There will come a time when you will spill something on your rug, and the question will come to mind – what should I do? Rug fibers, especially wool, are very resilient to spills. However, they also react strongly to harsh chemicals. So you want to keep your spill system quick, simple, and safe for the variety of rug and carpet fibers in your home to remove carpet stains naturally.
Carpet and Rug Cleaning First-Aid Tools
How to Remove Spots from an Area Rug
Immediately blot the spot with a cotton towel. Do not scrub the fibers or you’ll distort and potentially damage them.
Immediately scrape off the material with a spoon and blot the spot with a cotton towel.
Look at the towel for two things:
- Is the spill absorbing into the towel?
- Are any of the rug’s dyes absorbing into the towel?
If the rug’s dyes are absorbing into the towel, blog a bit more, and then stop. Nothing more can be done to this area without causing the rug dyes to bleed together. This damage can devalue your area rug, so you want to stop before you make it worse. You can pack the area with corn starch to help absorb more.
If the rug’s dyes are not absorbing into the towel, then place a folded towel underneath the affected area of the area rug. Take a bowl of club soda and then use a sponge or towel to get the location of the spill wet again – not soaking wet, just enough that the fibers are damp.
Take a new towel and blot the spot to continue pulling out the spill from the fibers. The club soda helps to keep the spill suspended, so you can grab it with the cotton towel when you blot the spot.
When no more spill material is visible on the towel, create a sandwich with a folded towel under the spill and one on top, and either stand on this area or put a heavy book on it for about 10 minutes.
How to Clean Pet Urine
In addition to the above first-aid tools, you’ll want to add the following to your carpet first-aid tools:
- HomePro Pet Spotter
Of all the possible spills, pet urine and vomit are the worst. Since they are acidic and warm, they set themselves quickly. Follow the spill steps in the previous section (blot, rinse, blot). If the rug's dyes show up in the towel in the first blotting step, then substitute a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture for the club soda. However, get the area only slightly damp – NOT wet. For pet feces, pick up as much as you can before you begin the club soda process.
As far as the odors associated with all of these pet emergencies, misting PureAyre® on the areas helps remove some of the odor-causing bacteria. Resist the urge to saturate the rug with this because pouring any product on a rug is never a good idea. Substantial amounts of pet urine could penetrate the wool or silk fibers and absorb right into the rug’s cotton foundation. In this case, the only way you will be able to remove the odor will be to have the area rug washed and soaked completely in an enzyme or deodorizing solution.
Old Pet Stains
Always take care of a pet stain as soon as you notice it. So have your carpet first aid kit and the phone number of a carpet cleaning expert on hand for emergencies!
A different set of problems arises with old pet urine stains. When a pet urine stain is fresh, it is a strong acid stain. After it has dried completely and has sat in the fibers for several days, it becomes a strong alkaline stain. The problem with high alkalinity and wool is that it yellows the wool, and it also counteracts the mordant process that holds the dyes onto the wool fibers. It essentially makes the dyes dissolve. Even a rug with colorfast dyes will bleed and fade in areas that have old pet urine stains. So, the key to handling all pet stains is getting to the problem as soon as possible.
Have you found a spot on an area rug you can’t remove? Have a pet odor that a candle can’t mask? Call us today for additional tips on how to address those pesky odors!