How to Stop a Cat from Scratching Your Carpet

Any rug can become stained from dyes in two different ways:

  • It had an item placed on it and that item transferred some of its dye or stain into the carpet’s fibers
  • The carpet got wet and the dyes used in the carpet itself were not color fast, allowing them to bleed into other areas

Unfortunately, it can be almost impossible to do something about the latter sort of stains because it would require fine and delicate work and use of specialty treatments. A rug cleaning expert may be your only resource if you are eager to restore a valuable Oriental rug that has experienced color bleeding. However, if you are dealing with the first type of dye staining, you may be able to handle it as a DIY issue.

Assess the Situation

Whether it was that beautiful basket from the Farmer’s Market, a brightly colored bag or anything else that transferred some of its colors to the rug below, you need to begin by seeing just how far the damage has gone.

Examine the stain. Is it fully dry? Can you use a simple water and blotting technique to begin to soak up some of the color? Can you tell what sort of dye it was that transferred to the rug?

Try the Simplest Solutions First

We strongly urge you to use a simple process of blotting before anything else. Start by placing a clean, white towel that you have soaked and then wrung out, on one small part of the stain. Leave it overnight or for several hours.

When you pick it up, check to see if any color transferred to the towel. If so, keep doing this procedure in small spaces until you have soaked up all, or as much as possible, of the dye. Then, move to blotting from the outer edge inward with cold water, pressing down without rubbing, to attempt to soak up more.

Move on to Gentle Cleansing

If your rug is not an antique or an Oriental, you may want to make a gentle solution of mild soap and water (with a splash of white vinegar) to use as a blotting agent. Sponge and blot this on the stain and continually use a clean and dry area of your white cloth to see if colors are being absorbed.

Dry this as fully as you can and see if the staining has faded to a point you find acceptable. If it hasn’t, it could be time to speak with an expert.

Using chemical cleaning agents on a carpet of any kind is always a bit of a gamble, and whether it is a costly wall-to-wall installation or a lovely area rug, you don’t really want to jeopardize the stability, color and life span of the rug by choosing the wrong cleaning agent. Rug cleaning experts are well-versed in the right solutions for specific materials and can be entrusted with even the most delicate antiques. Do try to blot up any excess materials as soon as staining is discovered, but don’t make matters worse by using a harsh chemical that harms the rug.