Removing candle wax from carpet can be tricky, but not impossible. You should only attempt to remove wax from synthetic carpet, never from upholstery or any type of natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or silk (contact a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner for these types of fabric).
You will need water, an iron, and thick white cotton towel.
- Dampen the towel until it is almost soaking wet.
- Place the towel on the wax.
- Plug in the iron and adjust the temperature to the LOWEST setting.
- Place the iron on top of the wet towel on the carpet.
- After 10 seconds remove the towel and iron, and check to see if the wax has melted.
- If the wax has not melted, raise the temperature of the iron a VERY small amount and repeat steps 4. and 5.
- Repeat steps 5. and 6. until the temperature of the iron reaches the melting point of the wax.
- Once the wax melts, it should easily transfer onto the wet towel that has been placed on top of it.
Keep in mind that dye from candle wax may never come out completely, but at least you will have removed the actual wax embedded in the carpet.
• Not taking immediate action
Liquid spills sink into the carpet quickly, so if you don’t act fast, the liquid can seep into the padding and even through to the floor, causing mold and damage. Make sure to act quickly to clean up liquid spills.
• Using the wrong cleaning product
There are many types of cleaning products you can use for carpet cleaning, but you must read the directions thoroughly. Avoid products that have soap, shampoos, and detergents in them, as they may be too harsh and can do more damage than the spot you are trying to remove.
• Not doing a test patch before using harsh products
If you care about your carpet, before cleaning the carpet it’s always advised to pre-test a spot in an inconspicuous location to make sure it won’t damage the carpet.
• Using a deodorizing powder to clean
All powders do not clean; they just help with smells in the carpet. Most vacuum cleaners are not strong enough to vacuum out the powder, so it stays behind and attracts dirt, ultimately making the smell worse.
• You clean you carpet every week
It’s important to keep your carpet looking good, but do not clean your carpet every week. Doing so can damage the yarn in the carpet, and you might be applying chemicals that are too harsh or that work their way into the carpet, attaching themselves and attracting even more dirt than before.
• Never hiring a professional to clean your carpets
A professional carpet cleaning company can do a thorough job of cleaning, sanitizing, and protecting carpets better than you can on your own, and often more safely if the company uses organic products.
The longer you wait, the more the tomato sauce will cling to the carpet fibers. It’s always a good idea to keep some cleaning products on hand so you don’t have to waste a timely trip to the store when you have a spill. You should have: dishwashing detergent, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and club soda on hand.
- Remove as much excess sauce as possible, and using a spoon or the blunt side of a knife, scoop or scrape off the tomatoe sauce. Start out from the furthest part of the stain and work inward so as not to spread the stain.
- Apply a little club soda and blot the spot, and use a paper towel to dry the area as much as possible.
- After that, mix a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent with 2 cups of cool water.
- Blot the stain and rinse with cold water, and blot with napkins when done.
If the above instructions do not work, try this:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with a 1/2 cup of cool water (Warning! Be careful handling ammonia. Use gloves, and never mix ammonia with bleach!)
- Do a test area spot to ensure it’s safe for the colorfastness of the carpet.
- Apply the ammonia solution and blot the sauce stain, then rinse with cool water and blot dry with paper towels.
If the stain still isn’t gone after using the ammonia solution, try this:
- Create a hydrogen peroxide solution with 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and 3 tablespoons of cool water.
- Do a test area spot to ensure it’s safe for the colorfastness of the carpet.
- Cover with a towel and keep the sunlight off the spot for 30 minutes. (Warning! Be careful handling hydrogen peroxide, and use gloves!)
- After 30 minutes blot, rinse with water, and blot with paper towels.
As with all stains, the best thing to do is to quickly blot up coffee stains with white paper towels or napkins and soak up as much as the liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing, as rubbing can push the coffee further into the carpet fibers.
If the carpet is an antique carpet or natural fiber carpet (wool, cotton, silk) it would be best to call a professional carpet cleaner to ensure the carpet won’t be damaged.
- Mix 2/3 cup of warm water with 1/3 white vinegar (or a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent)
- If the coffee contained milk, cream, or sugar, use a little enzyme laundry detergent as well.
- As with any carpet stain, apply the cleaning solution to an inconspicuous spot before you move on to visible areas
- With a spray bottle, spray the solution on the carpet and then blot it up.
- If the spot comes out, rinse the area with water and blot to try to remove the vinegar and detergent.
- If the spot is very wet, put some paper towels or a white cotton towel on the spot and put a couple of very heavy books over the towels to soak up as much of the liquid as possible.
If you are not able to remove the coffee stains you may try a safe pH balanced spot cleaner from the store, or better yet, call your local carpet cleaning company.
The easiest way to remove hair from carpet, furniture, drapes, and even clothing, is with a lint roller. Just roll away the hair and dispose of the stickers once they are hairy and ineffective.
