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Removing Carpet Stains on Your Own

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You can save a little money removing most carpet stains on your own, but it may also mean a better job if you take the time to do it right. It isn't that professional carpet cleaners don't do it right. Those that use a good truck-mounted hot water injection systems (also known as steam cleaning) may get out many stains you could never remove. On the other hand, the best way to remove carpet stains is to get them while they are just "spills" or "spots," long before a professional can get there.

The first trick to removing carpet stains then, is to get them before they become stains. The moment that drink spills gently soak it up with white cotton cloth or white paper towels. For even better results suck it out with a wet/dry shop-vac as quickly as you can.

Other substances, like foods, should also be cleaned up right away. A spoon can be used to dig out semi-solids like peanut butter or pudding. For some substances you can try to pick out pieces with your fingers.

After the initial clean up you need to rinse the remaining spot or spill to prevent staining. Always try water first, using a spray bottle if you have one. If not, apply the water very carefully so you don't flood the spot and spread any potentially staining substances or drive them deeper. The basic idea here is to wet the spot , press that white cotton cloth or white paper towels onto it gently to soak it up, and then repeat this as many times as needed.

Sometimes water isn't enough. If not, try a drop or two of Dawn dish washing detergent (the original blue) in a cup of water as your cleaning solution. It works well on greasy spills especially. Massage the solution into the spot carefully, and "mop" up each time with your cloth. Don't rub hard or you can make matters worse and make the spill into a stain. If this procedure doesn't work you'll need to refer to a good carpet stain removal guide to see what will work for the particular substance you are trying to clean up.

In all cases rinse the carpet well to be sure that you have removed every bit of the spill, and then dry it well. Dry it fast to prevent any remaining stain that is deeper down in the fibers from "wicking" up to the surface of the carpet. Press dry cloth or paper towels on the area repeatedly, and then place a fan nearby to blow air across the spot until it is dry to the touch.

If you don't get spills and spots cleaned up quickly, don't lose hope. The good news is that carpet stains that have been there for years can still sometimes be removed. If you can't find a procedure on this site that works for your particular stain, a professional cleaner may know hoe to remove it.

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