As Christmas festivities kick off around the country, whether you’re going for a BBQ or the traditional roast with gravy, when you couple loads of people with a pile of food and drink, the risk of spills on your precious carpet is high. In fact, our recent survey revealed that more than 30% of Kiwis have spilt drinks on their carpet! So how do you manage the inevitable little accidents that come with Christmas, ensuring spills don’t become enduring stains?
Our Carpet Care Expert John Middleton says he is anticipating red wine, gravy, tomato sauce, kid’s drinks and ice cream to be among the riskiest for carpet stains this Christmas. And he has a few choice tips for dealing with Christmas spills…
“Red wine is a shocker for staining carpet, and so many people choose the wrong concoction for trying to get it out, making the stain much worse,” he says.
“Using white wine to remove red wine stains is 100% an urban myth – if you spill wine on your carpet, don’t add more wine to the stain! I recommend always having a dedicated carpet spot cleaner on hand, but if you’re caught on the hop, mix one litre of warm water with a teaspoon of laundry detergent for delicates. Sponge the stain out once you’ve blotted as much of the wine as possible, and make sure you use a cloth – don’t pour the mixture straight onto the carpet!” 32% of Kiwis have spilt red wine on their carpet, and we’re sure that number will skyrocket as the silly season takes hold.
Gravy, tomato sauce and chocolate ice cream
“For gravy, tomato sauce or chocolate ice cream, keep a teaspoon of laundry detergent mixed with two cups of cool water at the ready. Use a knife to scrape up as much of the spill as possible, then blot with a cloth soaked in your solution. If you can, use a white cloth so you can see how much of the spill is being soaked up. After cleaning, use an old towel and stamp out as much moisture as possible. Repeat until the towel comes away dry.”
“Last, but certainly not least – bright coloured fizzy drinks, your carpet’s worst nightmare! Start with your gravy stain concoction of water and laundry detergent, working your way from the outside of the stain in. If you can still see the stain, bring the big guns in and blot with the white vinegar mix. Alternatively, to save yourself a headache, start a new Christmas tradition where everyone with a coloured drink has to spend the day drinking out of a sippy cup!” he jokes.
Middleton says the most common carpet stain for Kiwis is pet accidents, so if you have friends coming to visit with their pet, or an excitable furry friend of your own, be prepared.
“Use a shovel to collect any pet accidents before blotting the area with laundry detergent mixed with cold water. Make sure you disinfect the area too! Many people get puppies for Christmas, so before they’re fully toilet trained it’s worth having the knowledge to ensure you can get your carpet back to its pristine state.”
Middleton says the type of carpet you have plays a big part in how difficult it is to remove stains.
“Older carpet that isn’t stain resistant is much harder to remove stains from – the stain will sink into the carpet fibres and is incredibly hard to get out so you’ll need to move fast to tackle any spills, or call a professional if the stain is really bad. If you have a stain resistant carpet such as Carpet Court’s Rhino Carpet, you’re going to spend less time on your hands and knees trying to get stains out and you’re much more likely to be able to fully remove them, even if the spills aren’t spotted immediately.”