Ginger Beer Explosion. Glass shards. Help?
June 5, 2012 9:32 PM   Subscribe

How does one clean up a gallon of home brewed gingerbeer out of an oriental wool rug?

So, I homebrew occasionally, and just had the great misfortune to come home to a growler of ginger beer (pretty much non acoholic, just 1 cup ginger, pinch of yeast, 1/2 cup simple syrup and the rest filledwith water) completedly exploded across my kitchen and living room. I am extremely lucky to not have been here when it exploded.

I've swept up all the glass shards that I could (curiously, almost no big pieces, nothing bigger than about an inch square), and mopped/rinsed off the ginger beer off the hard surfaces (wood/tile). However, most of the growler is in shards of a few mm wide/dust like, and just in moping/wiping up the walls/floors I tore up my hands. Additonally most of the ginger beer appears to have soaked into about 1/4th of a large (about 8'x12') old wool rug.

So i'm sitting on my glass covered couch, with lots of tiny cuts on my hands, wondering how the heck I can rinse/wash/get rid of the smell out of a wool carpet, covered in shards of glass and drenched in yeasty gingery liquid.

I have a shopvac, but its midnight:30 here and I'm not sure how useful it would be on the tiny shards. The rug is still damp, is there anything I should do to it tonight? Baking soda to minize smell? Keep rinsing it with water? Let it dry and hope for the best?

Any ideas?
posted by larthegreat to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
What about kitty litter + baking soda to soak up the moisture? You can vacuum it up tomorrow.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:10 PM on June 5, 2012

I'm struggling to say something useful, but fear it will only be inappropriately eponysterical.

First of all, my sympathies. I have a friend who brews gingerbeer, and he had the same thing happen, only it was confined to a small room.

I think the shopvac is worth a try on the shards. Better than nothing. And I think you're right to try baking soda to soak up what you can. Then vacuum it up later.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:35 PM on June 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

I would wring a wet towel onto the rug to dilute some of the gingerbeer. Then I'd shop-vac. Then I'd use a clean dry towel to blot up as much leftover liquid as possible. Then I'd point a fan at, go to bed and hope for the best.
posted by gnutron at 10:45 PM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

If that is a 200 year old Oriental worth $30,000.00, you might want to call an expert cleaner. Maybe I have watched too much Antiques Road Show.
posted by Cranberry at 10:55 PM on June 5, 2012

I've washed 3 *non-antique* wool rugs that had major problems (stains, traffic soil, food) by doing the following:
1. shake out/shop vac loose dirt
2. lay out on pavement/driveway (I've used an alleyway, also) face-up
3. soak the whole rug with hose or buckets of water
4. make a super-dilute solution of biodegradable, scent-free dish soap and water and soak the rug with that and spot scrub any areas that need extra cleaning
5. Rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse some more
6. flip the rug so it's face-down and rinse some more
7. let it drain a bit, and flip it back right-side up
8. press water out of it with your hands
9. hang on a railing, fence, chairs, whatever you have available to dry

You can do this even if the ginger beer dries in the rug. If it's a valuable rug, a professional rug cleaner can clean it once it's dry as well. Either way, you can wait to deal with it.
posted by quince at 11:11 PM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

My sympathies...
Every time I buy an oriental rug I'm always assured water and sunshine are the only cleaning agents I'll ever need. It can't hurt to start with the most simple cleaning solution. Regardless of the amount of sugar and yeast enough water should move it on. At least it is not diesel fuel or some such!

Let us know how you get on!
posted by pandabearjohnson at 1:38 AM on June 6, 2012

I had a brewing calamity (no glass shards, thank goodness, that sounds like a freaking nightmare) that attacked a rug, last year in fact.

I put the whole rug in my shower and just hosed the beast down with cold water until the water ran clear. And the smell had gone. And the stickiness.
posted by greenish at 3:28 AM on June 6, 2012

My wife is a textiles prof and says that you have to have it dry cleaned by a pro.
posted by goethean at 5:04 AM on June 6, 2012

Well my living room REEKS. Even with a fan pulling the air out of the room and one pointing at the rug, so just letting this continue to airdry won't work.

The rug was probably worth about 2k when it was new- that was about 9 years ago, so it's not an antique, but also not exactly something I'm ready to part with. It's currently at the top of a 5 floor walk up, and I'm kind of loath to take it to a drycleaner (although that's definitely on the table as a last resort).

I dumped some baking soda on it last night while it was still damp. Swept up most of it this this morning- it looked brown and cruddy, so that probably helped a bit. The carpet kind of glitters with glass in the morning light, so I'll defintiely be shop-vac-ing it tonight.

As recommended, I'm going to try to battle it into my bathroom and rinse it out- I figure if pure water can get most of it out, that's going to be my first step, followed by the mild soap mixture. If all else fails, drycleaning it is.

It feels better to have a plan.
posted by larthegreat at 6:32 AM on June 6, 2012

If it's a rug with any real value you'd do well to take it and have it properly cleaned by a professional. At the very least call one and ask what can or CAN'T be used on it. You don't want to make their job worse when you inevitably have to take it to them.
posted by wkearney99 at 12:10 PM on June 6, 2012

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