People often freak out when something is spilled on the carpet.  And well they should!  Certain common household liquids can in fact harm a carpet.  The worst thing you can do is try to clean a spill without knowing how or what to do.

Strong acids can dissolve things, weak acids can also damage things but not to the same degree.  Many foods, drinks and liquids contain acids.  For example, citrus fruits and drinks contain citric acid.  Vinegar is a weak acetic acid.  Certain toilet bowl cleaners contain hydrochloric acid.  Acids can hurt carpeting.  They can alter the color of your carpet very quickly.

Medications also can contain harmful chemicals.  Take acne medications as an example. Some acne products contain benzoyl peroxide.  This chemical is the opposite of acid, as it is a strong oxidizing agent.  It can destroy carpet dyes.

Common ordinary bleach can hurt your carpet.  Most people would make this connection, as bleach ‘whitens’ clothes.  Guess what has bleach in it?  Most swimming pool water!  Ever walk into a house with a dripping bathing suit?  Hmmmmm, bet you’ll think twice about doing that again.

Insecticides contain chemicals that can alter the dyes in carpet.  Has an extermination company ever sprayed your house for some insect?  Think again before letting them spray the baseboards near your carpeting.  If they must, make them sign a release stating that they will replace your soon to be two toned carpet.

Are you a plant lover that fertilizes those pots?  Be careful not to spill any of that water or plant food onto your carpets.  Those drippings can oxidize your carpet dye. 

Urine from animals contain uric acid.  Do I have to say more?

People or animals that get sick on the carpet can cause huge problems.  The regurgitated food is often accompanied by gastric juices from your stomach.  Guess what is in that juice? Yep, hydrochloric acid. This is a strong acid that, in a different form, is used to clean bricks.  Think  what it does to your carpet.

Most items in our homes today seem to contain something that has the potential to be harmful to our floor coverings.  In most cases the safest and quickest remedy is to flood the spill with plain warm water and blot up as much as possible. Then call your professional carpet cleaner to extract and treat the spill.