If you live in a house with normal humans who go outside and occasionaly spill their coffee, you know what it is to deal with a pesky carpet stain. Here's how to conquer even the worst of them.
Interior doormats can only stop dirt from being tracked inside if they're clean. If the care tag allows, you can toss mats into the washer and dryer — use the gentle cycle on warm and tumble-dry low. Otherwise, use a vacuum. Go over the front of the mat, flip it over, and then vacuum the back, even if it's rubber or plastic (this loosens any embedded dirt). Then flip the mat again, and vacuum up the grit that came out. (Just you wait: It'll be no small amount.) For a quick refresh, take the mat outside for a good shaking, beating it with your hand or a stick a few times on each side.
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Refresh high-traffic areas
Spy a gray, matted trail from your couch to your kitchen? In between heavy-duty cleanings (with a rented machine or by a professinonal), hit the dingy path with a powdered or foam carpet cleaner, like Resolve High Traffic Carpet Cleaner. Apply it according to the package directions, and then vacuum.
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Get the spots out
Everything from red wine to gravy to mud can find its way onto your rugs. Here's our expert-approved method for banishing most dried-in blotches:
1. Take two empty spray bottles, and fill one with cold water. In the other, mix 1/4 teaspoon mild dishwashing liquid and 1 cup warm water.
2. Spray the detergent solution onto an absorbent cloth (not the carpet — you don't want to wet it too much), and dab, don't rub, it on the spot. As the stain dissolves, blot with a clean section of cloth. Keep applying and blotting this way until the stain is gone.
3. Spray another cloth with the cold water, and use it to rinse the detergent solution from the carpet; blot again with a dry cloth. T
4. Pile a stack of white paper towels on the spot, and place a heavy pot on top. Overnight, the towels will soak up any residual stain deep in the carpet. In the morning, fluff the fibers with your fingers and allow to air-dry.
Keep dirt outside
Try implementing a no-shoes-in-the-house rule. Stow extra slippers or flip-flops next to a shoe rack near your door, and encourage family members to make the switch inside. Stash a broom in a closet near the entryway to collect dirt before it gets ground into doormats, and put down mats outside your door, too, so you can wipe your feet before you go inside.