Carpet cleaning tricks

The main reason that renters don't get back their damage deposits from landlords is the state of the carpet. A carpet can take a beating when you live with it for a year or more!

While there are some excellent products on the market for getting stains of all kinds out of the carpet, some spills-such as hardened candle wax-take a trick to remove.

For candle wax, take a piece of wax paper and a hot iron to the stain. Lay the wax paper over the wax and press the hot iron to the carpet. The wax will melt enough to adhere to the wax paper, and lifting it off becomes a breeze. Do this several times with a fresh piece of wax paper, and then treat any remaining residue with a commercial cleaner; the area should be looking brand new in no time.

For pet stains, rubbing alcohol or a dry cleaning solvent works well. Be sure to blot the stain rather than rubbing, and work with a swirling motion from the edge of the stain inward. This will keep the stain from spreading. If using rubbing alcohol, be sure to test the carpet for colorfast in an area where the alcohol will not be noticed. Never use hot water to treat stains if you are not sure what the stain is made up of. Hot water is notorious for setting stains into material-as in the case of blood and chocolate, as you know from washing children's clothing-so if you're not sure as to what caused the stain, err on the side of caution and use cold water along with the cleaner or detergent. For blood, use a mild cleaner which does not contain bleach or have a high alkaline content-read the label, most people will reach for their dish detergent but the newer ones on the market do contain some bleach. A half cup of water with a tablespoon of ammonia seems to work best on set in blood. As with any stain, blot, don't rub, and always start from the edge of the stain and work in so as not to spread.

For high traffic areas, make sure that you don't use any homemade cleaners that are flammable! You don't know what people may have tracked in, and even shoe polish contains chemicals that can ignite when they come in contact with some cleaners. Here's where you should probably invest in a commercial carpet cleaner and shampoo. It's worth the money to make those high traffic areas look new again.

When you buy new carpeting, ask for a large piece of remnant to use as a treatment colorfast indicator in the future, that way if the product you plan to use is not colorfast, you didn't find it out the hard way! This is also a good idea when it comes to purchasing furniture or anything else made from or covered with fabric which must eventually be cleaned. The store will usually be more than happy to accommodate you and often keep swatches around for that very reason.

We at Anyclean are proudly supported by the CARPET CLEANING CONSUMER GUIDE. The Carpet Cleaning Consumer Guide was founded by a former certified and licensed carpet cleaner with over 16 years experience and designed to educate and help the consumer hire an honest and professional carpet cleaner.