The 7 Insider Secrets to Keeping Your Carpets Looking Perfect This Christmas and New Year!
1. Coloured Patch On The Carpet!
This is one of the most common problems I get asked to deal with every year! It’s normally caused by crepe paper or wrapping paper that is used to decorate the base of the tree or from presents at the base of the tree. As the Royal Forestry Society recommend to keep watering natural trees to keep them green and help to reduce the rate they drop their needles, this means sometimes a little water is spilt on the paper and it releases the dye from the paper onto the carpet. This will usually result in what we call a permanent dye transfer – as more often than not the dye from the paper will have changed to colour of the carpet for good.
So to stop this from happening – simply ensure that the tree is placed on a plastic tray, and then place this on a plastic sheet large enough to allow for all your presents too. If you feel the plastic is too ugly and may not be hidden by the presents try placing an off cut of carpet over the plastic sheet (this also stops the problem of finding needles six month later!)
2. Relatives Spilling Drinks!
If Uncle Tom accidentally spills his drink on to the carpet, as with any drink spill the last thing you want to do is say ‘OH Don’t worry I’ll sort it out later’ just so you don’t make Uncle feel awful! If you do leave it till later it could be a problem to remove. Deal with it there and then, grab some kitchen towel and absorb the spillage into the towel.
Always blot – don’t rub as rubbing could damage the fibres. You may need a detergent solution (a little water in bowl with just a few drops of washing-up liquid in it) – apply to area with clean cloth and tamper in (pat with brush). Next with a little fresh water in a hand sprayer, spray onto the area – just rinse and blot dry with kitchen towel.
3. Do You Find Chocolate Finger Prints?
Children of ‘all-ages’ love chocolate – and no Christmas would be the same without too much of it. Nevertheless, chocolate can be tricky to get out – so try to use smaller sweets with individual wrappers on them – anything to stop hot fingers from becoming in contact with the chocolate.
If you do find a chocolate stain scrape off a much as you can with a blunt knife. Use a detergent solution, starting at the outer edge and tamper with a small brush (by raising it and letting it fall under it’s own weight) and blotting dry. If the stain is still there repeat then flush with fresh water and blot dry. Should the stain still be visible follow with Ammonia solution (a tablespoon of household ammonia solution to a cup of water). Tamper into stain, rinse and blot dry.
4. Christmas Dinner Still In The Carpet?
Christmas dinner is probably the biggest and most important meal of the year. Often it’s shared with more friends and relatives around the one table then you’ve seen all year – so there’s bound to be a few little accidents.
Always carry food to the table on trays and if you have young children try protecting the carpet under the table by laying something over it first. Again a plastic sheet, or an off cut of carpet will help to protect the carpet so you can enjoy the meal – whatever the little darlings may throw on it.
Should something be trodden into the carpet then you will need to scrape up the majority using something like a blunt knife, be careful not to damage the pile by scrapping too hard. Use a detergent solution to apply over area using a damp towel blot the area until nothing more is transferred to the cloth.
If the food contains some form of oil like brandy butter, cream – even gravy you may find the stain is still noticeable – so follow with an Ammonia solution (a tablespoon of household ammonia solution to a cup of water). Tamper into stain, rinse and blot dry.
5. Dirty Patches On The Upholstery!
Xmas usually sees festive trays of nuts and crisps in bowls placed in various places. And dare I say it? The patches are often from those hands that seem to wipe themselves clean on the side of furniture after tackling a bowl of nuts or crisps!
Well the oil residues from these delights will soon attract soils onto the fabrics. Its amazing just how much residue can be found and what a difference it can make in re-soiling your carpets and upholstery.
You can try to offer more ‘dry’ alternative to regular salted peanuts. And apart from giving your guest a ‘wet-wipe’ every time they eat something – the only alternative is to use a clean, damp, lint free cloth (like a terry towel) and wipe the arms, seats and sides of your upholstery after your guests have gone.
6. We Didn’t Like To Say No To Smokers!
What about those who smoke? When it’s not possible to stop everyone smoking in the house you have two problems. Firstly, the mess from the cigarette – the ash or even burns. Secondly, the smoke! Obviously when you have a house full you won’t be able to have your eyes everywhere, so make sure you have enough ashtrays around which will encourage everyone to use them. If you do get a burn in the carpet it’s not the end of the world – we can ‘re-tuft’ most makes of carpet and leave you with an invisible repair. For the smoke – it goes without saying to have all the rooms well ventilated.
There are two natural ways to help attack smells like smoke. The first is bowls of water – the second is burning candles. Or put them together and have – bowls of scented floating candles!
Candles are great in the kitchen to help remove cooking odours too. If you do use candles I recommended you are very careful not to spill the liquid wax and never leave lighted candles unattended
7. Candle Wax In The Carpet Fibres!
During darker nights and festive fun we use more candlelight. Whilst the candles can be therapeutic, romantic, cosy and even sweet smelling they can also be a nightmare when the molten liquid falls to the floor and embeds itself into your carpet.
One way to remove wax from the carpet is to break up the hardened surface with a blunt instrument obviously being careful not to damage the fibres and remove loose pieces, next your going to need some brown paper and an iron. Lay the brown paper over the wax and as you apply the tip end of a warm iron to the area start to drag the paper out with your other hand. This will soak up the warmed wax as you go. Keep repeating this until the wax is gone. Remember that some fabrics will melt under a HOT iron so test in an inconspicuous area first. There may be a little residue left, which will need attention using a solvent such as nail varnish remover on a cotton pad to blot it off.
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