How To Get Red Wine Out Of Carpet

How to get red wine out of carpet

After a long week, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a glass of wine.  While the occasional vino can be good for us, it’s unfortunately not so great for our carpets and red wine in particular can leave a nasty stain if not treated correctly.  In this article, we’re going to take you through the dos and the donts of getting red wine stains out of your carpet. 

T’is the season

We’ll start with the simplest method – and the one which needs only one ingredient that you probably already have in the cupboard – salt.  Cover the stain with a thick layer of salt and leave overnight.  This method works extremely well as the salt will absorb the liquid, and the stain along with it.  Remove the excess salt with a cloth or tissue and then vacuum the area before wiping the carpet down with a cool, damp cloth.

A cleaning cocktail

For dried or more stubborn stains, you might want to try a solution made by combining washing up liquid and white vinegar.  Prepare a cup of warm water and add one tablespoon of washing up liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar.  Mix together and use a cloth to apply the solution to the stained area.  Blot with a clean, damp cloth and repeat the process until the stain has been removed.

In the club

A cleaning go-to for home-makers around the world, carbonated water, or club soda, does a great job of getting rid of stubborn stains – even red wine.  Blot the stain as much as you can and then pour carbonated water onto the area.  Blot again and pour more water, and repeat until you can no longer see the stain.

Bake off

If you have a tub of baking soda in the kitchen cupboard, try mixing a quarter of a cup with two tablespoons of cleaning vinegar for a potent cleaning solution.  Mix the ingredients thoroughly and then apply directly to the stained section of the carpet.  Blot with a clean, damp cloth and repeat as necessary.

The chemical cleaner

For particularly stubborn red wine stains, hydrogen peroxide packs a punch but, you should always do a patch test on the carpet first as hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration.  Blot the stain as best you can and then mix two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part washing up liquid.  Apply the mixture to the stained section of the carpet and then blot with a warm, damp cloth.  Repeat the process to remove any stubborn stains that remain.

Perfect products

If your home is prone to red wine stains, you may want to invest in a professional cleaning product.  Wine Away and Chateau Spill are both affordable and extremely effective at quickly removing stains from your carpet.  Always read the instructions carefully for the best results. 

The Don’ts

When cleaning red wine from your carpets, avoid using very hot or boiling water as these can often make the problem worse.

Where possible, avoid using an electric cleaner as the heat from these devices may seal the stain in, making it much more difficult to remove. 

Conclusion

We all know that accidents do happen, but these shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying your favourite tipple. In most cases, the tips mentioned in this article will help to get rid of unsightly red wine stains and restore your carpet to its former glory.

How To Get Tea Stains Out Of Your Carpet

In the UK, they drink a staggering 100 million cups of tea a day. With our increasingly busy lives, the odd accident can be expected – including spilling tea on your precious carpets.  If left untreated, spilled tea can stain carpets and rugs but, don’t panic, there are a few ways that you can remove tea stains and restore your carpets to their former glory: 

When the chips are down

Vinegar has long been recognised as an effective cleaning tool for windows and, this versatile product can help with carpet stains too.  Start by dabbing at the stain with a damp cloth to see if the stain begins to shift.  If not, add a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to two cups of water – pour a little of the solution onto the stain and leave for around 10 minutes.  Dab the stain with a cloth or sponge soaked with cool water and repeat the process as necessary.  Once the stain has been removed, blot the carpet or rug dry with a clean microfibre cloth. 

Dishing the dirt

If the above method hasn’t worked for you – or you’re worried about the smell of vinegar lingering on your carpet, why not try the following:  Prepare a solution of two cups of warm water and one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and apply this, bit by bit. The stained area of your carpet.  Immediately afterwards, begin dabbing at the stain with a cloth or sponge soaked in cold water.  Once the stain has been removed, rinse the area thoroughly and pat dry with a clean microfibre cloth.

The great carpet bake off

If you have a tub of baking soda hanging around in your kitchen, this can be really useful in removing tea stains from your carpet.  Coat the affected area with a light sprinkling of the powder and then leave for two or three hours.  Vacuum the area thoroughly and then dab with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any lingering bits of the powder. 

