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If you have young children, a messy partner, or consider yourself a proud parent of one or more fur babies, it is likely you have developed a bit of system for removing tough stains from your floors and carpets.
Still though, there are some materials that can wreak havoc on surfaces forcing even the most seasoned stain fighters to consider whether or not it is time to call in the professionals.
After all, clean up is not your livelihood. It is, however, a necessary part of living well and providing a warm and inviting home for your guests and loved ones.
That said, hiring a professional carpet cleaner, a mason, or a contractor dealing in the refinishing and resurfacing of wood floors can be costly. And for what? Some grape juice that sat in the corner of the room hidden by the love seat, seeping into your off-white wall to wall carpeting for a few weeks?
Wiping that slate clean does not seem worth the price of admission for a pro. So what can you do?
Well, there may be some other, perhaps unconventional techniques you have not yet tried when it comes to stain fighting on the battleground of your home’s flooring.
We have scoured the internet for the best of the best, and in this article, we outline our findings for methods of carpet, tile, and wood floor clean up sure to keep your floors and wallet in tact.
While wall to wall carpeting has gone in and out of style over the years, if you have young kids, or a desire for a warmer surface to touch down on first thing in the morning, you likely have some sort of carpeting somewhere in your house.
Whether it is an area rug, or classic wall-to-wall carpeting, this method is one to try for even the toughest stains.
What you’ll need
Step 1 – Preparations
First, plus in your iron, giving it ample time to heat up. It is best to plug it in close to the stain so you can apply the iron’s full force and so the heat will sustain throughout the process. Certainly, your iron will stay hot for a few minutes after you unplug it, but irons are incredibly efficient and safe so yours may cool down sooner than you think.
If you truly do not have an outlet nearby, grab an extension cord and run it across the room to the stain site.
Next, fill your spray bottle with a mix of one part ammonia and one part hot water. Shake it well, then give it a spray to test that the mix fits through the bottle. Some generic spray bottles are specifically designed for water, like those used in hair salons, so it is important to give it a test run. If the mix jams up at the nozzle, you can switch to an emptied container of another household cleaner. This will certainly be able to handle the stream.
Step 2 – Spray
Spray the mix onto the carpet stain. Do not be afraid to use a TON of the mix. The concoction will not hurt areas unaffected by the stain so it is best spray more than less.
Once the carpet and the stained area is good and wet, lay one of the colorless, clean, and dry towels over the top of it.
Step 3 – Iron
When your iron is good and hot, begin ironing over the towel, and subsequently, the stain. Go slow to mitigate the risk of passing over the towell and onto the carpet in your haste. Ironing even a little bit of the carpet may leave burn marks depending on the type of carpet and color of the rug.
After a few passes, pull back an edge of the towel and have a look. You should see that much of the stain has come out into the towel.
Step 4 – Repeat
Repeat this process with new clean towels until the entire stain is gone. You may need to continue adding ammonia mix each time you do as the heat source may begin drying out the wet rug.
With that in mind, it is VITAL that you have enough of the mixture to go around.
The beauty of wood flooring is that the finish protects the wood. Most stain causing materials are no match for a well polished floor, and thus, hardwood is generally fairly easy to clean.
There are instances, however, where a stain may penetrate the finish of your wood. In this case, you may have to resort to sanding and applying the stain and finish, assuming you have a gallon leftover, or can match the color.
Before you do that, though, there is something you can try.
What You’ll Need
Step 1 – Preparations
First and foremost, gather your materials. Hydrogen peroxide is something you likely have stashed away in one of your medicine cabinets. If not, head down to your local drug store and pick up a couple of bottles.
One may do the trick, but this is a process that can be repeated as necessary, and you never know how finicky a stain is going to be.
Pour the hydrogen peroxide in the tupperware, filling it about halfway. You will need some space so that you can soak the rag without the peroxide overflowing. You may want to opt for a large tupperware depending on the size of the stain or the rags you use.
Prepare your cloth rags by piling them up neatly next to your stain so that they are readily available.
You may also want to close off the area around the stain from pets or small children so that the peroxide is allowed time to soak without being disturbed, or more importantly, not person or animal interacts with the peroxide in a harmful way.
Step 3 – Soak
Take a clean rag and completely submerge it into the hydrogen peroxide. Once it is fully doused, ring it out over the tuppeware so as not to waste any.
Step 4 – Stain Fighting
Lay the damp rag over the stain. If the stain is too big for the rag, you will need to use multiple rags.
Let the rag or rags sit over the stain, allowing ample time for the peroxide to run through the finish and into the wood, bleaching out the stain.
Step 4 – Rinse and Repeat
When you see the rag starting to dry up, pull it back from the stain and assess the job it has done. If the stain is still present, wipe up the excess peroxide on the floor and repeat the process.
For kitchen or bathroom tile, stain fighting is slightly more manageable. Tile is typically laid in these rooms because of its cleanability.
In this way, it is not so much that there is a process to deep cleaning tile, but rather a series of methods to use in maintenance cleaning depending on the severity of a particular spill or stain.
The methods outlined here are for stains that you cannot easily clean with a conventional mop, warm water, or store bought floor cleaning solution.
Method 1 – Vinegar
Create a mix of vinegar and warm water, using a half cup of vinegar for every gallon of water. Pass over the stain once and let dry. If the stain has not been completely removed, try another pass with fresh warm water and detergent at the same ratio as you mixed the vinegar.
Rinse the floor with clean, warm water when you are done. It is vital that all residual soap is removed so that it does not remain on the floor. Soaps that are left to dry can attract dust and dirt and pull them in tight to the tile and grout lines.
Method 2 – Paste
If the stain has sat for a while and vinegar or detergent do not seem to do the trick, try making this cleaning paste.
Mix scouring powder and warm water in equal parts in a clean, plastic container. Using the same volume of each will create a tooth paste like texture after a few minutes of gentle blending.
Rub the paste on the stain using a clean rag, cloth, or dry sponge. Let the paste work in for up to ten minutes, then scrub the area with a soft brush.
Rinse away all the paste with warm water so that no residual paste remains.
Regardless of what type of flooring you have in your house, or which is most susceptible to mess, through a little bit of research you will find there are options out there for even the toughest stains.
Armed with these processes and techniques you will be able to keep you floors clean even when grime has been neglected and left to make a more permanent home within the deep fibers of your flooring material.
Consult this guide before you take the expensive step towards calling in a pro.