Lead pencils make pretty pictures, but if you have little artists or you are an artist, they can leave an ugly stain on your carpet. Whether colored pencils or plain pencils, removing graphite stains can be tricky. However, you can still clean the spot without professional help with the right techniques. Follow these steps to erase graphite stains from your carpet.
Prepare to Remove the Graphite
To remove the graphite stain, you need:
- white rags
- white paper towels
- cotton balls
- hand mixer or stir spoon
- butter knife
- carpet brush
- white vinyl eraser
- rubbing alcohol
- liquid dish soap
- hydrogen peroxide
- lubricating oil
Check the label on the carpet for safe cleaning instructions. Avoid using colored cloths or paper towels which may transfer dyes to carpets. Test all cleaning products for color reaction in a hidden area of carpet, such as under a floor mat or chair.
Use the butter knife to scrape as much graphite a possible from the fibers. Attach a hose to a vacuum, clean remaining particles. If the pencil stain has stuck lead, mist the stain with a thin layer of lubricating oil, then let it stay for two to three minutes. Scrape the spot using a carpet brush, then vacuum.
Clean With Rubbing Alcohol
Rub the mark using the eraser beginning at the edge, and move to the center. Wipe the area with a dry rag working in one direction. Avoid working in a back and forth or circular movement, or it will spread the stain. Continue cleaning the stain, using a new section of rag.
Dampen a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, and blot the marks, changing cotton balls as needed. Don't let the alcohol soak too far into the carpet to avoid melting the latex adhesive. It isn't necessary to dilute rubbing alcohol.
Apply Dish Soap or Hydrogen Peroxide
Mix a drop or two of liquid dish soap in a cup of warm, but not hot, water. Moisten a clean rag with the mixture, and blot the stain, then repeat the blotting with a dry cloth. Alternate blotting between a dry rag and a damp rag. Lay paper towels over the spot, and weigh them down with a heavy object to help it dry.
Use peroxide as a last resort to get the stain out of light carpets. Open a window to ventilate the room when you clean with peroxide. Dab a cotton ball in peroxide Blot the stain, and let the peroxide stand one hour. Blot the area with hydrogen peroxide again until the stain disappears.
For professional tips, contact a company like John Wecker Carpet Cleaning.