The good news is that carpet stain removal is usually possible with a little persistence and the right technique. Here are a few tips including some ideas on how to remove specific spills.
How to Remove Carpet Stains
Act quickly – React as soon as possible. Don’t let stains sit.
Vacuum if possible – If it’s a dry spill like dirt, vacuum every bit you can up before applying anything wet.
Gently scrape and blot – If it’s a wet spill, scrape (if needed) and then very gently blot as much of the liquid up as you can use white paper towels or a clean white absorbent cloth, working from the outside of the spill towards the center. Carpet stains removal tip: do not rub the stain as this can actually drive most stains more deeply into the fibers of your carpet.
Absorb – Use as many layers of paper towels as needed to absorb all of the liquid you can. Leaving a heavy object on top of paper towels on top of the stain can help in this absorption, but be careful that the paper towel doesn’t extend beyond the initial stain area or you may spread the stain. Also, consider what you are using for a heavy object as it risks becoming stained.
Apply cold water – Once you are sure you have removed all of the stains you can by vacuuming or blotting, blot with a damp clean white towel. Try cold water before you try anything else.
Extract – Extracting the water will work better than blotting, so if you have a shop vacuum, this is the time to get it out. Carpet stain removal tip: allowing water or any other liquid to rest in contact with your carpet can compromise the backing.
You will find many uses for a shop vacuum like this Kenmore 81414 400 Series Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaning Tools in your house cleaning efforts. Being able to suck up wet messes can really come in handy.
Use the appropriate cleaner – If water and blotting or extraction don’t remove all of the stains, then and only then, use an appropriate solution for carpet stain removal. Special stains, such as blood, ink, or wine will require special treatment.
Specific Carpet Stains Removal
Blood – It is especially important to react quickly and use only cold water with blood stains, which otherwise will coagulate and be much more difficult to remove. Club soda is reported to help remove blood stains from a carpet, and hydrogen peroxide will work as well, but be cautious with this as it could lighten the carpet.
Ink – These can vary depending on the nature of the ink. Don’t let these dry up or they will be even harder to get up. Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol mixed with water can help dissolve an ink stain, which you can then blot up. Apply the diluted alcohol with a clean cloth or cotton – never pour directly on the stain.
Red Wine – Oddly enough it is recommended to treat a red wine stain with white wine. The white wine will mix with the red wine, helping to dilute the stain and lift it out. You can then continue cleaning the carpet using water and blotting or extraction. Red wine stains can also be removed using hydrogen peroxide but be careful of lightening effects. Finally, Wine Away Red Wine Stain Remover is one cleaner that wine lovers should consider always having on hand.
Chewing Gum – Freeze the gum by applying ice to it for several minutes. This will make it possible to chip off pieces and then vacuum up. If some gum remains after this, try applying peanut butter. This should help loosen the gum and make it possible to scrape it off. Then clean the remaining traces of peanut butter with a weak solution of dishwashing liquid and water.
Coffee – After blotting as much as you can, blot with a detergent solution and then a vinegar solution or try this homemade carpet cleaner that contains both.
Mud – Unlike most stains, you are probably better off letting the mud dry before attempting to remove it. After it is dry, vacuum up as much as possible. For any remaining stains, dampen with a solution of 1 cup of water to 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent. Then brush very gently with a soft brush, remove the solution and dirt by blotting with a clean, damp, white towel.
Pet Stains – Dip a clean white towel in a mixture of white vinegar and water and blot the stain with this. Baking soda, which is a great odor absorber, can also be sprinkled on the area and then vacuumed up after about an hour. A special enzyme cleaner may be needed to completely remove pet stains and odors from the carpet.
More Carpet Cleaning Tips
After using anything other than water, it’s always a good idea to do a final dampening and blotting with water to thoroughly flush the carpet of cleaner as well. It is also recommended that you dry the carpet quickly with a fan after removing the stain. This is because there could be a part of the stain that is hidden in the deeper layers of the carpet, and this will wick to the surface if there is liquid present, causing the stain to reappear.
If you are unfamiliar with a carpet cleaning product, always test in a small inconspicuous area – products vary considerably and carpets are made from a variety of materials. Successful carpet stain removal may require a bit of testing before you find the right product.
Please note that the best way to keep them looking great is to keep carpets clean with regular vacuuming using a quality vacuum. If you leave dirt or anything else sitting on the carpet, it will become ground in, and can even damage the fibers of your carpet. Carpet stain removal tip: by vacuuming regularly, not only will your carpets stay nice looking, they will last longer.
Having generous entryway mats is also essential to not only keeping your carpets looking great but any flooring. The recommended length for entryway mats is four steps on the exterior and four steps on the interior. An entryway mat is an excellent and attractive way to insure that dirt gets left at the door and not in your house.