Removing Bodily Fluid Stains from Carpet
Of all the things that end up staining a carpet, the liquids that come out of us are among the hardest to shift—and they're probably the stains you'll want to remove as quickly as possible. Hellacious parties, messy pets and nasty injuries can all leave some nasty stains behind, but there are a number of ways to remove these thoroughly undesirable marks from your carpet.
Bloodstains scab on your carpet just as they do on your skin, so removing a bloodstain as quickly as possible is key. If you've managed to catch a bloodstain while it's still fresh and moist, there are a number of steps you can take:
- If you're lucky, plain, cold water will be enough to remove a recent bloodstain. After blotting away the blood that hasn't yet soaked into the carpet with a clean cloth or towel, spray the stain with cold water using a spray bottle until the carpet is damp, but not wet (do not use warm water, as this will set the stain and make it nigh on impossible to remove.). After leaving the water to soak in for a few minutes, blot away the wet stain with a separate clean towel, working from the outside in, and repeat the process until the stain is removed. Make sure not to rub, as this will only spread the stain.
- If cold water alone doesn't remove the stain entirely, use a more powerful cleaning agent. Dish soap, salt water or a baking powder and water paste are all safe bets.
- If the bloodstain is dry, you have a more difficult task ahead of you. Firstly, you should scrub the stain with a wire brush or the edge of a butter knife to loosen the dried blood, although not so hard that you damage the carpet. From there, you can attempt to use the cleaning substances that work on fresh blood, but you may find you need to use something with a bit more kick—hydrogen peroxide or ammonia are the most commonly recommended options here, but bear in mind that these may damage or discolour delicate carpets. Test your cleaner of choice on an inconspicuous area first.
- After the stain is removed, dry the area with a fan or paper towels. Do not use a heat source, as this can cause any blood you've missed to permanently stain the carpet.
Vomit and Faeces
When you're dealing with these nasty substances, removing the smell is as important as removing the stain. This will not be a pleasant task, but fortunately both stains can be tackled with the same basic steps:
- The first thing to do is to remove what we will politely refer to as 'solids'. This can be done by scooping with towels or kitchen paper, or by scraping and lifting with a spatula, windscreen scraper or pieces of cardboard. Make sure you don't press too hard into the carpet, as this will deepen the stain. Latex gloves are recommended for obvious reasons.
- Once you've done this, apply baking powder or cornstarch liberally to soak up moisture, and remove the resulting clumps.
- Cleaning substances you can use to remove the remaining stain are varied—sparkling water, white vinegar, peroxide, laundry detergent or conventional carpet cleaners are good choices, but once applied you should leave them to soak in for at least half an hour before you get to blotting. Alternatively, you can sprinkle dry cleaning solvent onto a clean towel and blot the stain with that, but be careful to use as little as possible to avoid damaging the carpet.
- Once the stain has been removed, deodorising the affected carpet is important. Ordinary household deodorants and air fresheners may do the job for small stains, but for larger accidents you should cover the cleaned area with baking soda—the high pH of baking soda neutralises the acids present in vomit and faeces that cause odours.
For more information, contact All Class Carpet Cleaning.