Stains happen. No matter how careful people are. People get busy living life and then something gets spilled or dropped onto the carpet and removing food stains is not always fun.
Staying on top of removing food stains from your carpet as you notice them can help it continue to look good. It will also help maintain that just cleaned feel you get after a professional deep cleaning.
Here are some general guidelines and specific methods for cleaning up seven types of food stains.
General Tips for Removing Food Stains
It’s important to act fast. The longer whatever spilled on your carpet stays there, the more time it will sink deeper and will be harder to remove.
White towels or plain white paper towels are the proper cleaning material to use. They will keep dyes from transferring onto your carpet. Rinse your towel often or use additional paper towels while working.
When removing the spill, remember to blot only. If you rub on the carpet, you risk a chance of pushing the food down in deeper or ruining the carpet fibers. Begin blotting from the outside of the stain and work toward the center.
Any water or cleaner that you use to clean up the spill should be used moderately. You don’t want to get the carpet any wetter than necessary.
Before using any cleaning solution, do a test somewhere that is normally covered or hidden behind your furniture to make sure it won’t discolor or damage your carpeting. When using liquid dish soap to clean your carpeting, make sure it is clear and does not contain a bleaching agent.
1. Tomato-Based Foods
To clean tomato-based foods such as tomato sauce and ketchup off your carpet, use a spoon to gently lift as much of the product off as you can. Then use paper towels or white cloth to blot up any remaining liquid. Once you have gotten as much of the liquid up as you can, you can begin cleaning.
Prepare a mixture of one teaspoon liquid dish soap and two cups of cold water. Dampen a cloth or towel with the mixture and begin blotting the stained area. Blot until you no longer see red being transferred to the towel.
Use plain water to blot the soap from the carpet. Press dry towels into the carpet to pick up as much water as you can, then allow the spot to dry.
How to clean chocolate off your carpet depends on whether the chocolate is in solid or melted form. If it is still solid, pick up as many of the pieces are you can, then vacuum to pick up the remaining bits.
If the chocolate is melted, place a sealed plastic bag filled with ice over the chocolate ten minutes. Once it is frozen, use a spoon or dull butter knife to gently pick up as much of the chocolate as you can.
Use a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap and one cup of lukewarm water to blot the stained area until the stain is gone. Rinse the area with a clean towel after dipping it in cold water. Press a dry towel into the area to remove the water from the carpet.
3. Coffee or Tea
If the coffee or tea is still wet, use a dry towel or paper towels to blot up as much of the liquid as you can. If the stain has dried, wet the stain with a bit of cold water before beginning to try to remove it.
Use a mixture of two cups of water and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap and white vinegar to blot the remaining stain. Once the stain has been removed, blot the carpet with plain water to remove the soap residue. Then press paper towels or a dry towel over the spot until all the excess moisture has been lifted from the carpet.
4. Greasy Foods
To remove greasy food stains from foods like melted cheese, butter or gravy, you will need a liquid spot remover. You can get one at a hardware store or supermarket.
Use paper towels to blot up as much of the greasy food as you can. Spray the liquid spot remover onto a white cloth. Blot the liquid onto the stain and then let it sit on the stain for five to ten minutes.
Remove the spot remover by blotting with a white cloth until the stain is gone. Rinse the area with a clean towel and cold water. Pat the area dry with paper towels.
5. Sticky Foods
Use a spoon to pick up as much of the syrup, honey or other sticky food as possible.
Then blot, using a mixture of 2 cups hot water and 1 tablespoon of liquid hand soap and a clean white towel, until the rest of the sticky food has been picked up. To remove the soap from your carpet, use fresh clean water to blot the spot. Once clean, press plain white paper towels or a dry towel over the spot until all the moisture has been removed.
Remove as much of the gum as you can using a metal spoon. Place a sealed plastic bag filled with ice over the remaining gum for ten minutes. Once the gum is frozen, scrape it up with a spoon or non-serrated butter knife.
To remove the remaining stickiness, spray the stained area with carpet cleaning spray, following the instructions on the bottle. Once cleaned, rinse the area with a damp towel to remove the cleanser. Pat dry with paper towels.
Gently pick up any berry pieces that you can. To remove the juice and smooshed bits, blot the stain with a mixture of one teaspoon liquid dish detergent and two cups lukewarm water.
Once all the juice has been removed, rinse the area with a towel dampened with cold water to remove the cleanser. Pat dry with paper towels.
Tried These Tips and the Stain Remains?
Removing food stains can be tough. This is especially true when the stains are old or you aren’t sure what created the stain in the first place.
If your attempts to spot clean haven’t worked, it is time to call a professional carpet cleaner in to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment. We will get your carpet looking its best, fast.