As a professional carpet cleaner for over 27 years, I am always amazed at the things people tell me they have used to clean their carpets. I’m used to my clients sheepishly telling me they have been using one of the over the counter spot cleaning products you can get at the grocery store, the are widely advertised as being effective. The problem with them is they leave residues in the carpet that will result in re-occurring spots – those black or brown spots that pop up on your carpet within a day or two of a professional cleaning.
For my clients, the first time I clean for them I have them pull out all of those products while I’m there. I them tell them to open the bottle, and pour the contents down the sink.
After I finish cleaning, I give them advice on what to do about the black spots that are going to pop up from their attempts at spot cleaning. Using white vinegar on the spots and blotting thoroughly over the course of several days will take care of them. Now some of the other things my clients have told me they have used for spot cleaning blow my mind! One client told me she used glass cleaner, and now she was complaining that she had little blue spots on her carpet after it was cleaned.
Well duh! Glass cleaner is an ammonia base, which is fine to spot clean carpet with, but it also contains BLUE DYE! All of the little blue spots were a result of her attempt at spot cleaning her carpet. I was able to get them all out, and gave her written instructions on how to properly spot clean in the future. Window cleaner is for windows.
Other clients have told me they use laundry soap, dish soap, and even shampoo to spot clean, all of which leave residues and create those nasty black spots. One of the best spot cleaners is ammonia and water. Plain white non-sudsy ammonia, 1 part ammonia to 3 parts water. Spray it on the spot and blot. Cheap and easy, and no black spots later! The only spot you wouldn’t use this on is pet urine. For urine, blot, pour baking soda on the area and let it sit overnight. Vacuum thoroughly. Then use white vinegar and slowly pour it on the spot. It’s going to foam up (remember science class?). Keep blotting and slowly pouring the vinegar until it stops foaming. Blot and let dry.
And the beauty of both these methods? Cheap, easy and green!