About a month ago my son decided to draw on his white bedroom carpet. (White carpet – not my idea.) Unfortunately, my son chose the hot pink crayon for his very long arching stripe across the middle of the floor. (Note: These were not the soy crayons I recently reviewed; these were WASHABLE name-brand crayons which did not wash.)
I admit it, I panicked. I have a bottle of nasty chemical-laden spot remover that has managed to stay in the house despite all my chemical-free tricks. Why I grabbed that first instead of my usual stuff, I’ll never know, but I sprayed the heck out of the stain with smelly gel. And guess what? His room still smells of the stuff. The cleaner turned the bright pink stripe into a wide smudge of rose pink. Oops.
The second thing I grabbed was my trusty old bottle of vinegar and water, which did remove the stain completely. No more pink, and I’ve learned my lesson. Sometimes life happens and no manner of natural remedy will remove a stain, but it’s always good to try it first. So for your average nasty carpet stain, try a mixture of 1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water. Spray bottles are best; adjusting the spray nozzle to a stream can really knock out a stain. If it’s a tough one, try sprinkling a little baking soda on the area and blot. Allow the area to dry thoroughly before vacuuming. It may take a few applications, but it’s worth it!
Other cleaning tricks:
Gum: freeze with an ice cube, then break it off the carpet.
Paint, makeup, staining goopy stuff: Scrape off with a dull knife, then try the vinegar mixture above or blot on rubbing alcohol. (Always test your carpet first in an inconspicuous area!)
Fruit Juice: If you have a wet vac, you can try sucking up as much as possible before blotting the area with a damp paper towel. I’ve used the vinegar spray with good success on fruit juice. Or try 1/2 tsp. dish soap in a quart of water and blot the area.
Honestly, I’ve used a wide variety of natural remedies over the years with that white carpet, but for spot cleaning the best I’ve found is the vinegar solution. It’s removed muddy dog prints, crayon, blueberry juice, dog “products” (need I say more?), coffee, and wine. I keep a spray bottle at the ready under every sink in the house. Why oh why I grabbed that cleaner, I just don’t know, but next time I’ll go the natural route first. Ah, to say there won’t be a next time…