One morning as I was threw back the curtains to let in the glorious sunlight, I noticed a stain on Big White Berber Baby. The kind of stain you’ve been told not to eat should you find it in the snow.
In a house covered in 80% wood flooring, one of my precious dogs chose to tinkle on the white rug.
Big White Berber Baby, being berber, would not so easily clean as a short pile rug. So rather than do what I should’ve done first, I Pinterest Failed the stain. Taking a scoop of baking soda, I sprinkled the stain like the powdered donut it wasn’t. Then spritzed the stain with vinegar. Step back, Martha Stewart.
Shocking to no one with a reading comprehension above two, the stain remained even after scrubbing. Time to take it industrial.
I borrowed a shampoo carpet cleaner from a neighbor. Few things are more satisfying than cleaning carpets. Of course, I don’t have carpets, I have rugs. Minor differences. Except maybe not so minor, as trying to suction-shampoo-clean a BERBER rug didn’t go as planned. In my mind, deluded with visions of clean carpets in a house full of three dogs, the stain would lift itself like Christ ascending into heaven.
When you’re shampooing a carpet correctly, the soapy water goes into the carpet, swirls around, collects dirt, and is then sucked back into the machine. Interesting thing about suction, it needs a vacuum. Think about this for a second. Berber rugs are bumpy. Uneven. Hard to make a seal. So when one tries to soak and suck it with shampoo water, it won’t. Because without a suction, a shampoo carpet cleaner will just soak.
What happens to yellow stains when soaked and not suctioned?
Lemme help you. What happens when you pour liquid on cloth? Hint: it rhymes with SPREADS.
There’s a reason MENSA never sent my Hogwarts letter.
But wait, it gets worse. Because shortly after ruining my third white rug, one of my three dogs left me a morning surprise in a different location. Why recycle a dump spot when you can create a second dump spot? It’s common sense.
Yes, despite lavishing my dogs with a lifestyle rivaled only by a king, my precious pups choose the chunky white rug on which to leave their finest creations. Logistically it makes sense. After circling three times to find just the right spot, one must have ample foot grippage to arch the back and squeeze out a finely shaped turd.
But wait, rock bottom is still a ways down.
Not satisfied with a discolored rug, I decided to try an upholstery cleaner I had for my boat cushions. It worked wonders taking stains out of my white (noticing a trend?) boat upholstery. So I thought I’d give it a whirl. I sprayed, waited, scrubbed.
Nothing. Still pee-colored. Still poo-stained.
So I did what all girls do, told my mom. Who, brilliant as she is, suggested the one substance I hadn’t yet tried: bleach.
Heck, what did I have to lose? My dogs already ruined the rug. What was I going to do, ruin it more?
So I bleached the large yellow stain and found the stain was actually whitening. Funny thing about bleach: it makes things whiter. Which, on a white carpet, is exactly what you want.
Another funny thing about bleach: it’s a chemical which reacts to other chemicals. So when I sprayed the former poo stain which I’d treated with the upholstery cleaner, the stain did not turn white. The stain turned yellow. Bright yellow. Like the color of straw… after Rumpelstiltskin spun it into gold.
You’d think at this point I’d be mad. Frustrated. Done with white rugs (yes). Instead I “cleaned” both stains. Waited long after they were dried. Moved the furniture off the rug. And flipped that stupid bitch over. There. You win, rug.
If at first (second, third, or fourth) you don’t succeed, try pretending it never happened.
Do yourself a favor. Learn when I did not. Do not have a white rug, Berber, high pile, or cheap Ikea, while owning dogs. They look great in catalogs. Not in living rooms where sh!t happens.
Pingback: My Big Fat White Rugs: A History of Bad Choices - Courtney Kirchoff