Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kool-aid Conundrum.

A few times a year, I crave Kool-Aid. Tropical punch Kool-Aid, to be exact. As I like to live life on the edge, I like to enjoy said beverage wherever I would like in the house. I'm not clumsy enough that I spill my drink every day, but it should be known that I spilled water twice on my belover first Mac, and the second time was the kiss of death. It should also be known that neither incident was alcohol-induced, so the spillage was completely attributable to laziness, carelessness, clumsiness, and general flailing. I'm not proud.

I'm gathering that you can logically guess where this is going - I spilled Kool-Aid. Thankfully, it was not on my Mac. It was, however, on my beige carpet and it's now a month before I move out and try to retrieve all of my security deposit.

In my instant panic after dropping 24 ounces of red Kool-Aid on my desk and watching the liquid dye roll off the back and onto the carpet, I forgot to take true before pictures. I dropped a line about my stupidity while I ran for towels, so this is the damage after sopping up the mess with multiple towels:

All of these pictures are going to be in high contrast, because that's the only way I can get this to look like what I'm actually seeing. This spot is right next to my window, so the direct light was blowing things out and making this not look like a problem, when in reality, it was a very real, red problem. You can see some faint stains on the wall where the culprit poured down and a nice red patch along the baseboard.

I did the first thing I normally do when I'm bored, have a problem, need a craft, or otherwise am on the internet: I went to Pinterest.  I found a link that sent me to this page. I was skeptical, as I usually like to see real-life before and afters before I trust it, but I had nothing to lose and only money to gain. Again: security deposit. 

To start, gather your supplies. You'll need an iron, a white towel, clear ammonia (available at the grocery store), water, and a vessel to mix the ammonia and water (I used a spray bottle). It helps if you have a stain, too.

Combine equal parts of ammonia and water in a well ventilated area. Soak the stain in a well ventilated area. Ammonia is seriously abrasive stuff. Heat the iron to the highest cotton setting. Lay the towel over the soaked area and iron in short increments.

It's normal for the iron to sizzle. As you iron, the stain will start to pull up into the towel. Work your way around the stain until the iron isn't sizzling. The aftermath is pretty rewarding.

I still felt like I saw some stain remnants at this point, but was nervous that I was staining white towels at the expense of clean carpet. So I took an intermission to wash a load of whites, and with a little bleach, the towels came out as if nothing happened.  I also painted the wall in that time so the faint stains pointing down to the carpet I was trying to hide wouldn't blow my cover.

Armed with the fact that the towels would recover, I made another batch of the ammonia and water and worked at the stain again. 

I think I'm satisfied now.

Satisfied, and impressed with the work of an iron. This picture is the truest color to the carpet. I think I can still see some pink, but I don't know if that's because I'm a perfectionist and imaging things or if it's really there. Either way, I'm considering this passable for an apartment inspection.

Agree? Full of confidence to rid your carpet of Kool-Aid stains? Or is that not a widespread problem? Either way, I hope everyone continues to live recklessly and drink Kool-Aid wherever they want in their light-carpeted house, with maybe a little less fear for their carpet's longevity.

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