Building up steam

If the tea stain is particularly stubborn, you might want to think about investing in a hand-held carpet steam cleaner.  These clever little gadgets can be really effective at removing tea stains from carpet and rug fibres and are safe to use on most carpets – however, you might want to run a sample test first, just to be on the safe side.

All of these methods can be really effective in removing stains without the expense of having to hire a professional carpet cleaner.  Always run a small patch test first and, always avoid using any products which contain bleach as these can damage your carpet.

Prevention is the best cure

If your family or guests are prone to spilling, you might want to invest in a preventative measure such as carpet film which can be laid on top of your carpet or, a spray carpet protector.  Both of these will help to repel stains and keep your carpets looking and smelling fresh.

Conclusion

While our carpets make up an integral part of our decor, they also serve a practical purpose and are, by their very nature, walked on, spilled on and more.  Spills like tea are not always avoidable so, if you’re unable to put preventative measures in place, it’s a good idea to keep some of the above ingredients handy so that you can act fast when tea spills occur – and stop trouble brewing for your carpets. 

How to clean dirt out of your carpet

How To Remove Carpet Bugs and Beatles From Your Carpet

Our carpets are an integral part of our homes and are often chosen to add style and luxurious warmth to a room.  While we love our carpets, so too do some uninvited guests – carpet bugs.  

Carpet creepy crawlies

Carpet bugs, also known as carpet beetles, are an inch long nuisance – but it’s their offspring that causes the biggest problems.  Carpet beetle larvae quite literally chows down on carpet and other natural fibres, causing havoc to your much loved – and expensive flooring. These bugs are either light brown or black and are covered in fine hairs.  They can also fly – and you may have seen them hovering around light fittings and windows as they’re partial to light.   In this article, we’ll take you through the ways that you can identify the signs that carpet beetles have moved in and – more importantly – how to get rid of the little blighters!

Identity parade

The first thing you need to figure out is whether or not carpet bugs are actually responsible for the damage in your home.  As well as carpets, these beetles are known to attack other fabrics such as curtains, clothing and stored items such as bedding.  If you spot any or all of the following, there’s a good chance that you have a few freeloading tenants: 

  • Bare patches on rugs and carpets
  • Holes in clothing
  • Tiny holes in books 

Prevention is better than cure

So, you carpet beetles in your home.  Unpleasant and annoying but, thankfully, there are a few things you can do to evict them, without causing further damage to your carpet but, before we get to these, it’s time to familiarise yourself with a few good habits to get into to prevent further infestations in the future: 

  • Vacuum regularly – and don’t forget curtains and other window areas which may be harbouring these tiny pests
  • Steam clean – a carpet steam cleaner is a great investment as it helps to keep your carpet clean, kills bugs and, can also double up as a clothing dewrinkler
  • Clean and clear – use rubbing alcohol or a bleach and water solution to clean window sills and other surfaces
  • Insecticide – use a light insecticide around the home, including the edges of carpets and on entryways such as doors and windows.  These are readily available from supermarkets, home stores and online
  • Cracks – get into the habit of checking walls and windows for small cracks and gaps which may give carpet bugs access to your home
  • Screens – If your home features window screens or blinds, check these regularly for holes and tears as these make excellent doorways for carpet bugs. 

Getting rid of carpet bugs

If you’ve identified the tell-tale signs of carpet bugs in your home, the following are some really good ways of getting rid of them without ruining your carpet or rug: 

Fogger – A flying insect fogger can be extremely effective in destroying eggs and larvae in carpets and rugs.  These are available in home stores and online and you should be looking for a non-residue option to make sure that your carpets don’t get stained.  Use the fogger across the entire carpet or rug, making sure that children and pets are kept out of the room, and then vacuum thoroughly to get rid of bug and egg debris.

Insecticide – There are lots of different insecticides available which are safe to use on your carpets and rugs.  Look for a product which contains Boric Acid, Deltamethrin, Bifenthrin or Cyfluthrin for the best results.  First, sprinkle the powder onto a small area of your carpet, leave for a couple of hours then remove with a vacuum to test for any damage.  If no damage is present, repeat the process for the entire area affected.

