Picture this: you are hosting a dinner party for friends and everything is going well. The food is exquisite, the company is great, the atmosphere is electric and your guests are enjoying a glass of Malbec while playing board games in the lounge. All of a sudden there’s a single glassy ping followed by panicked unrest, shrills and the words “quickly! get a towel!”. The worst has happened, one of your guests has knocked over a glass of unforgivingly dark red wine all over the lounge cream carpet.
Unfortunately, accidents are a part of life and as is the case with carpets, the best way of dealing with accidental stains is to resort to a collection of tips and tricks using household items the methods of which seem to have been passed down from generation to generation. So is there any truth in using these methods? We’re about to explain the science behind some of the most unorthodox DIY carpet stain removal techniques:
Removing Red Wine With Salt?
When red wine is spilt on a light carpet try and eliminate any excess wine by dabbing the area with tissues. Next, you’ll need to dilute the wet stain by adding a few drops of water, this will help lift off some of the intensity of the dark red colour. Now it’s time to apply a healthy helping of salt to the immediate area. It is recommended that you cover the entire area so that the salt totally eclipses the colour of the stain. The science behind this is very logical as salt is a strong natural absorbent and will draw moisture away from the stain and remove some of the tannins with it. Salt crystals are very rough, abrasive and also have a large surface area which means that their capacity to absorb maximum volumes of liquid is huge.
Removing Grease With Baking Soda & Vinegar?
Grease and oil-based stains are universally dreaded by everyone because they are so hard to get out. Grease from bikes, machinery or even spilt food will cling to the fibres of a carpet and attract dust and dirt at an incredible rate. While some big heavy grease stains could warrant the need for a new carpet you can manage smaller grease stains with a sprinkle of baking soda.
Firstly remove as much excess grease as possible using blotting paper, be sure to do this gently so that you don’t work the grease into the carpet further. Take a few ml of white wine vinegar and then pour this over the top of the stain. Sprinkle a covering of baking soda over the stain and let it sit there for around five hours. Chemically, baking soda is an alkaline and sits on the opposite side of the PH scale to vinegar (acidic) which occupies the higher end. When these two substances come together they produce a violent chemical reaction which dislodges the fat molecules from the fibres of your carpet.
Not All Stains Are Created Equally
You may have come off lightly and suffered only a slight to moderate stain which can be removed using salt or baking soda as discussed above. Unfortunately, sometimes that small quarter glass of red wine that falls may be an entire bottle and that little flicker of tracked-in grease may one day be an entire curry. When the stain is just too big to tackle, it may be time for a new carpet all together. At Prestige flooring, we have a great selection of domestic carpets for your home. Visit our website today to choose from a number of materials including silk, polyester, nylon, wool and even more!
Laurence has written for numerous residential and commercial design publications over the years, continually following the latest trends and chasing down the next big thing.