Whether it is to cover the floor of a modern apartment in one of London’s premier tower blocks or a traditional Victorian townhouse, many people choose light shades and pastel colours for their carpet. White and cream are particularly popular choices, providing a neutral backdrop for furnishings and upholstery. Carpets in these light colours give rooms a sense of space and light, while also holding in warmth and providing a soft comfortable surface underfoot. The problem with light coloured carpets is keeping them clean, and this can prove to be a big problem for families with a new baby. Chances are, your carpets were fitted before the new addition to your home was even a twinkle in your eye. Suddenly, those pale pastel colours and plush wool finishes may not seem like such a great idea, when faced with the mess a baby or toddler is bound to make.
We have all, at some time, smelt milk that is past its best; there are not many smells that are more disgusting. One of the most common kinds of stain that adorns carpets in the homes of new parents is caused by babies’ vomiting. Since babies live on milk based products for the first year or so of their lives and their bringing it back up is common practice, vomit stains can prove a real problem. You not only have to deal with the discolouration of the carpet, but if the stain is not treated properly, the milky substance will sour, and a bad smell will proliferate throughout your home.
Most people are rightly reluctant to use strong chemicals or bleaches with a baby or young child in the house. Everything goes in a child’s mouth at this early stage, so treating the stain with potentially dangerous chemical substances is completely out of the question. This means that powerful bleaches or chemical stain removers cannot be used to remove the stain. Thankfully, there are some natural products that can be utilised in cleaning vomit from your carpets, and these will not represent any sort of risk to your child.
Though it might be your first instinct to do so, never use hot water to try to clean fresh vomit from the carpet. Hot water basically “cooks” the proteins in the vomit, and this causes them to coagulate, binding them to the fibres in the carpet’s weave. Rather than efficiently cleaning up the mess, this makes the stain even more difficult to remove.
Always start out by blotting the area with cold water, and then wiping with a cold damp cloth. It is best to use an absorbent cloth or paper towels to do this, in order to soak up as much as you can.
Once the excess has been removed and the area wiped clean, we can turn to a household item that most people have in their kitchen cupboard to leach any leftover vomit out of the carpet and prevent the worst of the staining. Apply dry bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda) to the affected area. This will draw out the moisture and soak up much of the remaining vomit. Cover the stained area with the bi-carbonate of soda, then leave it overnight. Hoover the area clean in the morning.
If any discolouration of the carpet persists a solution made by mixing bi-carbonate of soda with cold or lukewarm water (remember never to use hot water), or white vinegar, may remove the last vestiges. If the smell lingers – try using washing powder mixed with cold water. This should leave your home smelling as fresh as it now looks.
For thick and luxurious carpets, such as those made of high quality wool, special treatments may be required. If you have any concerns about damaging an expensive carpet, it is wise to call a professional cleaning service for advice or to help remove the stain. Professional London cleaners will be able to clean your carpets using high quality, family friendly products and the latest technologies. Many people choose to make use of professional carpet cleaning services at the time when their child has been fully weaned on to solid foods and vomiting becomes less common. A good professional carpet clean can make your entire home seem refreshed.