Valentine’s Day is upon us and whether you revel in the holiday or not, chocolate is bound to end up in your house. What doesn’t go in your belly, can end up dropped, stomped and melted into carpet. Here’s a five-step guide to expertly removing those sweet, unwelcome stains.
Step 1: If the chocolate began as a solid and is slightly melted into the carpet, gently break up any solidified chocolate with a rounded spoon and vacuum any remaining residue. If the chocolate is liquid, gently blot up using a dry, white absorbent cloth or paper towel.
Step 2: Choose your cleaning solution. A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Be very careful when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.
Or, you can easily make your own cleaner! Here are two good options:
Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of lukewarm water.
Or, mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. (Do not use a stronger concentration!)
Step 3: Apply a small amount of solution to a white rag and gently apply to the stain, working inward to avoid spreading. Let solution sit on the stain for a few minutes.
Step 4: Gently blot (do not rub or scrub as this can ruin the pile of the carpet!) and if the chocolate transfers to the rag, you’ll know it’s working. If it does not transfer to the cloth, try a different cleaning solution. Continue these steps until the stain is removed. Patience is key! You may need to repeat applying solution and blotting several times.
Step 5: Rinse all solution from stain with lukewarm water (misting with a spray bottle is ideal) and remove all moisture with a dry rag. Do this several times to ensure all solution is removed. This step is important because future dirt will stick to any remaining solution, only resulting in further staining!
If your stain is proving to be stubborn, consult a professional. Most importantly, don’t let that stain spoil those loving feelings for the most important people in your life.
For more information on cleaning carpet and rug stains, visit the Carpet and Rug Institute Website. They are a wealth of information.
Do you have any favorite carpet cleaning tips? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!