Stain solutions for your carpet

Published On: Nov 12 2012 11:38:45 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 27 2012 01:44:32 PM EST

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With few exceptions, effective cleaners can be made with a few low-cost items, namely baking soda, vinegar, water and bleach.

(NewsUSA) - Red wine. Tomato sauce. Coffee. Each of these items strikes fear in the hearts of homeowners with carpeted floors. Unfortunately, kids with sticky fingers and pets with messy paws -- along with the occasional accident -- make spills and stains an inevitable part of life.

"Carpet stains can be one of the most frustrating cleaning projects for many homeowners," says Kathy Young of Shaw Floors. "While consumers love the comfort and

beauty that carpet brings to their homes, they dread the potential spills that can accompany an active lifestyle."

Fortunately, maintaining a clean carpet is easier than ever before. There are even cell phone apps that can help you treat stains. Mud tracks through the living room? Kool-Aid spilled in the den? Not a problem with fast, clear access to detailed stain removal tips for hundreds of the most common stains.

Red Wine: Apply detergent solution (1/4 teaspoon clear hand dishwashing soap and 1 cup warm water) with a damp towel; leave on for three to five minutes (blot, don't rub). If stain is not removed, apply a hydrogen peroxide/ammonia solution (1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon household ammonia) and let stand for two to three hours under a weighted sheet of plastic wrap (repeat as needed). Once removal is complete, apply white vinegar to neutralize the area, then apply water with a damp towel to rinse. Blot, then finish with a weighted pad of white paper towels.

Gum: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Freeze with ice cubes. When hardened, shatter with a blunt object, such as the back of a spoon. Vacuum chips before they melt.

Peanut Butter: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Apply detergent solution with a damp towel (blot, don't rub). Apply water with a damp towel. Blot, then finish with a weighted pad of towels.


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