Ancient Chinese secret, huh?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

This was the end of an old Calgon laundry detergent commercial, and if you don't remember it, I've included the old commercial within this post. But, are there secrets to getting your carpet clean for when you are trying to show the best side of your home?

I have kids and when I had carpets, the worst sound I could hear was when that plastic cup, that I knew was full of some dark colored Kool-Aid, hit the floor. I knew I was going to have a stain forever, and if you are trying to sell your home, your two choices were new carpet, or a really nice rug that comes with the home when you sold it. (Neither are really great choices.)

Well, my mother is a pretty smart cookie and being a kindergarten teacher knows some old tricks to get those stains up before the $0.10 Kool-Aid turned in to a $3000 new carpet.

1. You take about 1/3 cup liquid dishwashing detergent and mix it with a cup of luke warm water. (Don't get the water too hot - Mom said that could shrink the carpet)

2. Find a white cloth towel (White so you don't cause bleeding of other colors from the cloth on to the carpet)

3. Now start to blot the stain from the outside in with the detergent solution.

4. The next step is to have another bowl of just plain luke warm water.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 3 with the plain water solution and the new clean white cloth.

6. Take a third clean white cloth and put it over the stain pressing down to absorb as much of the water you just cleaned with, back up.

Now if this doesn't work completely which it usually did (Once with grape Kool-Aid, I had to take these additional steps)

7. Using an Ammonia and water solution and blotting the spot followed by a vinegar and water solution until the stain is completely gone.

Now, if all this fails then your $0.10 packet of Kool-Aid may cost you $3000 for a new carpet, but I'm really hoping my dear old mom can help you with her ancient Chinese secret.



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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Great advice!  I don't have kids spilling Coolaid, but I have friends who spill a lot of red wine!
Feb 10, 2008 01:56 PM #1
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate
Patricia - I don't know if this works for that, but I'm guessing it would!
Feb 10, 2008 02:27 PM #2
Roberta LaRocca
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, Property Management
Todd, Great advice from your mom and if you catch it right away it should work!  I remember that old Calgon commercial. 
Feb 10, 2008 02:55 PM #3
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Todd- My mother never allowed us to drink Koolaid and thus, I carried on the same tradition, no soda, no Koolaid, so sweetened drinks of any kind, just good ol' reverse osmosis water! 

But this method of cleaning a spill on the carpet does work. I use vinegar to clean everything! Katerina 

Feb 10, 2008 04:53 PM #4
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Todd - I like the tip because it's stuff you just happen to have on hand.  I've used an Amway product called L.O.C. for years.  It is great for removing all kinds of stains from carpet including red dye and grape juice.  It's free rinsing and actually has a wetting agent in it to make water wetter, so it rinses completely from the fibers and prevents restaining. God bless your MOm for being a kindergarten teacher.  And, God bless her son for appreciating her so much.
Feb 10, 2008 05:36 PM #5
Fran Gaspari
Patriot Land Transfer, Inc. - Limerick, PA
"The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ


First of all I worked for Calgon for about 6 months...great products!!! Another stain removing tip for smaller stains...Baby wipey dipes!!! Works real good! Thanks,   Fran

Feb 11, 2008 02:08 AM #6
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town


Todd~ you and your mom are smart cookies.  I learned that you've got to get the mess cleaned up quickly or else!!

Feb 11, 2008 04:56 PM #7
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
Todd - I have 9 grandsons - and picture this one - a quart of mustard dumped on a brand new champange colored carpet - can you say - grandma isn't happy - it has taken me 3 years to get the mustard off the carpet - because the mom - did not know to scoop up the mess before grabbing the carpet shampooer - so she just mashed it into the carpet... I was thrilled - NOT -
Feb 12, 2008 04:41 PM #8
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Roberta - It was funny, that is why I had to use it!

Katerina - No koolaid? I would have died - lol

Marlene - I remember LOC! Good old Amway, I hear they are still around, but under a new name now.

Fran - That is cool that you worked for them, I am assuming the ones without oils?

Lisa - Quickly is the key!

Thesa - NINE? WOW, Thanksgiving must be real crazy at your house! Mustard can even stain hardwoods if you don't clean it up quickly, that stuff is bad! But, you say the stain is gone now? For the record...Horse prints don't fade quit as quickly as Mustard...

Feb 14, 2008 02:54 AM #9
Lynn Krogseng
Keller Williams Premier Partners - Vancouver, WA

Your blog title caught my eye! I remember that commercial.  And kool-aid and what great popcicles they made.

Ha! I'm realizing I just learned something else from you - responding to blog comments in one comment of your own.  Very clever!

But, I don't understand the reference to 'horse prints'

Jun 27, 2008 06:42 PM #10
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate


Here is a link to the article about the horse prints, if you promise not to laugh at me!

Jun 28, 2008 02:32 AM #11
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