Summer’s here, which means school’s out and the kids are home. They’re inside, then outside, then inside again (and again, and again….). Summer also brings its own menu, full of hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks, and snacks. If you have both children (especially any little ones) and carpet, chances are you’ll spend some of your summer cleaning up spills and other messes. Below are a few quick tips for cleaning carpet stains your kids leave behind.
Don’t Forget Your Kit!
First things first: If you haven’t put one together yet, it’s a good idea to gather a few easy-to-find cleaning supplies and make a Basic Spot Removal Kit. If you need help getting started, here’s a quick list of handy carpet cleaning items.
Ten Common Kid Carpet Stains and How to Clean Them
Summer is fun, especially when you play as hard as kids do. Be prepared for this summer’s accidents by knowing how to clean some of these common messes you might find on your carpets or rugs:
Blood: Scrape off dried blood and apply a cool detergent solution. Blot. Apply a cool ammonia solution. Blot again, then rinse. Blot dry. If stain remains, apply rust remover or bleach with hydrogen peroxide.
Candy: Scrape off all you can with a dull butter knife. Sponge with a detergent solution. Blot, then rinse. Be sure all traces of sugar are gone. Sugars left in carpet will cause a rapid re-soiling problem.
Chocolate: Scrape off all you can first, then sponge with a dry-cleaning solvent. Blot. Sponge with detergent solution. Blot, then rinse. If stain remains, bleach with hydrogen peroxide.
Crayon: Scrape off all you can, the use a hot iron (low heat setting) over a damp cloth to melt and absorb the remaining wax. Apply dry-cleaning solvent, and then blot. Apply detergent solution. Rinse and blot dry.
Grass: Apply detergent solution. Blot, then rinse. Blot again. Apply ammonia solution. Blot. Apply vinegar solution. Blot, then rinse.
Gum: Use aerosol gum freeze or an ice cube to harden the gum and make it brittle, then strike to break it into pieces. Scrape them up with a dull butter knife. Remove residue with dry-cleaning solvent.
Ice Cream: Don’t wait! Blot up all you can immediately with a dry cloth. Apply ammonia solution or protein digester. Rinse. If the area is large, shampoo afterward.
Mud: Allow the mud to dry and vacuum or brush off as much as possible. Apply detergent or ammonia solution. Blot, rinse, then blot dry. If stain remains, apply dry-cleaning solvent. Blot dry.
Mustard/Ketchup: Apply vinegar solution and blot. Apply detergent solution and blot. If stain remains, apply rust remover or hydrogen peroxide solution. Blot. Do not use ammonia or alkaline cleaners.
Soft Drinks: Blot up all you can. Blot with detergent solution. Rinse and let air dry. If stain remains, soak with glycerin for 30 minutes and rinse.
Hopefully you’ll get a break from messes and spills like these while your kids are enjoying their summer. But in case any of these accidents happen in your home, you’re now prepared to not only clean stubborn stains like these – you can also save your carpet!
Are there any other carpet stains you’re dealing with? Let me know in the Comments section below and I’ll do what I can to offer any additional advice. Have a Safe and Happy Summer!