One of the best ways to save money is to get the maximum life that you can out of your household furnishings. Carpeting and furniture, especially, can be costly and often gets heavy use. Here are some good tips for keeping them looking their best for as long as possible.
1. Vacuum regularly. Many times you can remove substances that will get ground into carpet and upholstery if left in place for very long. You can prevent some stains from the start.
2. Treat stains as soon as possible after the spill happens. The longer they sit, the harder they will be to fix.
3. For upholstery and carpet stains, always blot. Never rub because you will spread and drive the stain deeper into the fabric.
4. If food, mud clumps, or other chunky solids (yuck) get spilled on the carpet, first scoop up all the substances that you can with a spoon, scraper, or knife before doing anything else. The same advice goes for upholstery.
5. For gum, you can treat with heat or cold. The heat from a hair dryer will help soften the gum, making it easier to stick to plastic bags or rags you are using for removal. On the other hand, ice cubes will harden the gum to make it easier to lift and scrape off. Check out these detailed instructions from Angie’s List for clean up.
6. Before applying any substance other than water to your carpet for stain removal, test out in out in less visible area of the carpet. Also, determine if your carpet is made of synthetic or natural fibers. It will make a difference in how you treat the stains.
7. For upholstery, make sure you look at tags to see what upholstery is made of before you apply anything at all. Some fabrics, can be harmed by any wet substance, and will require dry methods of cleaning.
8. For good, clear instructions for getting out stains from carpets ranging from ketchup and wine to lipstick and ballpoint ink, take a look at Real Simple’s stain solutions guide. The guide shows you step-by-step how to use things like ammonia, dish soap, solvent, vinegar, and water to clean up the carpet.
9. For getting out common upholstery stains, here are some tips from Mrs. Clean.
10. Be patient. It may take several rounds of stain treatment, to get some stains out. Sometimes the best home stain removal practices may not be enough to totally remove the damage. You may have to call in a professional with his or her powerful machines to wipe stains out for good. It is a good idea to have a professional come in and clean, especially in high traffic rooms, every one to two years anyway.
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