How to remove carpet stains?
While the nice, clean white carpet and rug decor look stylish, it’s hard to maintain the pristine look. Even if you don’t have kids or pets, chocolate, coffee, dirt, or red wine can easily mark your floors. Cleaning carpet stains might sound daunting, but it’s not an impossible task. Here are some professional cleaners’ tips to remove stains from carpets.
What do you need to remove carpet stains?
You should have most things around your house to clean the stains from your rugs, clothes, and carpets. Here are the essentials:
- Absorbent clothes and paper towels.
- A cup of water (either cold or warm water, depending on the type of stain).
- Spray bottle.
- Vinegar solution.
- Cleaning product.
- Dishwashing liquid
- Thin spatula or credit card.
- Soft-bristled brush.
To put together a homemade cleaning solution:
- White vinegar.
- Baking powder.
How do you remove stains from the carpet?
Getting rid of a stain and odor is difficult but not impossible. Here are our carpet cleaning tips to get rid of most marks.
1. Blot fresh stains
First, you need to blot new statins. If the stain is semi-solid, for instance, mustard or mud, lift away as much as possible. Don’t rub the stain—this can make it much worse as the color spreads deeper into the carpet fibers. It can also fray the carpet tops. Use the edge of an old credit card or a thin spatula to lift the stain away carefully.
Use a clean cloth to blot as much moisture as possible with liquid stains before it soaks into your carpet. Use white towels to see the transference of the liquid. When no more coloration stains the white cloth or paper towel, it’s time to move on to the next step.
2. Identify the culprit
Different materials require different plans of action. Determine the type of stain and act accordingly.
- Blood-stained carpet can cause significant damage if left for too long. When someone is bleeding, the rug may not be your first concern. However, you should attend to the stain as soon as possible. Blot the area with cold water and liquid dish soap, using a damp cloth to remove blood stains from the carpet.
- Removing coffee stains is a pain. If coffee stains cause a giant brown mess, you should apply lukewarm or cool water to the coffee spill. Then spray a 1:2 mix of white vinegar and water on the coffee stain and continue to blot.
- Treat the area with an alkaline detergent or off-the-shelf carpet stain remover to remove pet stains from the carpet. Don’t overuse enzyme carpet cleaner, as it can damage the carpet. Rinse the area with a cup of warm water afterward.
- If you’ve split a red wine stain, don’t panic. Blot the wine stains and apply a white vinegar solution. Repeat these steps until your cloth no longer picks up the color. Then, spray a non-bleach detergent and lukewarm water over the area and repeat blotting. Finally, remove the excess water and solution.
- Ink stains can damage carpets and are the most difficult to treat. Gently blot the stain and use isopropyl rubbing alcohol to counteract the coloration qualities of the ink.
3. Homemade stain remover
You can remove most stains on carpets with items you have in your home. To create a homemade stain remover (and have it handy in case of emergency stain removal), mix vinegar and water solution. You may also need salt, lemon or lime juice, and baking powder to make sure the stain is gone.
Don’t balk at using vinegar to treat stains. Unlike the stain, the smell of vinegar should disappear within a few hours.
4. Commercial stain removers
You might need something more substantial than homemade stain removal products for stubborn stains. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you’re using a commercial stain remover. You’ll need to leave the product for longer to work more effectively for older stains. Afterward, vacuum the freshly cleaned area. Repeat the steps if the stain lingers.
How to remove older stains from the carpet?
Sometimes, you don’t spot a stain right away. Or maybe, you’ve moved into a new house and found carpet stains left by the previous inhabitant. Either way, you might need to learn how to remove old stains from the carpet.
Firstly, mix oxygen-based bleach with cool water (following the manufacturer’s instructions) to create a solution.
Secondly, dip a clean cloth into the solution. Work it into the stain from the outside to the center to prevent it from spreading further. Do not overwet the carpet. Leave the solution for an hour before blotting it with a dry cloth. Allow the carpet to dry completely.
Finally, vacuum the area to lift the carpet fibers. If the stain remains, repeat the steps above or call in a professional carpet cleaner.
How do we prevent reappearing stains?
Have you ever tried to remove carpet stains only to find them back a few days later? No, you’re not going mad, nor did you spill something again. Sometimes, a tough stain can linger despite your efforts treating the stain. Reappearing stains can occur from soiling or wicking.
What are soiling and wicking?
Soiling happens when residue remains on the carpet fibers after using the carpet cleaner to treat the original stain. The residue can become sticky if you don’t thoroughly rinse and blot the cleaner. It can attract dirt to the same spot, making it look like the stain is back.
On the other hand, wicking happens when the cause of the original stain (e.g., wine, coffee, ink, or blood) soaks through to the carpet’s backing. When removing stains, you clean the surface of the rug. If the stain gets trapped in the carpet’s backing, it can make its way up the fiber strands and resurface.
Wicking often occurs when the carpet is wet, for instance, after steam cleaning. Ask a professional to help steam clean to prevent water damage and wicking.
Extra tips for carpet stains
Here are our additional tips for getting rid of carpet stains:
- Look for stains during your weekly house cleaning ritual. The sooner you treat them, the better.
- Use a robot vacuum to catch spills and dirt before they get rubbed into the carpet and stain.
- Different types of carpet are more susceptible to stains; check whether your carpet material needs particular attention.
Spotting carpet stains may induce panic — how did it get there? Can you get rid of it? Instead of panicking, act quickly. Ensure you use the proper treatment for the stain type (e.g., never use hot water on blood) and always blot rather than rub. Remember, even old stains are removable.