June 21, 2010

Indelible Ink

On Friday I laid down for a few moments to nap. My brother and his wife were coming to go out to dinner with us soon, and I was worn out. Esperando and I had been hustling around all day. A few minutes into my doze I realized that Lupita the Wonder Dog was lying on the floor by my bed in the sunshine, chewing on one of her chew sticks. How endearing that the little dog wanted to be near me.

I got up 30 minutes before our guests were to arrive. I looked at the floor where Lupita lay demolishing a Bic pen, not a chew stick. She had pretty much shattered it and was casting tiny bits of marigold colored plastic on the rug. I panicked. Had she eaten the ink cartridge. No, there it was, but oh dear it had been punctured in several places and ink had oozed onto the pale beige carpet in about five different spots. Oh no, oh no, oh no. Dollar signs fluttered before my eyes as I thought about the $500 pet deposit on our apartment.

First I raced to the laundry and found some Spray and Wash that I applied to one of the stains, then I used a paper towel to rub it around. The ink blossomed like a water color painting and where I had rubbed it around, the rug had taken on a 4-inch square blue sheen. I charged out of the room and sent Esperando packing to the grocery store to buy some Resolve Carpet Cleaner. Fortunately it is a short half-block walk to Safeway from where we are living now. While he was off on his mission I checked on the internet and it said, isopropyl alcohol—but blot, don’t rub. So I called him on the cell phone, he was almost home, and sent him back to the store again for alcohol.

In the meantime I went to my small personal travel supply of rubbing alcohol and carefully poured the tiniest amount onto the ink. Let me explain, as the carpet looked with only the ink stains on it before it was treated, it was though someone had drawn long blue skinny lines on it. When I poured the alcohol on the lines they feathered out into big puddles of blue ink. I kept pouring and blotting and the rug looked horrendous. Finally big pools of saturated blue covered about 12 square inches of the carpet in blotty floral patterns. When my brother and his wife arrived, I left off so we could go out to dinner. I wouldn’t be able to really tackle it until the next morning, but I had a big knot in the pit of my stomach.

The next morning I started in again in earnest. When I could not longer blot out more blue with the alcohol, I started spraying Resolve onto the carpet and more blue coloring came out. It seemed that the Resolve was pulling ink up from the bottom fibers. And so I alternated, alcohol, Resolve, alcohol, Resolve—blot, blot, blot. I went through a whole roll of paper towels. Then I waited several hours to see if it had improved. And gradually it did improve, but there were still pale but noticeable blue marks on the rug.

Esperando and I went for a drive looking for an Ace Hardware store where we could hopefully find some petroleum distillates. Back in the good old days you could buy Energine and it pretty much took any stain out. We never did find an Ace Hardware, but we found Draeger’s Market instead in Black Hawk, that gourmet foodie store you get lost in and lie down on the floor and drool yourself to death over the millions of amazing food items you will never find anywhere else; that is if you don’t get lost in their china and cookware department first and collapse over fine casserole dish.

The real heros of the day.

The really cool thing about Draeger’s is they have all the neat cleaning products that Ace does besides the cool food stuff, and that is where I found Goo Gone Citrus Power and Folex instant carpet spot remover which I never heard of before. I bought a bottle of  both. How I decided on Folex over all the other cleaning products on the shelf is only serendipitous for it was the crowning blow to the ink stains. Goo Gone did nothing. Over the next two days I kept reapplying Folex and now you would never ever know a pen leaked on the rug. It is truly truly a miracle!
Lupita developed bad habits in the hotel. She learned how to climb up on tables and get ball point pens to chew up.


Oriental Rug Cleaning said...

I’ve found in my professional experiences of being a carpet cleaner for a number of years. You should never let the ink dry; this makes it much harder to remove the stain.

Ryan! said...

oliver did the exact same thing! Silly little dogs. Folex works like a charm!

Ann said...

You should have called us, we are the experts on chihuahua-induced ink stains. Folex is the best!