Essential oils – For those who prefer not to use chemical-based products, try a mixture of peppermint oil, clove oil and distilled water for a gentler, more environmentally friendly option.  Mix the solution together in a spray bottle and then spray evenly (and generously) across the rug or carpet.  This solution shouldn’t stain your carpet or leave unpleasant odours but, if you do find that the smell of the oils lingers, use a carpet cleaner the following day.

Vinegar – Carpet bugs are not fond of the smell of vinegar at all and, so, a simple mixture of apple cider or white vinegar and water can be extremely effective in ridding your room of these insects.  Spray the mixture across the area and leave for a few hours – afterwards, you’ll probably want to use a carpet cleaner or damp cloth as the smell can be quite overpowering. 

DE – Diatomaceous Earth is a fine white dust which occurs naturally within the Earth’s surface – and which makes light work of getting rid of carpet bugs.  Look for food-grade DE which is safe due to low levels of crystalline silica.  As with other methods, keep well away from children and pets and, spread evenly across the rug or carpet and then vacuum thoroughly to remove every trace of the powder.

All of these methods are really effective at ridding your home of intruders but, it’s always a good idea to do a sample test first – and always always keep the kids and your furry friends well away from the area to prevent inhalation of fumes. 

Conclusion

As with other pests, carpet bugs view your home as a haven of warmth and food – and can easily find their way in without an invitation.  Once you’ve used one of our methods to remove the bugs and larvae from your carpet, be sure to then get onboard with our preventative measures to keep these bugs out of your home for good.  Finally, if you’re using products to remove bugs from your home, and prevent their return, always carefully read the instructions before getting started.

How To Remove Dog And Cat Smell From Carpet

Whether you’re dotty about dogs or crazy about cats, our furry friends are part of the family and provide companionship, entertainment and, can even be extremely beneficial to our wellbeing.  It’s natural to want to keep our pets indoors with us and, while cats and dogs love carpets, the feeling is often not mutual.  If you’re a cat or dog owner, you’ll probably aware that  they can leave our carpets smelling less than fresh but, don’t worry, in this article, we’re going to take you through some effective and affordable ways to remove dog and cat odours from carpets and keep them smelling clean all year long.

On the spot

To begin with, it’s a good idea to figure out the extent of the odour – i.e, if the entire carpet is affected or, just a particular section.  You can do this by simply using your nose or, for a more comprehensive result, you can use a blacklight to identify badly stained sections of carpet which may be responsible for making your room a little whiffy. 

Wet? No sweat

If you’re quick on the draw and manage to catch your pet’s ‘accidents’ while they’re still wet, you can act fast to stop odours settling in and pervading your home: 

  • Grab a thick wad of kitchen roll or tissue and soak up as much of the liquid as possible
  • Next, place a fresh wad of tissue over the affected area and, then, place a few sheets of newspaper on top of that
  • Place a heavy object on top of the padding (or stand on it, if you don’t have a heavy object to hand}
  • Remove the padding
  • Rinse the affected area with cold, clean water 
  • Repeat if necessary

Leading by the nose

Unfortunately, there will be times when you won’t manage to catch accidents in time but, don’t worry, there are a few ways in which you can eliminate dried in odours: 

A breath of fresh air

For everyday, dried in pet odours, a home or upholstery air freshener like Febreze should do the trick.  Spray lightly over the part of the carpet which is a little smelly and, if the problem persists, rinse and then repeat. Opening doors and windows on a regular basis will also help to keep pesky pet odours at bay.

Bake off

If the carpet is stained, you can use a stain remover – these are widely available from supermarkets and DIY stores and are relatively inexpensive.  After using the stain remover, cover the affected area with baking soda and leave overnight.  The following morning, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda and wipe down with a damp cloth if necessary. 

