You wake up on November 1st and head downstairs to make a cuppa. It’s only then that you notice the eerie red footprints on the stairs…
Panic bubbles up and you rush into the living room, only to see the huge red puddle in the middle of the carpet. Suddenly, the horrifying memory comes flooding back, you raise your hands to your face and scream: “Nooooo! Susan dropped her entire glass of merlot at the Halloween party last night!”
The scariest night of the year has crept up on us and dangers lurk around every corner. From spilled wine or Potion Punch to face paints and black nail polish, our carpets are simply not safe from Halloween horror stories.
Luckily, with a little forward planning and some magic cleaning tips, you can chase these carpet devils back from whence they came…
Whether you’re dressed as a vampy vampire, a wicked witch, or a cute cat, black nail polish is a Halloween must. Unfortunately, it’s not such a good look on your carpet.
If you’re nail painting on yourself or your little ones, try to do so on a flat surface covered with newspaper or another protective material. Go for a quick drying polish and remind kids not to touch anything for at least 20 minutes, to prevent the colour transferring to carpets and clothes.
If the worst happens and polish gets spilt on the carpet, it’s always best to act fast. Grab a clean cloth, wet it, and blot the stain to prevent the polish from drying out. Then get some nail varnish remover (acetone-free to avoid damaging your carpet) and keep blotting until the stain is gone. Don’t have any non-acetone remover? Hairspray or bicarbonate of soda paste can also do the trick.
What’s a Halloween party without some eerie candlelight? Candles are great for achieving that spooky atmosphere but the nightmare becomes real if any wax drips onto your carpet.<
Firstly, try to scrape up as much of the wax as you can with a blunt edge. If you’re working with a loop carpet, you’ll need to be extra gentle to avoid pulling or cutting any of the loops.
Once you’ve scraped as much as you can, place a clean, damp tea towel over the wax stain and press it with a hot iron. This should work to transfer the wax out of the carpet and onto the towel. It might take a few tries so make sure to keep the tea towel damp.
Finish with a spot of carpet cleaner to remove any remaining colour or residue.
Fun temporary hair colours should always be applied in the bathroom, where any stains and spillages can be easily mopped up. Accidents can happen, though!
If you do end up with hair dye on your carpet, you can usually remove the stain using chlorine bleach. However bleach isn’t safe for every type of carpet so always check before you start.
If your carpet can’t be bleached, start by mopping up the dye with cold water and washing up liquid. Any resulting stains can usually then be removed with rubbing alcohol or ammonia.
Make Up and Face Paint
Letting children do their own fun Halloween faces always seems like a good idea until they go wild on spooky treats and end up getting handprints all over the floor. Try to set up a makeup station with an appropriate floor covering to prevent any colourful mishaps — and go for water-based paints that can be easily cleaned up.
If any oil-based stains should work their way down into the carpet, you’ll need something a bit stronger than water to remove any stains. Makeup remover can do the trick while rubbing alcohol or white spirit might be necessary on more stubborn patches.
Chocolate can be a real horror on little hands. If you can, try to keep any chocolate snacks in the fridge until the last minute, to prevent them from melting too quickly.
If chocolate gets dropped on the carpet, you’ll need to scrape it up as quickly as possible so it doesn’t melt into the fibres. The good news is that a normal stain remover should be fine for the average chocolate spill. Blot the area gently with water, to avoid working the chocolate deeper into the carpet, then apply a stain remover as many times as necessary to get rid of the mark.
Sticky sweets are another treat that can become a trick if they attach themselves to your carpet! Not only will sugar cling fast to carpet fibres and create a gummy mess but that mess can then trap even more dirt — or end up attracting ants and other pests.
Sugar stains call for your blunt knife and some scraping again (remember to be gentle if you have a berber carpet or anything similar). Once you’ve got up as much of the sweet as possible, mix water and detergent and blot the area until the stain is removed and any stickiness has gone.
Punch and Wine
Kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy a fruity treat around Halloween time — ours just comes in liquid form and sometimes with alcohol…
Halloween punch makes for a great party drink but the results of a spillage can be horrifying, especially if you’ve opted for a blood-red beverage. It can be difficult in the middle of a celebration but try to blot up as much of the liquid as you can, as quickly as possible. Dried-in stains are much harder to get rid of!
Once you’ve blotted the area, the remaining stain should be removable with a little carpet shampoo. You can also try washing up liquid and cold water or white vinegar to get rid of darker stains.
The same goes for red wine spills — although you can also buy specialist red wine stain remover online if your homemade solutions aren’t up to the job.
Depending on where you’ve bought it from, fake blood can be made from several different substances. Most commonly, though, it’s made from sugar syrup and food colouring so shouldn’t cause too many headaches to clean up.
As with other stains, try to blot up as much of the fake blood as possible to begin with. You should then be able to start removing the stain with a mix of detergent and water — oxygen-based detergents will work best. If you don’t have any carpet-safe detergent, try a bicarb paste and salt to draw the stain out of the floor.
The morning of November 1st shouldn’t have to be a horror show. Swap ghostly spirits for white spirit, stock up on your bicarb, and arm yourself with some clean tea towels and you should be ready to fight off even the most haunting carpet stains.
Of course, not every stain can be defeated and — if your flooring has given up the ghost — it might be time to resurrect your home with a heavenly new carpet. Here at Donnelly Watson, we’re passionate about helping you find the best flooring for your space and can make sure you’ve got your new carpet fitted before Christmas. Contact us today for more information.