Carpet Stain Removal Tips
Carpets can make a room feel warmer and more comfortable. But, boy can they show the dirt – especially in high traffic areas.
If you like the warmth of carpet, but hate the dinghy, dirty look they can have, then you need to learn the proper carpet stain cleaning techniques to keep your rugs looking great.
From the new puppy you get in the spring to the sticky gum that melts on your shoe in July to the holiday party in December, getting stains out of your carpet will help your carpet look newer longer.
While it may seem obvious, a pound of prevention in this case is worth the replacement value of your carpet.
If you can, get your family into the habit of removing their shoes at the entry point of the house to protect your carpets.
Speed is of the Essence
When it comes to carpet stain cleaning, the most important thing to keep in mind is to act quickly! The longer a spill sits on your carpet, the harder it is going to be to remove.
Knowing Your Carpet
Knowing what type of materials your carpet is made of will make the entire cleaning process much easier! For instance, Berber carpets are made of Nylon and Olefin, which reacts best to dry carpet cleaning. Still, tough stains may need a bit of scrubbing using a mild dish soap and water. Peroxide type cleaners also work well on Berber.
Blot the Excess Material First
As soon as you see a spill or stain on your carpet, be sure to blot up any excess using a clean dry cloth.
For urine messes, try sprinkling some kitty litter or absorbing baking soda on the spill to help lift it off of the carpet.
Then begin treating the stain with one of the cleaning methods we’ll discuss in a minute.
Common Carpet Cleaning Solutions
There are many kinds of cleaning solutions you can make at home for removing carpet stains. Here are some of the most popular:
Baking soda is one of the cheapest and best ways to clean a carpet . Simply sprinkle some baking soda on the stain with hot water; let dry and vacuum. For tougher stains, make a paste with baking soda and water and rub into the stain.
Laundry detergent is a very effective carpet cleaning solution for tackling tough stains.. Simply mix your favorite detergent in a bit of water and rub it into the carpet with a scrub brush
Use one part ammonia to 10 parts water for a great carpet cleaning solution.
Use equal parts of white vinegar and warm water to make an excellent carpet cleaning solution. Rub into the carpet; let stand for half an hour and then dab up.
Salt and Club Soda
Have an extra tough stain you can’t get out? Try sprinkling some salt on it, then pour a bit of club soda onto the salt. The chemical reaction will take about an hour, but you won’t believe your eyes when you return and vacuum up the residue to find the stain completely gone.
Hydrogen Peroxide or Oxi-Clean
Mix up a paste of oxi-clean and water or use straight medicinal grade 3% hydrogen peroxide and rub into carpet stains for a quick cleaning solution.
Removing Pet Stains:
- Pick up the mess or blot up the liquid as soon as you can.
- Pour baking soda on the area and work into the stain.
- Wear gloves and work it in by hand or use a clean cloth.
- Allow to dry, then vacuum.
Removing Gum or Tar from Carpet:
Gum and other sticky compounds like tar are the enemies of any carpet. If, however, you do get gum or tar on your carpet, follow these steps:
- Freeze the area with ice cubes.
- Remove any frozen gum or tar chunks that can be easily removed without damaging the carpet fibers.
If any of the material remains you may need to follow up with one of these two alternate methods:
- Place a small amount of WD-40 on a lint-free cloth
- Lightly dab the area until the material is lifted.
- Apply warm vinegar to the gummed area and let it sit a few minutes.
- Use a toothbrush or clean cloth to lift remaining gum.
Removing Food or Wine Stains:
The best carpet stain removal tips for food and wine involve using salt, borax and vinegar.
The reason this mixture works is because the salt absorbs moisture, the borax whitens without destroying fibers like bleach, and the vinegar will not promote mold and mildew growth in the carpet pad like water.
To mix a batch of carpet cleaning paste, mix salt, borax and vinegar in the following proportions:
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup borax
- 1/4 cup vinegar
First, blot up as much of the food or wine as you can with a dry cloth. Then, using a soft-sided utensil, apply the stain removal mixture to the stain.
If the stained area is larger, just remember to keep the proportion ratio 1:1:1. Allow the paste to dry and then vacuum.
Depending on how long the stain has had to set, you may have to repeat these steps one or two more times.