Sticky, Sweet and Staining
Honey is a versatile food! We spread it on bread and toast, mix it in our butter, put it into our tea, and add it as an ingredient when cooking meals or desserts. Some people use it as a treat for their pets. Others report that it helps alleviate their allergies when they ingest local honey straight from the jar. And let’s not forget that you can ferment a tasty beverage called mead from nothing more than water, yeast, and honey. As a viscous liquid, honey is also likely to spill or ooze to where it’s not wanted. When that spill meets your carpet, the stickiness of honey makes it a challenging stain to remove.
Unique Beginnings of Honey
Honey is a natural sweetener and was humanity’s primary sweetener before sugar become widely available in the 1500’s. Generally a local commodity in the pre-industrial period, humans do little to process this food. You don’t have to be Winnie the Pooh to know that if you want this golden treat, you need bees. Bees collect nectar from local flowers, evaporate the water out in a honeycomb, and use other “trade secrets” to process the thickened nectar into honey. The final product is typically collected and separated from the honeycomb wax before being sent to stores.
Historically, honey was used to alleviate burn symptoms, and some reports indicate that honey can sterilize wounds, promote healing, and even improve memory. Many individuals add honey to their tea to help with sore throats or cold virus symptoms. Honey also has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar levels quite as rapidly as other sweeteners. Its antioxidant properties are thought to help with health and digestion.
When it comes to the ability to stain fibers, the natural viscosity of honey is what poses the greatest challenge. That stickiness brings the carpet fibers together, just like glue or other bonding agents, making clumps that ruin the look and feel of your carpet. If left in place, honey can be very difficult to remove. So, let’s get to removing that spill!
Removing Honey Stains
As with many other stains, start by removing the excess with a dull straight edge. The best method is working from the outside inward, so the stain does not spread. After each collection, wiping or cleaning off the excess honey from the tool will make the next pass more effective.
- Place a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent (without bleach or lanolin, of course) into a mixing bowl and add two cups of hot water. Since honey is a sugary substance, the hot water helps to dissolve the components in the stain. How hot? A good rule of thumb is as hot as you can stand it – not lukewarm, and not boiling. If the water is too hot, you risk damaging your fibers or carpet backing.
- Use a clean white cloth or set of white paper towels to dab and blot the stain – again, working from the outside edge inward. Change out the paper towels frequently to make sure you’re using all the absorbing power available. With a white cloth, try rinsing and wringing it out frequently. Continue the process until you no longer see any transference to the cloth or towel, but look closely – depending on the color of the honey, it can be difficult to see the transference.
- Now, we want to remove any residual soap, so it doesn’t dry in the carpet fibers and attract more dirt. Rinse and wipe out your mixing bowl and fill with clean hot water. Blot the area on the carpet to remove any soapy residue.
- Blot the area with dry towels, then place a weighted stack of paper towels over the area to absorb any remaining moisture. Check the area within an hour or so.
- If the stain remains, it’s time to contact Preferred Carpet Care in Redding.
Our specialized equipment and removal solvents are specially calibrated and formulated to remove stains from various sources. And while we’re there to remove any honey stains, we can remove other stains too. In fact, it’s always a great idea to get your carpet cleaned every six months, so if that time is near, we can take care of your whole carpet and not just the stained area. If you have further questions about carpet cleaning subjects, please contact Preferred Carpet Care in Redding. We’re happy to help you keep your carpets looking fresh and clean for their entire lifetime. Call us via phone or schedule an appointment using our online form.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On October 31, 2021