Sunday, April 3, 2011

Out, Damn'd Spot!

I made a pot of coffee this morning, then took the grounds out to the compost pile. To get to the back yard, I can go downstairs and use the basement door, or walk through the family room and use the door that leads to the deck.  Today I chose to use the family room door so I could fill the bird feeder that hangs on the deck

I had the basket of coffee grounds in one hand; when I reached to open the door the basket slipped.  I watched in slow-motion horror as it took flight, spewing grounds all over the carpet.  I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a spoon, and quickly scooped up as much of the mess as I could, but I was left with an ugly 18-inch long stain in front of the door.

I quickly Googled "Getting coffee stain out of carpet", clicked on the first result, for Mrs Clean, and read her cleaning advice:
  • The first step was to clean up as much as possible with a white paper towel.  I don't keep paper towels in the house, and the paper napkins had a small blue border, so I was careful not to rub the colored part on the carpet as I mopped up the stain. So far, so good.
  • Next, she suggested applying a mixture of white vinegar and warm water to the stain.  I mixed the liquids together in a cup, sprinkled it on the stain with my fingers, then blotted it up with a rag.  Much to my amazement, a good amount of the coffee residue lifted off, but I could still see a faint dirty area.
  • Mrs. Clean anticipated this, and told me to try a solution of dishwashing detergent and warm water.  I dumped out the last of the vinegar and substituted fresh water with a squirt of detergent to the cup.  I poured the solution on the stain, rubbed it in with my fingers, then blotted it again.  At this point the carpet was pretty wet, and it was hard to tell if any coffee remained.  I left for the day.
When the carpet dried it looked like my stain fighting might have been successful, but I know from experience that the dirt may reappear in the next few days.  If it does, I'll follow more of Mrs. Clean's suggestions, which include moistening the area with hydrogen peroxide.  She's been right on the money so far!


  1. Wow that sounds fantastic, I hope your stain doesn't return. So I can just google Mrs. Clean whenever in doubt about cleaning something?

  2. Cool tip! Thanks!

    Thanks, too, for solving the mystery of the prayer on my blog! Aren't blogs wonderful?