Fall Festivities and Oktoberfest

There is a plethora of fall festivals and festivities throughout local towns and cities which all start in the month of October, from pumpkin patches to Autumn-fests to Corn mazes to apple picking, bonfires, end of season barbecues, and finally Halloween. And with all these wonderful times come big messes, dirty carpets, and roughed up upholstery, so what are you to do when family and friends come trekking through your house with dirty shoes and the kids are dropping their Halloween candy and caramel apples? Keep reading to see how to minimize the cleanup during this time of year.

I can’t tell you how many festivals and events I have seen advertised for this fall. In Northbrook we have Autumfest, this was held on October 9th at Meadowhill Park. There was an entire list of events and activities! A pumpkin patch, a fall hayride, a bonfire with smores, and pumpkin chuckin’! With all this fun comes messy shoes and dirty floors. With all the snack booths and easily available candy and treats during this month – mostly because of Halloween, you are bound to spot a spill or spot on your carpet.  One of the biggest culprits is chocolate, but you also have colorful candy which can bleed, red wine, dirt from the corn maze of hay, and finally, pumpkin from carving the pumpkins! Most of the time you don’t even see the spot until the spot has been sitting for a while and has sunken into the carpet fibers. Don’t be alarmed, new spots and spills are usually the easiest to clean up.

There are many ways to keep your home free and clear from all these possibly spots which may appear. Sometimes it is unavoidable, you don’t always know what you are bringing into your home from your shoes or what may be attached to your clothing. It is pretty easy to sweep up hay and dry dirt that appears in your home, but the best way to keep out hay, dirt, and every other dry mess is to take your shoes off at the door before entering the rest of the house.

Let’s begin with pumpkin. After October 1st, you can usually see pumpkins everywhere. October begins the season of pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin picking, and pumpkin carving. Pumpkin is everywhere, this also includes on your carpet and upholstery.

 How to Remove Pumpkin Stains From Carpet and Upholstery

When the pumpkin hits the carpet, use that dull knife or credit card edge to lift away all the excess solids. Next, mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with two cups of warm water. Stir well to mix completely.

Using a clean white cloth or paper towel, sponge the cleaning solution into the carpet fibers. Always work from the outside edge of the stain toward the center to prevent spreading the stain even larger.

Next, use a clean dry cloth and blot the area until the solution is absorbed. Repeat the treatment steps a couple of times with the cleaning solution until the spot is removed.

If the stain is not budging at all, create a new cleaning solution of one tablespoon of ammonia and two cups of warm water. Follow the same sponging steps, using the ammonia solution. Again, always work from the outside edge of the spot toward the center.

It is important to remove all of the solution from the carpet by rinsing because the soap can actually attract soil. Wet a clean white towel or paper towel with plain water and a sponge to rinse away any soapy residue. Allow it to air dry away from direct heat. Vacuum the stained area to lift the carpet fibers. 

How to Remove Chocolate Stains from Carpet 

When you see a spot of chocolate on your carpet, don’t panic. The first way to try to get your carpet back to normal involves a butter knife, a vacuum, spot remover, paper towels, and a clothing iron. Gather all of these items before you begin to tackle the problem of how to get chocolate out of the carpet. The best way to remove chocolate stains from the carpet is by using a dry cleaning solvent such as Febreze® Spot Remover. This product will work well if it’s applied directly onto the stain. If there isn’t enough room around the area where the stain occurred, then use a small amount of Febreze® Spot Cleaner. You may need to repeat this process several times over the course of one day.

If you see that the chocolate has dried, take a butter knife and scrape off as much as the chocolate stain as you can. After scraping as much chocolate residue as you can from the carpet, vacuum directly over the stain to remove any flakes that may remain. Cover the area with a few paper towels. Set your clothing iron to the lowest, non-steam setting possible. Move the iron over the paper towels slowly. This should help the chocolate start to stick to the paper towels. When you’re ironing the paper towels, be sure to keep the temperature steady while doing so.

Repeat steps 1-5 as necessary until the chocolate stain has disappeared. If any dark spots remain, apply a household carpet cleaner to the area and agitate gently with a clean white towel. Use caution to avoid over agitating carpet fibers which might cause damage. 

Another way Get Chocolate Out of Carpet 

Another way you can try when wondering how to remove chocolate stains from carpet is outlined below. Give it a try the next time your carpet needs a bit of assistance!

Using a butter knife, scrape off any remaining chocolate residue from the affected area of the carpet. Be sure to perform this step slowly and carefully. Using a paper towel or white clean cloth, use a carpet stain remover to try and lift the chocolate stain.

If remnants of the chocolate stain are still visible after performing step 2, take ¼ teaspoon of white detergent and mix it with a cup of water that’s around room temperature. Pour this water and detergent mixture directly onto the stain.

Begin blotting the carpet, working from the outer edge of the stain to the inner part. Doing so ensures you’re not spreading the chocolate stain further. Leave the area to dry and the chocolate stain should disappear.

Halloween is probably the best time of year for kids. They get to dress up in costumes, go to their friends’ houses for Halloween parties, bob for apples and go trick or treating. When they return home, they have bags of candy, and sometimes sit on the floor to go through all their goodies. Not only do they get chocolate, but hard candies and colorful candies that melt. These treats can cause havoc on your furniture and carpet.

The Step-by-Step Process for Removing Candy Stains From Carpet

Apply some cold water – this will loosen up the sugars that are binding the candy pieces to your carpet. This might take some time, so let the water loosen up the candy, and every few minutes try to see if the candy can be easily scraped off the carpet.

Pull the pieces of candy off the carpet, and what remains of the big problem is usually the smaller problem, which is the stain. Next, apply a stain remover, remember to always follow the instructions listed on the stain remover to have the most effective cleaning procedure in place. The common practice for applying a stain remover is to blot the candy stain with it.

Next blot the stain with a cloth that has been moistened with white vinegar. After applying the stain remover and blotting with the cloth with vinegar it should be able to remove most if not all of the candy stain.

Now moisten a cloth with clean water and blot the stain to get rid of any unseen stain residuals. Then finish with another soft cloth and blotting the remaining moisture from the carpet stained area.

Be sure to use cold water, because hot water can make the stain reappear. If you are looking for additional resources on how to remove any stain from your carpet, COIT offers an amazing spot removal guide as a resource.

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