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.
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 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.
Scotchgarding is a process that is used on fabric, carpets, and upholstered furniture to protect it from staining. It also helps keep grime and dirt from attaching to the fibers by acting like a protective seal, and is often used after furniture or carpet cleaning to prolong the benefits of these services. Fabric has tiny “dye sites” that hold the coloring of the fabric, and the Scotchgard or Teflon protectant fill those open dye sites and put a small microscopic protective seal on the top of fabric.
Scotchgarding is very beneficial for several reasons:
- It protects the carpet and furniture.
- It protects the life of your carpet and furniture.
- It saves you money (you need to have the fabric cleaned less frequency as compared to fabric that is not protected).
- It makes your job easier when you are spot cleaning the fabric.
- It prolongs the “freshly cleaned” look after carpet and upholstery cleaning.
Scotchgard was discovered by accident by a lab technician who was working on a project and spilled a drop of Scotchgard on her tennis sneakers. After some time she noticed a clean spot on her now dirty shoes, thus the invention of Scotchgard.
Although most companies don’t use actual Scotchgard and Teflon protectants, they are considered generic terms like “Kleenex” or “Coke”. Many protectants are safer and greener than the original kind developed in the 1950’s. There are solvent based and water based protectants. The solvent based ones are a type of “fluorochemical polymers” and the water based ones are just water based protectants. There are benefits and drawbacks to both kinds.
Come back next week to read our blog about the History of Scotchgard.