Tom asked: “I have 9 small (dime-sized) stains on my white carpet that are a mixture of urine and betadine. How can I get them out?”
Betadine is iodine-based, and since iodine is a dye, it needs to be treated immediately and can be a real nuisance to remove. Here are some steps you can take to salvage your carpet and remove this persistent stain.
Use the following steps along with the appropriate cleaning solution for your carpet type.
You Will Need:
- Cleaning solution (choose one)*
- Rubbing alcohol
- Mixture of 1 tsp sodium thiosulfate** and ½ cup warm water
- Betadine Stain Buster
- Clothesline Fresh Iodine and Betadine Remover
- Clean white towels or paper towels
- Spray bottle (for cleaning solution)
- Spray bottle with cold water
- Enzyme cleaner
- Heavy Object such as books, dish, etc.
*Always test a small, inconspicuous area of the carpet with the intended cleaning solution first to make sure no staining, color fading or other damage will occur.
**Handle carefully as this can be irritating to the skin, lungs, eyes and digestive tract.
How to Remove the Stain:
- Begin by blotting with a clean cloth to remove as much of the betadine as possible. It’s very important to blot throughout this entire process rather than scrubbing. The goal is to “lift” the stain, not rub it into the fibers.
- Work from the outside of the stain towards the center to keep the stain from spreading.
- Spray the stain with your chosen cleaning solution. It may be helpful to allow the cleaning solution to set on the stain to allow it to loosen the dye particles from the carpet fibers. Keep the area moist during this time.
- Blot with a clean dry cloth using a clean section each time until no more stain shows on the cloth. You will need to change your cloth often to be sure you are not spreading the stain.
- Repeat steps 2 through 4 until the stain is no longer noticeable.
- If the stain does not appear to be lifting, you may want to try applying an enzyme cleaner. Again, keep the area damp while the enzymes have time to work.
- Spray with clean, cold water to rinse. Do not use hot water as this can set the stain.
- Blot with clean cloth. Repeat as necessary to be sure all cleaning solution has been removed. Residue left from cleaning solutions can cause dirt to collect more quickly and will create another cleaning situation to be dealt with.
- Cover stain with clean cloth or stack of paper towels and put something heavy on top (heavy books, etc.).
- Leave this set for several hours or overnight to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Remove the weight and let the area dry thoroughly.
- Vacuum to return fibers to normal texture.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- If using rubbing alcohol, do not allow it to soak into the carpet backing – it will destroy the bond holding the carpet together.
- Avoid using bleach or ammonia on wool carpets as it will damage the fibers. Using color-safe bleach on synthetic carpets can be used after a test area ensures that no damage occurs to the fibers or the coloration.
- Oriental rugs should be cleaned with caution. If your rug is an antique, silk, or part silk, contact a professional to remove the stain.