How can I clean melted plastic off a carpet runner?
June 11, 2011 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Last week while vacuuming the staircase at my house, I managed to melt part of the plastic from the vacuum cleaner onto the carpet runner. (That runner hasn't been installed a month.) I was able to scrape away some of it with my fingers, but the spots are still crusty. How can I clean melted plastic residue off carpet pile without damaging the carpet?
posted by orange swan to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm having a hard time figuring out why a vacuum cleaner is producing melted plastic, but … maybe you could adapt techniques people have for removing wax from carpets? Put a disposable, absorbent cloth over it and apply an iron to wick it up?
posted by hattifattener at 7:23 PM on June 11, 2011

I don't think plastic will wick, but you could try a hair dryer and a wire brush or pet comb. Maybe test the hair dryer on a less visible section of carpet first. Get the plastic as hot as you can without damaging the rug, and comb it up and away.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:33 PM on June 11, 2011

Are you sure you didn't melt the rug with the vacuum?
posted by palliser at 7:41 PM on June 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

You can also try shaving the carpet. Sounds weird, I know. Grab a disposable razor and basically start carefully shaving away the affected carpet. This will only work of course if the plastic didn't sink in too deep. If you are careful and do a bit of blending around the edges it'll look good as new.
posted by Patbon at 8:13 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding hattifattener's suggestion of an iron with an absorbent cloth to protect the carpet and perhaps absorb the melted plastic.
posted by Susurration at 11:08 PM on June 11, 2011

Are you sure you didn't melt the rug with the vacuum?

This is more likely as some of the yarns that modern carpet, rugs, runners are made of have a low melting point.
For example, I heard a few years ago about a situation where some commercial carpet made of olefin yarn had been installed in a large space in a church. When the volunteers came back to move the foldable tables back in place they decided to slide them vigorously (quickly) across the same section. After several tables had been slid they began to notice burn marks and melted yarn.
This can also happen with a vacuum left in one spot too long, unless the beater brush is disengaged.
And by too long, I mean literally seconds.

I would contact the retailer you purchased the carpet from to see if they have any suggestions.

*BTW, until recently, I had spent all my life in or around the floor covering industry.
posted by nickthetourist at 12:28 AM on June 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

« Older I need audiobook recommendations!   |   What inspires you? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.