Keeping your carpet looking clean can feel near-impossible when you have small children. Here’s how to deal with 3 common kid-related carpet stains…and keep your sanity in between professional cleans.
How to clean play dough out of carpet
Has your lovely little monster baked you a play dough cake…right on the living room floor? Don’t panic and saturate the area with soapy water. If it’s only fresh, it’s time to put your kid in front of Netflix and get out an old toothbrush.
- If the play dough is still wet, try removing small bits of play dough by dabbing it with a larger ball (like the way you remove Bluetack from a wall using more Bluetack). Whatever won’t come out, you will need to leave to dry.
- Once the play dough is dry, get out that old toothbrush and scrub the fibers. You want to loosen it as much as you can in this step. Be prepared to use some elbow grease and take some time!
- Once you’ve loosened the dough from the fibers, get the vacuum cleaner out and suck up the loose dough. If the carpet still isn’t clean, circle back to step two and repeat the process.
If the dye in the play dough has caused your carpet to stain (lucky you!), you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for removing the discolouration.
How to clean red cordial out of carpet
You’ve walked into your loungeroom at the very moment your child has knocked over a cup of red cordial he knew he wasn’t supposed to have in there. The stain is spreading like a blood splatter all over your cream carpet. Quick! What do you do?
- Get an old towel (or two) and immediately begin soaking up as much of the cordial as possible. Use pressure by standing on the towel or blotting it with your hands and bodyweight. Red food colouring is a very effective dye that’s even worse once it’s dried…so you’re going to want to keep soaking up the stain until it is no longer wet.
- Begin dabbing the stain with cold water and a sponge. This will help to transfer remaining dye out of the fibers. Again, follow with blotting dry with a towel.
- Use a carpet cleaning solution or a homemade remedy if none is on hand. For example, diluting a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid into 1 litre of warm water can be an effective stain remover. Once you’ve applied the stain remover, do another clean cold water and towel-blotting cycle.
If you are still left with a nasty stain after following these steps, it might be time to call in some professional help.
How to biro pen out of carpet
Has your child got their ‘pen license’ a little too early and gone to town on your carpet? Permanent inks such as ballpoint pens and permanent markers can cause a big mess and dealing with them incorrectly could leave your carpet permanently stained.
- You’re going to need to use an agent that will act as a solvent on the ink such as rubbing alcohol or acetone (acetone nail polish remover can be used in a pinch!). Saturate the stain with the product, allowing it to soak into the fibers.
- Begin blotting the stain with cotton wool balls, lifting as much of the dye pigment from the carpet as possible.
- Blot dry with paper towel. Repeat steps until the stain is completely removed.
If the stain persists, consider contacting a local carpet cleaner to get some professional assistance.