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Clean up your tired carpet with these tips
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Did your New Year's party spill over — all onto the floor? Here are some tips to keeping that carpet looking good today and in the new year.

Ron Baird, a residential carpet cleaning manager with Service Master in Gainesville, recommended a good dose of Scotch Guard or other pretreatment before you throw that big New Year's bash.

Unfortunately, if you didn't do that and you woke up this morning with some punch or wine on the floor, be prepared to consult a professional — or live with the stain.

In fact, mention "red wine" to Baird and he recoils.

"You mentioned the color red. That's a bad topic," he said. "Red's not the best color to deal with. It depends on the grade of the carpet and the material of the carpet."

First, try treating the stain with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Don't rub the spot; instead, dab gently, coaxing the stain out of the fibers.

If that stain is persistent, Baird recommended a carpet cleaner from any grocery store or hardware store, and treating the carpet with that. After that, call a professional.

And before you're treating it, stay off the spot.

"If you push, sometimes it connects like a sponge," he said of the layers under the carpet fibers.

So, if you're going to spill something on the carpet, could there be a liquid that's better than most?

"Paint," he said. "A guy spilled some paint and he was in a panic mode."

But it was oil-based paint, Baird said, and he told the man to grab some paint thinner.

"I was speaking from experience," he said. "Little bit of an odor, but you can get it all up and attack it however you want to attack it."

Good to know the next time you're planning a party; just grab a smock instead.