5 fixes for common carpet stains

Spilled wine or coffee on your carpet? Or did last night's take-out leave a ketchup mess? No matter who's to blame, below you'll find useful treatments for five common carpet stains — they'll work on upholstery, too. In each case, after removing as much of the stain as you can, rinse the wet spot with warm water, then lay a heavy cloth towel or several layers of paper towels on top. Weigh this blotter down with heavy books or pots and pans and leave it in place until the treated spot dries. That spilled drink stain you thought you'd be looking at for years — gone!

5 fixes for common carpet stains

1. Red wine

Liberally pour salt onto the stain and dab with a cloth dipped in club soda. Alternately, blot the spill with a paper towel, pour a little white wine onto the stain and scrub with a damp cloth.

If neither method works, mix five millilitres (one teaspoon) of dishwashing liquid with 250 millilitres (one cup) of warm water and pour a little onto the stain. Then blot the stain with a paper towel and repeat with a solution of 125 millilitres (0.5 cup) of white vinegar and 15 millilitres (0.6 cup) of water.

2. Fruit and fruit juice

Pick up any solid pieces of fruit, then stir 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of laundry detergent and 22 millilitres (1.5 tablespoons) of white vinegar into 500 millilitres (two cups) of water. Work the solution into the stain and blot.

3. Grease or oil

Someone accidentally dropped that family-size bucket of take-out fried chicken on the den carpet? Sprinkle the grease spots liberally with cornmeal or cornstarch, let sit for several hours, then vacuum it up. Or work shaving cream into the stains, let it dry, then rub it off with a damp soft cloth.

4. Coffee and tea

Choose one of these three methods and act fast.

  • Pour club soda liberally onto the stain and blot, repeating as necessary.
  • Blot with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.
  • Beat an egg yolk, rub it into the stain, then blot it.

5. Ketchup

Jump right on this one because once a ketchup stain sets, it won't come out (ever). Grab the salt and sprinkle it over the spill, let sit for a few minutes, then vacuum it up. Sponge up any residue and continue salting and vacuuming until the stain is completely gone.

You're family will be amazed when you save the day after someone spills greasy food and wine on the carpet — take a bow and bask in the awe as the stains lift right out!

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