Being a full-time mom or dad can be challenging, especially if you have more than one child. The amount of things you have to manage when you have children is almost obscene. And then, they grow up just enough to start playing outside, and cleaning becomes a nightmare.
What do you do when your little ones start making messes all over the carpets? How do you deal with typical carpet stains caused by children fooling around? Grab a cup of warm coffee and read all about it below.
Let's start with the first subject:
Should I buy light coloured carpets if I have children?
The first mistake you can make is to fit light-coloured carpet in the children’s room. Light coloured carpets require much more maintenance and everyday cleaning than others. If you cannot afford the luxury to clean the carpets at home every day, choose darker carpet tones.
Regardless of what colour your carpets are, they need to be hoovered at least 4 times a week if you have children. Aside from regular use of your vacuum cleaner, you will need to deep clean the carpets more often. Light carpets are actually an advantage, as the dirt is much more visible on them. However, this upside is a double-edged sword, as is plainly obvious.
You may use a spot remover designed specifically for carpet cleaning. Store-brand cleaning solutions will definitely help if you buy the correct ones. However, it is always preferred to use natural products for carpet cleaning.
If the carpet cleaner product is not suited to the material, it may discolour your carpet. You will deal with the stain itself, but the carpet shampoo will cause fading of the carpet’s colours. So every time before applying stain removers for the first time on your carpet, test it on a small inconspicuous area.
It is curious to know that some people try to hide stains by moving furniture over them. However, this is obviously not feasible for high traffic areas such as stairs or hallways. Instead of covering up an e.g. red wine stain, timely use of a cleaning product is the better option.
How to remove food stains from my carpets?
Did you know that over 80% of child-related stains are food and drink spillages? And this is not just in the UK, mind you, but all around the globe. It seems we all have the struggle of teaching our kids not to drop the fish and chips.
If it's a drink, this should become standard procedure by now - grab the paper towels and blot. Then, depending on what it was, use an appropriate cleaning solution. For colourless soft drinks like club soda, just some blotting, rinsing and drying will do the trick.
However, if dealing with anything that has artificial or natural colourants, be vigilant. Use baking soda to absorb it, or blot it with a cloth dipped in white vinegar. If you have white carpets, or a very bright colour, you can use hydrogen peroxide instead.
For food stains, as anything with chunks, get the food off your carpet and into the bin. Then, begin blotting at the grease and grime, or just pick up the smaller chunks first. Based on what exactly the food was, you may have a breeze or a tough fight ahead.
For example, if they drop pizza, just hoover the crumbs out after you blot away the ketchup. However, if they spill chocolate milk, you'll need to go buy more baking soda again. And if you have a heavy stain like curry, do not hesitate to contact professional carpet cleaners.
How to remove mud stains from carpets?
When the kids grow up a bit and start playing outside, the shoe marks become a common occurrence. If you allow your child to enter the home with shoes on, it is guaranteed that you will face this problem. It is good to make a rule for all the members of your family to take their shoes off when coming in. However, if it is too late, and you see mud stains on your carpets, it’s time to act.
You should mix ¼ tea spoon of laundry detergent with a cup of cold water. Take a clean white cloth or towel and damp it into the solution. Then treat the stain very carefully, starting from the outside of the stain, working toward its centre. Blot dry the carpets with paper towels or another clean colour fast cloth.
It's important to be aware that you should only scrub stains which have been left to dry. Don’t scrub damp stains, because that way you make them even bigger. Worst case scenario is that you may push them deeper inside the fibres.
How do you get rid of ink stains in a carpet?
I've personally made the error of leaving pens within reach of short little hands before. Then, the paintings of Picasso were put to shame on my cream coloured carpets. Now, I keep my pens and markers locked up on the highest cupboard shelf.
Biro pens and sharpies are a horrid mark to have to deal with, especially if you don't have the time. If left to dry, they are almost as bad as blood or paint stains. Let's say that if the kids ever get a hold of any kind of ink, expect disaster. Let's discuss the three types of ink stains first:
- Biro (ball-point)
- Permanent (marker)
- Water-based ink
Water-based ink is a much lighter solution compared to the other two types. This is due to it primarily being used to make various logos on T-shirts, and for washable markers. The water in the mixture helps it dry much slower compared to pure ink, and makes it the easiest to remove.
Permanent ink, as the scary name suggests, is the polar opposite removal-wise. You'll have to bust out the big guns if you left the markers in range of the kids. If the stain has set in, it can make removing pet and coffee stains a walk in the park.
Biro pens, or ball point pens (as they call them in the USA) are very common in UK households. Even if you have moved your office into the digital age, the kids still have to do their homework. However, what if some day you come home to see the calculus scribbled onto your carpets?
To remove water-based ink stains, you will need to mix dish soap (1 teaspoon) with about a pint of warm water. Dip a clean cotton cloth into the solution, and blot the stain all over. Keep repeating and changing cloths until it's gone, but don't over wet your carpet.
For getting rid of biro pen marks, grab your nail polish remover and blot away without scrubbing. It's important to note that it has to contain acetone, as that's the key element to remove pen marks. Acetone-free nail polish removers are best used as per their namesake.
And for permanent ink stains on carpets, prepare for a battle of wills between you and the stain. Grab a lot of rubbing alcohol and clean cloths, and moisten the stain before blotting it gently. Do not apply too much pressure, as you want the ink to transfer to the cloth you're using.
How to remove makeup stains from my carpet?
If you have a daughter, at some point in time, she will paint her face (and your carpet) with your makeup. Sooner or later, you will have to cope with mascara stains on the carpet. Let's prepare you for the inevitable with our carpet cleaning tips for removing mascara:
Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with ½ cup of water and blot the stain, then rinse and let dry. If you have dark carpet, you can treat the stain with one tablespoon white vinegar and one cup of lukewarm water. After that's been done, rinse the stain with clean cold water.
How can I remove blood stains from carpets?
Blood stains are also an issue when you have kids, especially when they start growing up. Like it or not, you'll have to treat a lot of scraped knees and small cuts over the years. And with those, carpet stains are usually quick to follow.
If you clean the stain while it is still fresh, it would be much easier than if you try to remove it after it is already dry. If the stain is still fresh, you have to blot the blood. Then spray the blood stain with cold water and rinse.
Never make the huge mistake to spray the stain with lukewarm or hot water. Also, never apply too much water, because that may make the stain bigger than it already was. And as always, don't forget to blot instead of scrub, as blood is hard enough to remove from the surface.
Alternatively, you can dry clean the carpet using baking soda, which absorbs liquids of all kinds. Just sprinkle it on top, wait a bit for it to soak the liquid, and hoover out. Remember not to overdo this, and don't let the soda sit there for a day or so.
There are many more carpet cleaning tips you need to know if you are a parent. However, we hope we gave you a good guideline of what happens to your carpet when you have a family. Read the rest of our blog for more helpful tips and tricks for cleaning at home.