Winter in Redding brings cold air in the mornings, cold footsies on cold bathroom floors, and on occasion, cold viruses. Oh, that wretched sickness! First a sniffle, or a tickle in the back of the throat, and the next thing you know you’re sneezing and coughing.
Pills are common for sinus congestion, but the typical remedy for coughing and hacking is cough syrup. So, we keep them both on our nightstand as we wrap ourselves in bed sheets. When we reach over to take our next dose, our impaired senses cause a miscalculation, and now we have cough syrup on the carpet. Hopefully a family member is willing to tend to it, because you’re obviously in no condition to do so.
By far, the best option is prompt attention. Use a spoon or table knife to gently scrape up the excess spillage. Then grab some paper towels to blot up as much as you can. Make sure they’re white paper towels, so you don’t have a color run. If you don’t have white paper towels available, you could try a measure of tripled-up toilet paper instead, but it might make a bigger mess if it gets too saturated.
Next, neutralize the stain by using one of the following mixtures:
- 1 tablespoon of clear household ammonia with a half cup of water in a spray bottle. If possible, use distilled water to avoid particulates in tap water.
- 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent (no bleach), 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 2 cups of water – again, distilled if possible.
Spray whichever mixture you made onto the spill, but do not saturate it. We don’t want the liquid to meet the backing of the carpet. Use a clean white cloth or white paper towels to blot the stain. Rinse the cloth or replace the towels periodically as the syrup transfers from the carpet. Repeat the process until the syrup is no longer transferring from the stain to the cloth or towel.
If the stain is persistent, switch to ¼ teaspoon of clear hand or dish washing detergent, without bleach or lanolin, and 1 quart of water. Dab and blot, dab and blot. Lightly rinse the area with water from a spray bottle and blot the area, do it one more time, and then place some paper towels on the area with a weight and allow to dry.
If the cough syrup has already dried on your carpet, the procedure is pretty much the same, but it will take more time, persistence and patience. It’s good to note that the second mixture listed above is commonly more effective with dried cough syrup stains. Keep in mind that it will take more applications to re-moisten the syrup so it can be absorbed by the cloth or towels, allowing removal.
If the stain still remains, dampen the area with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let it sit on the stain for an hour, then blot and repeat until the stain is removed. No need to rinse, since ambient light will change the peroxide to water, so it will air dry in most cases.
Cough syrup does a decent job reducing any coughing and hacking, and it can do a pretty decent job of staining too. If you have attempted all of the above steps and the stain still remains call Preferred Carpet Care, or schedule an appointment on our website. Meanwhile, feel better soon!
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On January 9, 2020