Cyrus the Great loved carpets. He took his hundreds of thick rugs from Babylon to the grave. But what happened if he spilled yogurt on a carpet? Who cleaned up the stains of eggplant stew? Was there a special servant to clean the stains from orange juice, lamb with paprika, goat cheese, apricots or saffron?
Every carpet, at some time, gets something spilled on it. In ancient Persia you couldn’t get chemical cleaners from the supermarket or phone a carpet cleaning expert with steam-clean appliances. We can, but we don’t always have to.
Over the years I’ve learned to clean a number of household stains from carpets.
I use different combinations of vinegar, bicarb of soda, glycerine, methylated spirits, talcum powder and sometimes ice cubes to get my carpets clean and fresh again. My tools are a small nylon-bristled brush and toothbrushes. Buy a few toothbrushes and keep them in a drawer ready for cleaning up spills.
It’s a heck of a lot cheaper too!
How to Clean Red Wine from your Carpet
Am I the only one to spill red wine on my carpet?
- Shake your packet of bicarb over the stain and cover it. Use a fair amount, so that the stain is fully covered and you can’t see it anymore.
- Let the bicarb dry. This will take only a minute, so spend that minute setting up your vacuum cleaner.
- Vacuum up the bicarb.
- Reapply more bicarb, not so much this time. Add a couple of drops of vinegar and now scrub the stain with a nylon brush.
- Let it dry. Vacuum again
How to Clean Candle Wax from your Carpet
Candles turn a room into something special but, when a bit of wax drops on your carpet, it’s enough to put you off romantic candlelit evenings for life!
Ice is the answer to wax.
- Place a couple of ice cubes (inside a small plastic bag) over the wax and it will harden. With a blunt knife, scrape off as much as you can.
- Can you wedge a piece of metal under the remaining wax? I use a nit comb for this. Now you need a commercial paper towel. Put a piece of paper towel over the wax and give it a blast from your hairdryer. The paper will absorb the wax.
- You may have to repeat this a couple of times but the wax will eventually come off.
Never use an iron on your carpet!
How to Clean Beer from your Carpet
Whoops! Beer all over the carpet. Been there, done that.
- Grab a towel and soak up as much as you can.
- Next, put a couple of teaspoons of cold water in a dish and add enough detergent to produce froth. Stir up the detergent with your fingers so it’s really sudsy. What you want to clean the stain is the detergent suds, not the water.
- Take a toothbrush and spread the detergent suds over the stain.
- Let it dry. Repeat as necessary.
How to Clean Pet Mishaps from your Carpet
You can put your pet in a bath but not the carpet!
- Soak up what you can from the carpet with disposable paper towels. (if your pet has left solids just scoop up with wads of paper towel). Keep soaking up until the carpet is touch dry.
- Pour a moderate amount of bicarb over and add a splash of vinegar.
- Scrub with a toothbrush. (Throw away the toothbrush afterward).
- Let it dry, then vacuum.