As the leaves are falling and the seasons start to change, the one universal custom that best signifies the end of fall and beginning of winter even more than climate is the holidays. No matter where you reside, mid-November always marks the start of the compact holiday season, filled with family visits, lights, decorations, and an abundance of food. Unfortunately, along with all of the holiday celebrations and joy also come all of the unavoidable messes and clean-up.

We at Chem-Dry understand that hosting during the holidays can be very taxing, and we want to help you enjoy your holiday season with as little stress as possible, so we are providing the following tips to ensure a happier, healthier, stain-free holiday season:

  • Placing area rugs in high traffic areas, such as entrances to your home, will protect your carpet from unnecessary staining and wear from all the guests entering and exiting.
  • Request that guests take off their shoes upon entering your home because shoes often carry dirt, debris and oils on their soles. Having people take them off should help prevent grime from being tracked over your carpets.
  • Vacuuming before hosting a holiday party will help prevent everyday dirt from accumulating and setting into your carpet, before adding more dirt that may be tracked in from your guests.
  • The likelihood of a spill drastically increases over the holidays. If you do encounter a stain, blot it with lukewarm water immediately to prevent it from sinking into the carpet pad. Use a cloth towel for blotting.
  • Make sure to vacuum immediately after a party to avoid food crumbs from sticking to the carpet and turning into mold and bacteria. Go over the most heavily trafficked carpet areas in several directions to allow the vacuum to pick up all it can.

When the worst does happen and you notice a stain left by your guests, don’t panic. Here are a few tricks to removing spots and stains right after they occur:

  • Make sure you do NOT rub it in
  • Do not pour an excessive amount of water over the stain to “lighten it.” Although this may loosen the stain, it can also cause the stain to sink deeper into the carpet pad, making it harder to get out.
  • Try mixing warm water with white vinegar or dish detergent, and blot the stain with the mixture.
  • For a red wine spill, follow a two-step process using first a detergent solution, then a vinegar solution. With the detergent solution, first dip a white cloth or plain white paper towel into the detergent solution and dab repeatedly. Press the cloth on the spot for a few seconds, wait 15 minutes for the stain to break down, and then soak up the excess liquid with a dry white cloth. Repeat the process with the vinegar solution. Continue by blotting the entire area with a cloth soaked in lukewarm water. Wait a full hour or until the carpet dries completely. If the stain still remains, place a 1/2-inch-thick stack of white paper towels over the stain and rest a glass baking dish on top for 15 minutes.
  • For tough, stubborn stains, spray a small amount of Chem-Dry Stain Extinguisher or Chem-Dry Grease & Oil Remover (click here to stock up on these at our amazon store).
  • Once you have determined the most effective course of action, work from the outside edge of the stain to the inside to keep the stain from spreading.
  • If you have a pet that gets nervous around large groups of people and expresses his/her nerves indoors by urinating, blot up as much of it as you can with a towel, and then lightly sprinkle water and baking soda over the area. After the area has dried, thoroughly vacuum. For improved results, try Chem-Dry’s Pet Odor Remover, which eliminates pet urine odors and stains at the source (available online as well at our amazon store.)

If you have a spot or stain you cannot eliminate or you are unable to clean your heavily trafficked areas, schedule a professional carpet cleaning appointment with Chem-Dry by calling 800-CHEM-DRY (243-6379). For a holiday treat, click here to check out our online specials.

Get a deep, healthy clean that will dry in just a couple of hours, so you will be ready to go for your holiday gathering quickly!