Having a sound mind, but spotty carpets, I decided to try this DIY spot remover. It was either that, or clean the toilets. Besides, I was in a mood to experiment. Let me tell you, I was impressed! I can't vouch that this treatment will work on every carpet stain, but the ones I worked on had been lounging around for years. I guess that's not a very good testament to my housekeeping abilities, but when you have kids, pets and no professional maid service, you learn it's just easier to turn a blind eye to some things.
Anyway, all you need are: a carpet stain, a spray bottle filled with a 1:1 ratio of ammonia and hot water, a steam iron cranked up all the way to "full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes", some white towels you don't mind getting dirty, and a couple of feline helpers. That's it. Nothing fancy or expensive, just stuff you have lying about the house already. If you don't have a cat, feel free to substitute the family dog.
First, find your stain. I have no idea what this one consists of, but it's in a high traffic area and been there for a long time. The silver thingy in the corner shows up in all the pictures. It was my pathetic attempt to keep this experiment "legit", so you'll know I didn't cheat.
Next, spray your stain with the ammonia and hot water solution. Get it good and wet. Work your finger into it, if you are so inclined. I really need to employ an assistant when I do this stuff. Trying to snap a decent photo with my non-dominant left hand, while spraying with the right, required more coordination than I possess.
Place a white towel or washcloth over the stain and apply your steam iron. Wiggle the iron up, down and all around for a good 15 - 20 seconds.
As is their nature, both cats were very curious. Phoebe, above, was probably wondering what kind of critter was making the hissing, spitting sounds. I snapped this pic after she got a bit too close and inhaled a good lungful of that funky ammonia smell. She stayed by the door with its bolt hole to freedom after that.
It's gone! The ammonia solution didn't bleach out the color, although it would probably be a good idea to test in an inconspicuous area first. Also, the treated area was very nearly dry to the touch, despite a good soaking; the steam heat helped dry it up.
This costs pennies compared to expensive commercial spot removers. Just be really careful of the hot steam!
grew a beard after our kids left the house. He decided a mid-life hirsute pursuit was cheaper than a new car, and certainly less hazardous to his health than an affair. If he can have a mid-life crisis, then so can I.