Christmas is full of fun, food and presents – but it can also leave you with stains on carpets, clothing and upholstery! From red wine to muddy footprints, Jon Flannigan, a carpet cleaning expert from Kingsmead carpets, gives his advice on how to remove tough festive stains.
1. Christmas Tree Water
Opting for a real Christmas tree this year?
“Tree water spillages or stains on carpet can be difficult to remove,” explains Jon. “I recommend mixing equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Blot the stain lightly with a clean cloth, then pour the solution onto the area. Let it sit for five minutes and then rinse with cool water and blot dry. The pH level of the vinegar will pull out the water stain from the carpet.”
2. Tree Sap
“Real Christmas trees are lovely but you may be left with stubborn tree sap stains on your carpet all year round if you’re not careful!” Warns Jon.
“To remove tree sap stains use salt or baking soda. Sprinkle the powder liberally over the stain and work it into a paste with a damp cloth. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes before vacuuming. Hopefully, you’ll be left with a sap-free carpet!”
“Spilt drinks should be blotted with paper towels as soon as possible and then rinsed with cold water,” advises Jon.
“For red wine stains, blot with paper towels and then mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Next, pour the mixture onto the area and blot dry. You might have to repeat this until the stain is gone.”
“White wine stains are different. You’ll need to mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid and one tablespoon of ammonia with two cups of warm water. Apply the mixture to the area, working it into a lather then rinse. Blot dry and repeat until the stain is gone,” Jon explains.
“If you have a wool carpet, you should be covered by the Wool Owners Warranty (WOW) carpet after-care service. The WOW spot cleaning tool is perfect for removing wine stains from wool carpet.”
Soot from from Santa’s boots can be a real pain!
To remove soot stains, Sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch, or other absorbent on the stain. Let stand at least one hour, and then vacuum,” advises Jon. “ Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent. Blot until the solvent is absorbed.”
Winter walks and lots of visitors over Christmas means muddy footprints on carpets!
“As a dog owner, I’m well accustomed to muddy pawprints on carpet!” Jon jokes.
“Mud stains are relatively easy to remove using basic household items – just mix one teaspoon of washing up liquid with one cup of warm water and pour onto the affected area. Blot gently then rinse with cold water and blot dry until the stain has gone.”
Jon adds “for your wool carpet, don’t forget to check out the WOW spot cleaner for stubborn mud stains!”
“For deeper cleaning, use a steam cleaner. This will help to lift mud stains out of carpets without damaging the fibres.”
6. Candle Wax
Candles create a festive atmosphere in any home, but spilled wax on carpets are an unwelcome sight!
“This one requires a bit of faith and patience!” Jon smiles. “To remove candle wax stains, freeze the area with an ice cube or bag of frozen peas and scrape off the hardened wax using a blunt knife. Then, place a paper towel over the wax and use a hot iron to heat the area, transferring wax from carpet to cloth. Vacuum up the remaining pieces of wax.”
7. Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate spills on carpets can be a real nightmare.
“Act quickly,” says Jon. “The longer hot drink stains are left, the harder they are to remove!” he explains.
“For synthetic carpet like Polypropylene, you can use a diluted bleach solution. For a chemical-free solution, mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Apply this mixture to the stained area using a cloth or sponge, then blot gently before rinsing with cool water and blotting dry until all traces of the stain are gone,” says Jon.
Jon continues “If you have a wool or wool blend carpet from a major retailer, you should be covered by the Wool Owners Warranty (WOW) professional carpet after-care service. Through the WOW program, wool carpet owners get access to professional cleaning services and other special benefits, such as free stain removal advice and free spot-cleaning solutions.”
8. Coffee & Tea
Coffee or tea stains are some of the most common household spills.
“Mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid, one tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water together in a bowl,” Jon advises.
“Apply the solution to the stained area using a cloth or sponge, then blot gently before rinsing with cool water and blotting dry until all traces of the stain are gone.” For an extra measure, Jon suggests sprinkling salt onto fresh coffee stains to draw out the moisture!
Lipstick stains are notoriously difficult to remove from carpets, but there is a way!
“The key is to prevent as much of the lipstick as possible from embedding itself into the carpet” explains Jon. “Act quickly and blot the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much of the lipstick as you can. Use cold water as warm water could set the stain and make it harder to remove,” concludes Jon.
“If you know your carpet type and have a Polypropylene carpet, you can use a diluted bleach solution for stubborn stains. For wool carpet, you may be eligible to use the Wool Owners Warranty Spot Cleaner,” Jon advises.
10. Eggnog (or dairy products)
Eggnog spills can be a nightmare to remove from carpets, but according to Jon, a great solution is enzyme based cleaner. “Apply the enzyme cleaner on top of the stain and wait for approximately 10 minutes before wiping away with a damp cloth. This should stop any unwanted smells.”
Alternatively, Jon says, “start by lifting any solid pieces with a spoon and blotting excess eggnog with paper towels. Then, apply a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid to the stain. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes before blotting away any residues with a white microfibre cloth. To help with lingering odours, mix a cup of white vinegar with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle.”
11. Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce spills can be a real menace. However, Jon recommends a particular technique to remove them.
“Cranberry sauce is sticky, so act quickly and use a spoon to scoop up as much of the sauce as possible. Use a mild detergent or a carpet cleaning solution to loosen the stain before blotting it with cold water.”
Gravy can leave behind nasty red or orange marks if not treated quickly.
“The best way to tackle gravy stains is by combining one tablespoon of washing up liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water,” advises Jon. “Apply the mixture to the stained area, blot gently and rinse with cold water. Pat dry until the stain is gone,” he instructs.
“Alternatively, you can mix a solution of a teaspoon of white vinegar combined with ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol. Sponge off excess and carefully rinse with warm water before drying your carpet completely.”
With Jon’s advice and easy tips, you can keep your home looking fresh and clean well into 2023!
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