Springtime in Denver means beautiful days, melting snow, and rain. It also means mud, especially if you love getting back on the trails that have been covered during winter or have begun backyard gardening. Whether you are on city paths, mountain treks, or the backyard farm — 'tis the season for mud, and most often your carpet becomes the victim.
It’s Going to Happen
First and foremost I urge you to remain calm. Someone, your spouse, kids or even you, will walk on the carpet with muddied shoes or feet. It is inevitable. Even when you think you have all the variables covered and you are peacefully drinking your morning coffee, you may look up in horror to see your dog trudge across the room leaving telltale tracks of her morning explorations. Preparation is essential, and if you are ready, you can resolve any issue.
Prevention is Key
Most of our Denver homes do not have the traditional mud room, but we can create temporary substitutes for this time of year. Designate an area where dirty shoes are to be immediately removed. Highly organized families will have a back-door only policy during this time of year where you will find old carpet squares, plastic or rubber mats, or even large bussing tubs like you see in restaurants.
Muddied shoes are required to be placed in the tub or on the mats before entering the house. You will also want to have towels and perhaps a clothes basket handy just in case things have gotten completely out of hand. Make sure to wipe your pet’s feet before they come in as well. The extra time and possible growl is well worth the effort.
What to Do When Preventative Measures Fail
Do not Scrub! Our first instinct is to rush over with a rag and scrub the mess right out. Unfortunately, this only serves to push the mud deeper into the fibers and in most cases spread the stain. In fact, the best thing to do in most cases is to let the mud dry completely before you do anything. After the mud is dry gently brush up the loose dirt or vacuum depending on the size of the spot.
If the carpet is stained, there are plenty of commercial carpet cleaners available at your local store. I recommend testing these in an inconspicuous area to make sure they don’t bleach or discolor the carpet. I have also found that a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap in 2 cups of warm water will do the trick, especially on mud. Use a clean cloth, preferably white, and blot at the stain. Again, resist the temptation to scrub. Keep blotting until all the liquid is absorbed and the stain is gone. White cloths are nice because you can see if you are picking up dirt. Don’t overdo it. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get it all out especially on light colored carpets. Here’s a good YouTube video to help:
Don’t let a little mud keep you from having fun. Homes are where we share our adventures and stories from great days outside in and around Denver. If you’re thinking of selling your home or are already in the process, feel free to give us a call for some great tips on how to keep your white carpet clean during showings. In the meantime, if your family and pets are as active as mine, perhaps set up a yearly professional carpet cleaning budget to be utilized at the end of every spring. Now get out, have fun, and enjoy Denver!