Normally my speechlessness stems from the underlying thought, “What in the name of all that is pure and spotless is that?” In fact, that is exactly how this situation started.
It had been a while since my sons’ floor had seen the light of day. There are times where days pass and as long as the mess is confined to their room, I let it pass. But then a wave of awareness passes over me and I realize that such chaos is bound to sink into their very souls. And so the tragic-for-them day came when I required them to “clean up their room,” which somehow gets translated into “clean up their floor.” Not quite the same thing.
Nonetheless, here’s what emerged underneath:
Now read the words from the first line. Add in a few “How did that happen?!” “Who did that?!” and, “What IS that?!” To all of which, my children pointed the finger at the usual culprit who lives deep in the recesses of my house and emerges when my back is turned: “I Dunno.” Someday I’d like to meet him. He’s very busy.
I ruled out the horribly obvious first possibility because firstly, my sons are very well potty-trained. (I just felt my 11 year old cringe that I even said that. And he’s at school.) Secondly, I think the dog would have found it much more interesting if it were THAT. And thirdly, I would probably have started to smell it, too.
My second thought was chocolate, and while I’m not entirely certain that it wasn’t, I still think the dog would have been interested in it. Which he wasn’t.
My last two thoughts were rust or dye. Both involve something wet – Swimsuit? Bath towel? Afternoon snack? Makeshift pool for LEGO boats? – being dropped on something metal or dyed and then left there for hours. Or days. Maybe weeks.
Out came my carpet cleaner and my Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray. I’ve waxed poetical before on how well this works, but not knowing how long these stains had been there, much less what they were, I was in serious doubt that it would work this time. I’ll let the picture speak for itself.
I promise it’s the same room. And I promise I have no idea how to edit photos to this extent.
I hadn’t realized the depths to which I had despaired, and how new carpet had already made its way on to my subconscious and ever-growing home improvement list. But then the hope was reborn within me and soared free over this beautifully unsullied carpet.
What I did:
- Sprayed each spot with the Sal Suds All-Purpose Spray (1 Tbsp Sal Suds in a quart of water, or 15 mL and 1 liter in metric) and worked the solution into the stain with my fingers.
- Filled the carpet cleaner’s cleaning solution tank with hot water and ONE DROP of Sal Suds. Filled the carpet cleaner’s rinse tank with hot water.*
- Ran it over the stains, first using the solution, and then just the rinse water, and then just the dryer mode.
And right before my unbelieving eyes, the stains lifted.
Sal Suds. Get some.
*Keep in mind keep in mind that by not using the carpet cleaner’s brand of cleaner, you might void the warranty. I’m okay with that, though. And, because carpet materials and dyes vary so widely, spot test this on an inconspicuous area first.