We’ve all been there. The moment when a glass of red wine topples over your favourite white rug or the kids decide to re-decorate the house with crayons. Life seems to pass by in slow motion, and many of us are left paralysed when time is against you!

What To Do Next:

The rule of thumb is: Act swiftly. If you’re dealing with a liquid stain such as wine or juice, grab a clean cloth and start gently dabbing the affected area. Do this multiple times but be extra careful not to rub the stain deeper into the carpet. The idea is to soak up as much of the liquid as possible before it sets. Next you can apply commercial cleaning agent (make sure it’s compatible with the colour of your rug!). Try to use a chlorine-free product, which will minimise long term stains. If you don’t have that, you can use salt or baking soda. Sprinkle on to the stain, follow up with cold water, and then continue dabbing away at the stain with a new clean cloth. Once you’ve rinsed and repeated this step several times and no more colour is being transferred to your cloth, launder the carpet. If it’s too big, it’s best to wait and take it to a professional carpet cleaners.

If your stain is solid, such as chewing gum, ice blocks are your best friend. Whether the gum is wet or dry, and no matter how embedded it is into the fibres, the best way forward is to freeze the area first. This will make it go hard and chip off without damaging your textile. Now for the practical part: A good tip is to use a sandwich bag, fill it with ice, and press it down on the problem area. It’s important to ensure that the bag doesn’t leak as the ice melts. As a general guide, apply for 10 minutes. As soon as you see the gum become brittle, use a fine comb to brush over it and coax it out of the fibres. Vacuum up any loose ends, and you’ve done the best job you can. Chewing gum is notoriously difficult to treat, so if you didn’t succeed, don’t worry – you can take your carpet to a professional.

Finally if you’re a pet owner (especially of a young one!), you may have experienced an accidental release without much thought to your belongings. To remove urine and faecal stains, much the same process applies. Start by picking up and dabbing away any excess. Now for the important bit: You should try to avoid overloading the affected area with chemicals. It can actually have a counter-productive effect by attracting even more dirt or leaving an unpleasant smell. Instead apply sparingly, or use an alternative such as a small amount of vinegar. Then rinse your carpet thoroughly, and leave out to dry. This will ensure you the best chance at success.

Whichever method you use to save your carpet, do it fast and gently – never rub, no matter how tempting. Most stains can be addressed so be patient and don’t be afraid to ask for tips from you local cleaners.

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