Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Thing #309--Out, Damned Spot

Since we have cats in the house, I'm used to them regurgitating on a semi-regular basis. They spend a lot of time grooming themselves and each other, so they're usually hawking up hairballs, which are accompanied by yellow stomach bile and sometimes undigested food. When it happens, I pick up the solids, then use some carpet spotter that we got the last time the carpets were cleaned; the mess comes right up.

However, when I came home a couple of days ago I saw that one of the cats had nibbled on a houseplant and upchucked all over the stairs. The mess looked like a big grass stain; it was dark green with bits of undigested plant in the middle. (As usual, neither cat would admit to doing it!) I tried to clean it up the usual way, but to my dismay the spotter didn't do much for this mess.

You can see the stairs right when you come in the front door, so the ugly stain was predominant. Tony was hosting his poker group tonight, and I wanted to make sure the stairs were clean.

Unlike a piece of clothing, I couldn't put my carpet in the washer, so it was more difficult to find something that would successfully remove the stain. A little Internet research revealed several options. Today I removed a grass stain from my carpet with normal kitchen ingredients.

eHow suggested I make a paste from equal parts salt and cream of tartar plus a few drops of water, let the mixture dry, then brush it off. I had both ingredients in the spice cabinet. I stirred everything together in a custard cup, spread it on the stain, and left for the grocery store.

When I returned I checked out the stairs. Much to my surprise, the concoction worked! The stain was not completely gone, but it had disappeared substantially. I repeated the process again and the splotch was even lighter in color; it could hardly been seen.

I vacuumed up the dried salt and cream of tartar and decided the job was a success.


  1. I searched for weeks to find cream of tartar. Now that I have it I keep using it in a variety of different things.

    And I guess I'm just lucky - my cat never had hairballs or threw up.

  2. sometimes the old ways are better than the new chemicals...

    glad you resolved the issue.

  3. I am going to have to try this one!