Carpets are notorious for getting stained. We start with all the dirt we drag around on the bottoms of our feet – dropped a blueberry in the kitchen, didn’t notice, stepped on it, walked into the living room – yuck!
Then there are all the things we spill on it. Lets’ face it, if you eat in front of the TV, your carpet will be littered with crumbs from chips and bread and crackers and all sorts of other things. But crumbs don’t stain. Wet things stain.
And where dry, salty things go, so do wet things.
If there is one thing people take into their living rooms more than dry crumbly stuff, it’s wet, spillable stuff. So…
1. Drinks. People spill drinks, and drinks stain. Red wine is probably the worst culprit for staining a carpet, unless your carpet is already a dark red carpet (in which case, I tip my hat to you, you clever planner!).
Beer is another tough one, as it does stain quite a bit, and after a while it can really smell. Like wine, beer is alcohol, which makes it more likely to be spilled than some other drinks. That’s just the effect that alcohol has on people. And on carpets.
Fruity drinks with grenadine in them, or non-alcoholic drinks like fruit punches and juices can also stain quite a bit.
Coffee is a big culprit, too. We’ve all seen the rings inside coffee mugs; there is a reason for that. Tea has a similar effect, as does hot chocolate.
Other drinks, such as milk and colored soda also stain. In fact, the only beverages that won’t stain your carpets are water, clear pop and clear alcohol (such as vodka and ginger ale, if that’s your thing). But be careful: those clear drinks might not stain your carpet, but they can stain some sofa fabrics and wooden surfaces.
2. Sauce. Any red sauce, mostly tomato based, will stain. This means that pretty much any Italian food is a risk – lasagna, spaghetti , and of course that living-room favorite, pizza. That also means hot dogs and hamburgers and French fries with ketchup, or with mustard. It also means anything with barbecue sauce, such as wings or ribs. The carpet cleaners at Chem-Dry see these stains all the time.
3. Chips. Did I say that dry crumbly things don’t stain? Well, some Chips have red powder on them, and those stain. And those cheesy puff snacks, especially the bright orange ones, stain brighter than the colors of Holi.
4. Chocolate. Chocolate melts. Chocolate gets squished. Chocolate sticks in carpets, and even when you remove it, chocolate leaves behind a brown stain that forever gives you the uncanny feeling that you forgot to let the dog out – even if you don’t own a dog.
5. Um, how shall I word this one? Speaking of dogs, and other pets, they are not always so clean. While it is true that dog hair and cat hair won’t stain, other things might. If an animal decides to go Whee! on the carpet, that can be a most smelly stain. If they leave something that looks like chocolate, well, I don’t need to draw you a picture.
We have a cat that does the gorge and purge thing every few weeks, and he purges all over the house, including on the carpet.
6. Paint. Yes, paint. Why, you don’t have kids? Kids famously paint all over the walls. Do you think they’ll give the carpet a miss?
Young children often paint on paper without giving a second thought to the surface underneath. So they will lay the paper on the carpet and paint off the edges of the page without even noticing. Fortunately, they are probably using water paints at that age. And can you say “finger paint“?
And when you paint the walls and haven’t been careful enough with the drop sheet, what happens? Paint gets on carpets, and paint stains.
7. Ink. Today’s ballpoint pens are nowhere near the risk that inkwell quills of yore were, but a pen still can break and so can markers and highlighters. And sometimes markers can leave stains from their tips. Couches are probably at greater risk than rugs from pens, but markers can do more harm to both.
8. Oil and grease. Perhaps the worst stains, although not the gaudiest, come from oil and grease. These are the hardest to remove. If you are foolish enough to bring baby oil or some type of grease that doesn’t belong in the living room, then your carpet gets what it deserves.
But there are all sorts of greases and oils, from door hinge lubrication to the grease from the fried chicken you eat in front of the TV. And once the grease is in, getting it out is no piece of cake. Ooh, should we discuss frosting next?
So much for the carpet in the house. Maybe next time we can discuss the carpets in the car.