In last week’s column, I bemoaned the immensity of our current household project of having new carpet installed. My wife has spent the last two weeks carefully packing our collectibles in bubble wrap and placing them in boxes. My job has been to walk around the house shaking my head and saying, “There’s no way we’ll be ready in time.”
Prior to delivery, I headed to the store with my down payment where I was given a brightly colored brochure with the following photos on the cover: a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a chocolate ice cream cone, a muffin with jelly and a bowl of tomato soup. Were these serving suggestions for the big party I’d be throwing in our newly-decorated house? No, it was a collage of foods that are covered in the manufacturer’s stain-proof guarantee. They also gave me three different bottles of spot remover. Talk about knowing your customers.
Included in the brochure is an alphabetical listing of 50 different things that can potentially discolor your carpet. I counted all the different items in my fridge that day, so I know there are way more than 50 possibilities for me. Each item has a letter (A through H) that matches one of eight different techniques the manufacturer recommends you employ to sop up the various potential spills. I’m not going to get into any detail here, but there’s a lot of blotting, very little rubbing, and a fair amount of scraping. Also a boatload of vinegar and ammonia. It says that baby stains are the toughest to get out. I have no idea what a baby stain is, but it’s clear that you need to be real careful if you are squeezing one over your carpet.