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.
First, contain the wet paint and absorb with paper towels or napkin or rags that you don’t mind throwing out. Before you apply any chemicals or solvents, test them in an inconspicuous area of the carpet to make sure it won’t damage the carpet.
For Acrylic Paint
Apply glycerin to the stain and blot it up. Then remove the residue with rubbing alcohol and go over the remaining stain with a mild detergent and water using a sponge or rag.
For Oil Based Paint
Oil based paint will definitely damage the carpet if it sits for too long. Use turpentine or mineral spirits to remove the paint, then blot with rubbing alcohol and finally use a mild detergent and water with a sponge or rag.
For Latex Paint
Blot up as much as possible, then apply a mixture of 1 tablespoon of mild detergent with 1 cup of warm water. Repeat as necessary.
For Water Based Paint
Blot up as much as possible, then continue to blot with vinegar, and finally blot with a mild detergent and water and a sponge.
Scrape away as much paint as you can, then apply WD-40. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then blot the area clean using a mild detergent and water. Repeat as necessary.
• 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.
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.
It’s very common for a consumer to be quoted a price on the phone for carpet cleaning, not realizing the company may have a “dual-process” cleaning method. This means they may charge one price for a one-step cleaning process, and a higher price for the better “dual process”. When the cleaning technician comes to the home to start the job, they may try to upsell you on the higher priced cleaning which is often 2 to 3 times more expensive than the one step cleaning process they quoted you on the phone.
Unbelievably Low Price
Many carpet cleaning companies (particularly some of the larger franchises) bait you with an unbelievably low price like 2 rooms for $69, or the whole house cleaning for $149, only to “forget” to mention about all the extra “hidden charges” that may be tacked on, such as “travel fees”, extra charges for dirty carpets, and charges for moving furniture. It’s like buying a home and then finding out that the builder charges extra for windows, walls and a roof!
Many companies claim to be the “best” and have high ratings and reviews. But do your homework and research the carpet cleaning company you’re considering hiring. Don’t just go by reviews on a company website, as they may not always be legitimate. Look at all ratings and reviews on the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and other reputable websites.
Many companies rely on old-fashioned, outdated cleaning methods and products. This is sometimes because the company or franchise they purchased used those methods, and that may be all they know. Other times it’s because the outdated methods are often easier and cheaper, but they are also much less effective.
Many companies have developed different types of an absorbent dry cleaning compounds that get evenly spread onto the carpet, brushed and then scrubbed in, then vacuumed off. These dry chemicals are usually some type of surfactant or solvent. The theory is that these dry cleaning compounds, once worked into the carpet, attract the dirt which is then sucked, vacuumed or absorbed off. The main benefit when cleaning with dry compounds is that the carpet is not wet. The main drawback is that for moderately to heavily soiled carpets, this method does not clean thoroughly, and if you are not using an organic product you are sometimes left with chemicals in your carpet that later attract dirt.
Encapsulation was developed as an option for cleaning with no moisture, but a deeper more thorough cleaning job than the dry compound methods mentioned above. Encapsulation carpet cleaning uses polymers that literally encapsulate (crystallizing) dirt and soil particles into a dry residue that can be extracted or vacuumed off the carpet. The encapsulating solution is sprayed onto the carpet, brushed in, then vacuumed out immediately along with the dirty particles. Some cleaning machines do all this at one time while others have different machines to do each individual step. This method is very dry and you also avoid all the pitfalls of other wet cleaning methods. More and more companies are using this type of carpet cleaning technology as it is becoming more perfected.
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.