Ruth asked: How do I clean bicycle tire marks from carpets? A friend rode his bicycle on the carpeted hallway in my office building and left a rubber “burn” mark when applying the brakes. Thanks!
The black tread marks left behind by tires, whether they are on a road or on the carpet, are caused by the tire being heated by friction, which melts the surface of the tire. The tire marks are actually melted tire rubber that was transferred to the surface, not a burn mark. Although this may sound like a big problem, there are ways to remove the stains from your carpet. Follow the steps below.
You Will Need:
- A cloth
- A soft-bristled brush
- Cleaning solvent:
Simple Green Carpet Cleaner
- Shaving cream or foaming carpet cleaner
- Soft absorbent towel
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Put on cleaning gloves and ventilate the area well.
- Select a cleaning solvent from the list above. Put the solvent on a cloth and test it on a small hidden area of the carpet to look for any adverse effects.
- If the test shows that the solvent is safe to use on your carpet, apply it onto the stain with the cloth. You want a generous amount of solvent to be on the stain, but not so much that you soak the carpet underneath.
- Moisten a soft bristled brush with water.
- Work the cleaner into the tire marks with the damp brush.
- If necessary, allow the cleaner to sit on the stain to allow it time to loosen the rubber from the carpet fibers.
- Use the cloth that you use to apply the solvent to blot the stain. Turn the cloth to a clean spot as the stain is transferred to it.
- Once the marks are removed, clean the area with white foam shaving cream or a foaming carpet cleaner like Spot Shot. This will remove any cleaning solvent that remains on the carpet. If using Simple Green Carpet Cleaner as the solvent, this step is not necessary.
- Put some water on a cloth, wring the cloth out so it’s only damp, not dripping, then blot the area to rinse it and remove any of the carpet foam residue.
- Once the stain is removed, and the cleaning residue is rinsed away, blot dry with a soft, absorbent towel.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Follow all instructions and warnings on a product label.
- If you are having trouble removing particularly thick or stubborn marks, it may help to soften them with some olive oil or petroleum jelly. Put the oil on the mark, let it sit for an hour, then repeat the cleaning steps above.
- Clean it Fast, Clean it Right by Jeff Bredenberg
- The Spot and Stain Remover Handbook by Jean Cooper
- How to Clean Practically Anything by Consumer Reports
- The Cleaning Encyclopedia by Don Aslett