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Melted plastic on the carpet? I might just pull my hair out!
If you don’t know where to start, and the stain is starting to form, then you’ve come to the right place. There are simple solutions involving ice, your iron and a paper bag that can help you remove the plastic!
But before we dive in, let’s make one thing clear.
Whatever the internet tells you, this is one of those nasty stains that NO ONE can guarantee you’ll ever get rid of completely. It all depends on the colors of both the stain and the carpet, as well as the amount of plastic you spilled.
Still, the least you can do is remove enough of it so it’s not an eyesore.
You can try any or all of the methods below. But for me, combining all three (ice, fire & chemistry) was the only thing that worked!
Step 1. Freeze It
What do you do with gummy, blobby substances like melted plastic, silly putty or kneaded eraser?
Freeze them and then smash them to smithereens that you can pinch out.
Get a bunch of ice cubes to cover the whole stain. (Best to use a ziploc or a piece of aluminum foil so you don’t end up with a puddle.)
Once the plastic is totally solid, give it some beating. Don’t overdo it though! You don’t want to hammer the small plastic chips even deeper into the fibers.
A butter knife should help you lift the frozen chips from the carpet fibers.
Once you pick up the bulk of the plastic, vacuum the area to make sure you got even the tiniest pieces.
2. Burn It (Well, Not Quite)
Legend has it that someone has managed to remove 100% of the plastic with the above method. (Or ANY one method, for that matter.)
No matter how hard you scrape, there are bound to be stubborn shreds of the stain that just won’t budge.
Ironing is what I’ll usually do next. However, you have to be careful not to burn your carpet.
High heat but no steam is what you need from your iron!
To protect the carpet from direct heat and the iron’s soleplate from sticky melted plastic, you’ll also need a layer of either brown paper bag or waxed paper.
Press mildly but do not rub!
Take off the paper slowly, like you’re peeling a cool sticker off. The plastic will have transferred to the paper. How satisfying! But don’t let the paper get too cool as it can stick all over again.
You might have to repeat the method until there is no plastic on the carpet.
Brown paper bags are the best for this method. If you use normal paper, the paper can leave another stain that doubles the work. Experimenting with other materials can ruin your carpet and we definitely don’t want to take the risk!
By the way, did you know that you can also use your iron when dealing with a fruit punch stain? Here’s how to do it!
3. Go Chemical
Nail polish remover is your last resort. Or more precisely, the acetone that’s in it.
If you don’t have that at hand, some rubbing alcohol should do.
Soak a cotton pad with the chemical. Apply it to the melted plastic and let it sit for a while. Not more than 10-15 minutes if you don’t want it to bleach the spot!
The chemicals in acetone will eat through the plastic, making it lift from the carpet fibers.
Using your butter knife, carefully remove the melted plastic without damaging or pulling the carpet fibers.
But the Stain Is Still There!
Alas, after you got the plastic out, it might still leave an unsightly, deep stain on the carpet. Now what?!
If you happen to have a bottle of carpet stain remover, then you don’t need to panic. Just follow the directions that’s on the bottle and wipe the stain away. However, for those who don’t, I have a DIY solution.
Blend an equal part of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Shake it up to combine.
- Apply the solution to the stained area. You can wipe right away but for added effect, let it sit for a while.
- Using a cloth, dab the stain.
- After repeating this process for a while, you should see the stain fading away.
- Rinse the solution from the carpet with a damp cloth (wet with plain water).
- Use a brush or comb to loosen and separate the carpet fibers.
- Leave your carpet to air dry.
You can use your steam cleaner to de-stain, but NEVER with the melted plastic itself. Your steam cleaner heats up, which can melt the plastic further into the carpet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Goo Gone remove melted plastic stain?
Yes, but use it wisely. Goo Gone is a popular adhesive remover and contains various chemicals. If you use it improperly, it can go deep into the carpet and remove the adhesive that attaches the carpet to the backing.
Don’t pour it straight into the carpet. Pour some Goo Gone on a clean, white cloth and work on the stain slowly.