A solution worth its salt

If pet smells are persistent, try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda – mix this together well and apply directly to the carpet.  Leave for several hours (or overnight if possible) and then rinse thoroughly to make sure that your living room doesn’t end up smelling like a fish and chip shop!

Power down

OK, so none of the above have worked for you – don’t panic, you just need a solution with a little more oomph:

Mix together the following ingredients: 

  • ¾ of a cup of hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ of a cup of white vinegar
  • 5 drops of essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of washing up liquid
  • 2 tablespoons of fabric softener
  • 1 gallon of hot water (not boiling)

Use a soft cloth to rub the mixture into the carpet and leave for an hour or so and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. 

What not to do

If you’re an internet user, you’ll know that the world wide web is jam packed full of advice and, unfortunately, not all of it is good.  The following are a few things that you absolutely should not do when trying to remove pet odours from your carpets: 

Steam –  A lot of people mistakenly believe that using a steam cleaner on stained or smelly carpets is the way forward.  In reality, the steam will only drive the stains and odours deeper – and then seal them into the carpet for good measure. 

Rub – Although it’s natural to assume that using a bit of elbow grease to rub stains and smells from carpet will work, unfortunately, this won’t tend to do much more than damage the fibres of your carpet and make it look more dirty.

Conclusion

The occasional smelly carpet is a small price to pay for the company of our beloved pets but, these tips should help you to get your home smelling fresh again.  As with anything, prevention is better than a cure so, always make sure that you regularly vacuum up pet hair from carpets and, air your rooms whenever possible to keep nasty niffs at bay. 

How To Clean Carpet By Hand

When our carpets become dirty or stained, most of us will naturally reach for the vacuum cleaner or washer, however, this plan can come unstuck if your device isn’t working or you don’t have it to hand.  Don’t worry though, all is not lost as there are a few ways in which you can clean your carpet by hand.  Better still, some of these require ingredients that you probably already have in the cupboard at home:

The right tools for the job

Before we talk about the different solutions that can be used for cleaning your carpet by hand, you’ll need to arm yourself with the following tools: 

  • A couple of old towels
  • An old toothbrush
  • A couple of clean, dry rags
  • A bucket or large bowl

It’s a good idea to make sure that you have these things to hand before starting in order to save yourself time and effort.  Now we’ll take a look at the different solutions that you can easily put together for cleaning your carpet.

An ace up your sleeve

Laundry detergent is created specifically for fabrics and, this can work really well on dirty or stained carpets.  Mix about five grams of the detergent with around a pint of cold, clean water and apply the solution directly to the affected part of the carpet.  Use a brush to distribute the liquid but don’t scrub as this can damage the carpet fibres.  Cover with a clean dry rag and leave for an hour or two.  Use a damp rag to clean the solution from the carpet and then leave to dry naturally. 

Take a powder

Baking soda is not only useful for removing dirt and stains from your carpet but, it can also help to eliminate odours which may occur over time.  Lightly sprinkle the powder over your carpet and leave it to work its magic for a few hours.  Vacuum up the powder and then wipe the carpet with a damp cloth to remove any excess. 

Secret weapon

Vinegar does a great job of removing muck and stains from your carpets – and you’ll no doubt already have a bottle in your kitchen cupboard.  Pour a generous amount of vinegar onto a clean, dry rag and then use the rag to gently rub the dirty area of your carpet.  Once finished, wash the area thoroughly with a clean, damp rag and leave to dry.

The chemical combo

You may not have ammonia hanging around the house but, this is a good ingredient to keep handy if you’re prone to dirty carpets – you can usually buy this in home stores or online.  Mix together 10 millilitres of ammonia, 500 millilitres of water and a teaspoon of laundry detergent and stir well.  Use a soft brush to apply a generous amount of the solution to the section of carpet that needs cleaning and then cover with a rag.  Leave for a few hours and then clean the solution away with a clean, damp cloth or rag. 

Driving out stains

For oil based carpet stains, petrol is a great – if unexpected – solution.  Mix two teaspoons of petrol with around a pint of cold water and mix well.  Use a rag or brush to distribute the mixture evenly over the area of carpet that needs cleaning.  Leave for about ten minutes and then thoroughly wash the area.  You may want to use a little carpet soap or detergent as the smell of the petrol can be a little overwhelming.

