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How to Bust Common Carpet Stains

Your carpet literally provides the grounding for the rest of your home decor, but it’s not always possible to keep it as clean as you’d like. Whether it’s a bit of wine spilled during a special dinner or grease tracked in from the garage, eliminating common carpet stains can be trying. While there’s no easy fix for every carpet stain, you can bust almost any stain by following a few simple steps.

Water-Based Stains

Hundreds of common substances can cause water-based carpet stains. Many homeowners have dealt with spots caused by juice, alcohol, syrup, milk, soda, alcohol, latex paint, water colors and vomit. If you find yourself confronted by a water-based stain, you can take a few simple steps to eliminate it.

Your first line of action should be to:

  • Remove any solid material on the stain. Be sure to work from the outside of the stain to its center.
  • Blot the spill with a clean, white towel.
  • Apply dry-cleaning liquid to a white cloth and gently dampen the stain.
  • Wipe the stain gently, turning the cloth frequently. Don’t scrub the stain or use a brush.
  • Rinse the stain with lukewarm water.
  • Cover the area with another clean, white towel and blot it to lift the liquid.
  • Rinse and blot until all the cleaning fluid is gone.
  • Place fresh towels on the carpet and apply weight until the spot is dry.

If your first attempt to remove the stain doesn’t work, move on to the second line of action You should:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of household ammonia with 1 cup of water.
  • Apply to the stain.
  • Rinse and blot until the stain is removed.

If your first two attempts fail, follow the third line of action and:

  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar.
  • Apply to the stain.
  • Rinse and blot until the stain is removed.
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