vacuum cleaner is on the correct setting for your carpet.
- Then apply baking soda to the carpet. Baking soda is known for its odor-eating properties. Make sure to concentrate on those areas which you know to be especially smelly; for these special spots, liberally apply the baking soda and lightly brush in.
- Let the baking powder sit for 2 days or so, then vacuum the baking soda up. It is very important to take your time and thoroughly vacuum up all the baking soda.
If the above instructions don’t get rid of the odor, try this:
- Apply vinegar to the spot on the carpet. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 30 minutes to give the acid in the vinegar a chance to neutralize the odor.
- When done, blot up the vinegar and use water to absorb the rest of the vinegar out of the carpet.
If that still doesn’t work, use hydrogen peroxide, the same way that you used the vinegar.
It is important to always take your time and pre-test all fabric with these products to ensure it will be safe for the carpet colorfastness. Never use these products on any natural fibers such as wool, silk, and cotton.
Urine is made up primarily make up of hydrochloric acid, urea acid and ammonia. There are many variables that will determine your success in completely removing the urine. It takes 5 years for urine to break down naturally. Following the procedure below can be a big help in removing urine stains and odors. With high acid content of urine you may some permanently yellowing or bleaching of the carpet.
If the urine is still wet:
- Use paper towels to soak up as much as the urine as possible.
- Pile up a few layers and place them on stain, weighing them down with something heavy like a brick.
- Keep the paper towels pressed down for several minutes, and repeat as needed.
- When the area is barely damp, rinse it with cool water (not hot) and then blot up the remaining liquid.
- Then you need to use a basic carpet cleaning solution, following the directions on the bottle. Try to use an organic and/or “green” eco-friendly cleaning solution to effectively clean the urine spot.
- Then use a high quality pet odor neutralizer to completely remove the odor (read next week’s blog on “How to Remove Carpet Odor”).
If the stain is dry:
- Rinse stain with room temperature water and a Shop Vac. Don’t over-wet, as this could push the urine into the backing.
- Then clean the urine spots as described above.
AVOID using the following:
- Cleaning chemicals that have strong chemical odors.
- Ammonia based products or vinegar (these products can make the odor worse and the high acid pH will combine with the acid from the urine and can permanently damage the carpet).
- Hot water or steam cleaners, which can attach the urine molecules to the carpet fibers rather than remove them.
The colored dyes in most sports drinks and Kool-Aid are usually acid food dyes. These dyes are very similar to the dye that is already present in your carpet, so they are difficult to remove without damaging the natural color of the carpet.
There are 4 basic ways to remove these dyes from carpet:
1. Ironing – This method takes some patience but is very effective.
- Wet a washcloth with water and lay it on the stain.
- With a warm iron on the lowest setting, iron the cloth. Do not press down on the iron or raise the temperature.
- Leave the iron on the cloth for 15 minutes.
- Once the stain is gone, blot the area and allow to dry.
2. Ice Water with Borax
- Spray the stain with ice water, then cover it with Borax.
- Moisten a towel with cold water then lay it on top of the Borax.
- Blot and repeat as necessary.
- Rinse with water to remove excess Borax and water.
- Leave a towel on to dry and apply a very heavy object over the towel for 8 hours.
- Leave it to air dry and vacuum once completely dried.
If the colored stain is still wet, pour a large amount of salt over the stain. Allow it to sit and soak up the stain, then vacuum up the salt. If the stain is still there, repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.
4. Vinegar and Dish Soap
- Combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water.
- Spray the stain and allow it to soak for 10 minutes.
- Blot with a cloth until the stain is removed.
- Blot to dry.
Please note it is very important to take your time and blot stains when cleaning the carpet. Never rub or scrub. You should also work the stain from the outside toward the center. Also only attempt these procedures on synthetic type carpet, never on natural fibers such as wool, cotton, or silk.