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Cleaning the carpets

Here are a few tips to removing stains from your carpets.

Here are a few tips to removing stains from your carpets.

Despite your attempts at being cautious and clean, it's all but inevitable that a spill will stain your carpet at some point – especially if you're hosting a lot of friends and family over the holidays. Luckily, there are plenty of do-it-yourself options to clean household surfaces.

Cleaning supplies around the house
When a minor spill occurs, you can probably find the cleaning supplies you need around your home. White vinegar is considered somewhat of a universal cleaning solution. Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water and you'll have a solution that can take on most standard stains. If you need extra cleaning power, throw a little baking soda in the mixture. Club soda is another great stain remover, especially for harsh substances like red wine. For the heaviest stains, such as blood, try using hydrogen peroxide. Pour it right onto the stain, wait for it to bubble and then blot it clean.

Tips and timing
It's a good rule of thumb to remove stains as soon as you can. The longer your carpet remains stained, the more difficult it is to clean. Do your best to remove as much of the staining substance as you can before you introduce any cleaning agents to the surface.

When removing stains, it's best to blot the area rather than scrub it. Blotting stains helps lift the particles up and out of the carpet, but scrubbing the material can actually push the stain deeper into your carpet's fibers. As you blot the stain, make sure you start from the outer edges rather than the inside out. Doing so will prevent the stain from spreading.

Don't forget about deep cleaning
Regardless of how many stains you have to deal with on your carpets, it's a good idea to deep clean them every 12 to 18 months, according to Angie's List. Deep cleaning will help remove odors as well as any dirt and debris embedded in your carpet. When performing a deep clean of your carpet, make sure you remove all the furniture from the area. If not, you run the risk of creating  permanent stains as a result of the deep-cleaning solution mixing with wood stains and metal finishes on your furniture. Plus, you'll have an opportunity to reassess the furniture you're using in the room.