Conclusion

While an electric vacuum or cleaner is useful, it’s not always necessary for cleaning your carpets.  As we’ve demonstrated here, there are a few ways that you can go a little old school to get the job done and leave your carpets clean and smelling fresh.

How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles

The Beatles were one of the most successful bands in the world and were adored by many.  Carpet beetles, on the other hand, are a menace which can wreak havoc in your home quicker than you can say ‘Get Back’.  In this article, we’re going to walk you through what these little blighters are, how to spot them and, most importantly, how to get rid of them: 

Introducing the carpet beetle

The UK is home to three main types of carpet beetle – the Varied Carpet Beetle, the Furniture Carpet Beetle and, the Black Carpet Beetle.  In this article, we’ll be focusing on the Furniture Carpet Beetle – these bugs are around 0.4cm in size with a light brown and black speckled shell.  Its rounded shape and six legs are reminiscent of that of a ladybird and, these flying fiends will consume pretty much anything but, top of the menu for Furniture Carpet Beetles is natural fibres such as leather and wool.  

As well as carpet, these bugs will also feast on soft furnishings and even wooden flooring – and unfortunately, they don’t wait for invitation.  Carpet beetles can get into your home through your windows and doors – and we often even give them a ‘Ticket To Ride’ by unwittingly bringing them indoors on our clothing and shoes and even in our hair.  In the latter case, you may experience some itching caused by the bristle hairs of the beetle but this usually isn’t dangerous.  

Have carpet beetles invaded your home?

Your first step is to figure out whether or not you have carpet beetles in your home.  These critters, if present, will normally be found in carpets, rugs and woollen clothing but can also get inside walls in order to feast on insulation.  The following are some tell-tale signs that you have some unwanted guests: 

  • Holes, gaps and damage to carpets and rugs which contain natural fibres
  • Holes and damage to clothing made from natural fibres such as wool, leather, fur or feathers
  • Damage to photographs, books and documents
  • Faecal pellets in the home (these are small dry pellets and are usually black or brown in colour)

If you’ve identified one or more of the above then, unfortunately, there’s a good chance that you’re playing host to the carpet beetle.

Showing carpet beetles the door

Now that you know that you have carpet beetles in your home, the big question is, how do you get rid of them? Here’s how it’s done: 

Location, location, location – Make a note of all the areas that you suspect are harbouring unwanted guests.

That sucks – Next, get the vacuum cleaner out and thoroughly vacuum every inch of your carpets and rugs, as well as sofas, chairs, curtains and any other soft furnishings. 

It’ll all come out in the wash – Remove any soft furnishings, such as cushion covers, which can be washed and wash them with hot soapy water, preferably in a machine, in order to kill any bugs and eggs. While dry cleaning will remove the bug but the shell may remain, causing skin irritation.

The acid test – Now it’s time to get serious about your bug-busting.  Grab some Boric Acid powder and sprinkle this across all affected areas, making sure that children and pets are safely out of the way.  Leave for two or three hours and then vacuum thoroughly  This process will usually kill all beetles, bugs, eggs and larvae.  

Clear out the clothing – If the bugs have found their way into your clothing and caused damage, it’s usually best to throw these items away as they could still be harbouring eggs. 

Shut your trap – Your final stage is to get hold of some pheromone glue traps to catch any persistent bugs – while this may be a little icky, it’s a good way of getting a visual on the success of your bug busting mission. 

As we’ve mentioned, natural fibres are a big draw for carpet beetles so, where possible, store wool and leather clothing in protective packaging and consider replacing cotton sheets for man-made fibres.

Conclusion

While not pleasant, carpet beetles generally don’t bite or pose a threat to us humans – but it can certainly wreak havoc within our homes if we don’t act quickly.  It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking for carpet beetles – paying close attention to cool, dark spaces containing natural fibres.  The quicker you get to these irritating bugs, the less time they have to breed – and the better your chances of getting rid of them for good.