You can also use rubber or latex gloves, or a rubber sponge. Wipe over furniture and carpet edges with gloves or sponges and watch how the hair just pulls away. You can also moisten the gloves or the sponge with a little bit of water, which helps in eliminating static electricity and will help it cling better so you can ball it up easier.
If you are in a pinch, you can even rub a blown up balloon on the pet hair! The pet hair will cling to the balloon due to static electricity, and then you can wipe the hair from the balloon into the trash.
After using any of the methods above, vacuum the carpet and upholstery to remove any remaining pet hair. Make sure your vacuum cleaner is at the proper setting for your carpet. When you are vacuuming carpet, make sure to vacuum in different directions (“cross vacuuming”) to ensure you are vacuuming each side of the carpet yarn.
- 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 longer your carpets remain dirty, the sooner they’ll wear out… and the longer you and your family will be breathing in any dirt, dust mites, allergens, mold spores, chemicals, and pet oil and dander hidden in your carpet! What are some steps you can take to make your carpet clean and healthy?
List Your Objectives
If you just want the surface dirt removed, you can rent a cleaner from your local Shop Rite! But if you want all the bacteria, fungus, dust mists, and chemicals removed, you’ll want to hire a professional carpet cleaning company that uses a safe, non-toxic, organic, “green” cleaning system.
You can learn a lot from a carpet cleaning company by asking these questions:
1. What method of cleaning do you use?
2. Are your cleaning solutions pH balanced, green, organic, and biodegradable?
3. Does the owner do the cleaning, or is it the cleaning at least supervised by the owner of the company?
4. What type of equipment do you use to clean the carpet?
5. What type of practical and technical training do you and your cleaning technicians have?
6. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?
7. What will be removed out of the carpet when they are cleaned?
Ask for an Onsite Written Quote
Once you have picked out which company you feel you are comfortable with, have them come out to your home or business to give you a written quote. This will ensure there won’t be any miscommunication with the job scope or the price.
Many Carpet Cleaning Systems that utilize dry cleaning solutions usually rely on specialized machines. The advantage is that they all tend to be low moisture systems relying on dry compounds and/or chemical solvents to clean without over-wetting the carpet. The amount of carpet cleaners that use these methods have increased over the years due to the amount of dissatisfaction with traditional wet methods.
Dry Cleaning systems generally tend to be quicker to use in cleaning the carpet and less labor intensive than hot water (steam cleaning) systems. This allows the areas to be used very quickly after the cleaning, sometimes within 1-2 hours.
A drawback with dry cleaning, however, is that heavily soiled areas may need to be pre-spotted or pre-treated with pre-conditioners or traffic lane cleaners. These cleaning products tend to be surfactants that break down the heavily soiled areas, emulsify the dirt, and separate it from the fibers in a very short time.
There are different kinds of extraction methods associated with dry cleaning. Some methods suck or vacuum out the cleaning agents, some use synthetic extraction bonnet pads to absorb the dirt out of the carpet, and some use the “encapsulation” method. Many other cleaning methods use a combination or hybrid of extraction methods.
Encapsulation is a newer type of hybrid dry cleaning system that, once the carpets are cleaned, vacuumed, and completely dried, they need to be vacuumed again very thoroughly to get the rest of the dirt that is encapsulated on the tips of the yarn out of the carpet. Mechanical agitation is a key component to correctly and thoroughly cleaning the carpets with most dry cleaning systems.
One main drawback with most dry cleaning systems is that, like the shampooing method we mentioned in our last blog, most chemicals and solvents used with these methods are not biodegradable and are virtually impossible to get completely out of the carpet. They tend to leave residue behind that attracts dirt quickly, resulting in the carpet tending to re-soil rapidly and needing to be cleaned more frequently.
One of the oldest and most common methods of carpet cleaning is shampooing. Usually brushes work the shampoo into the carpet, and after a few minutes the excess moisture and dirt are absorbed or suctioned away. After the carpet has dried it may need to be vacuumed again. Drying may take several hours to 1-2 days.
Although there are different variations of the type of extraction method involved, they all use the same type of cleaning agents in the shampoo called surfactants. Surfactants work well because they attract dirt and are inexpensive to mass produce.
Carpet shampooing, however, has many disadvantages compared to other types of carpet cleaning. It is very easy to over wet the carpet and padding and it takes longer to dry. When the carpet stays wet for too long, it can create mold and also damage the flooring underneath. Also, it is very difficult to remove the shampoo out of the carpet completely. This means that the carpet may attract dirt and stains faster (which will adhere to the leftover shampoo), requiring the carpets to be cleaned more frequently.
Carpet cleaning companies using the shampooing method usually have a very high re-clean rate (over 20-30%) and often have a higher dissatisfaction rate with clients because the shampoo left in the carpet attracts more dirt quickly after the fabric is cleaned. Many companies that use the shampoo method are low end companies competing on price and volume, and are not concerned with utilizing newer technologies such as green and organic cleaning methods primarily because these better methods are more expensive.