People ask me all the time, "what's the #1 cleaning tip I have for removing stains?"
The answer is speed.
So lets stop talking and start cleaning and get that stain off your carpet!
Remove as Much of the Staining Material as Possible:
Get a spoon or a fork or paper towels- whatever is appropriate for the problem and remove as much of it off the carpet as possible.
If liquid has spilled on the carpet, blot, blot, blot. Use paper towels or a clean, white cloth. Keep at it until as much liquid as possible is lifted out of the carpet.
If you find the spot after it’s dried – okay, who didn’t take the dog out last night? – break up the part that’s stuck in the rug and get out the vacuum.
If you own a shop vac or portable steam cleaner you’re really in luck. It can suck up spills much easier than blotting and it can spit water back into the stained area to flush out what might remain of the stain and then suck that up, too.
Removing the Stain:
Your first cleaning solution should be water. Yes, water. There’s nothing in water that will harm carpets and it may flush the remainder of the stain out without adding any chemicals that can discolor a rug on their own or yellow in time.
Carpet Stain Removers:
If you want to use a carpet stain remover, I absolutely recommend oxiclean carpet stain remover. Test the oxiclean in an inconspicuous spot first. Just put several drops of the mixture onto the stain and press it in with a white cloth for 30 seconds or so. If there’s any color on the cloth that obviously came from the carpet (not the stain), don’t use that stain remover!
If the white cloth comes back white, it’s a go. Put some of the oxiclean cleaning agent on the rug and gently rub it into the spot. Work at the spot from the perimeter of the spot to the middle of the spot – no sense spreading the spot further into the carpet. Blot, blot, blot and try again with a clean cloth. Keep it up until the spot is gone.
Regular 3% household strength hydrogen peroxide works well on most stains. Make sure that you have removed all the staining food or liquid residue and the area is essentially clean except for the stain- No bits or little chunks of food.
If there is some material still there go back to the plain water method and remove all the rest of the material.
A little portable steam cleaner works well for these emergencies. Just fill with plain cold water and spray the water on the stain and extract the staining material with the hose.
So now the area is clean and we are going to pour the hydrogen peroxide right on the stain. yes, right on it. Now massage the liquid gently into the carpet fibers and make sure it is evenly distributed.
If the stained area is away from the sunlight let it sit undisturbed for several hours. If it is in the sunlight we are going to need to cover it because sunlight inactivates hydrogen peroxide and it won't be able to do its job in the sun. Take a piece of plain plastic wrap and put this on top of the stain and put a book, towel or other object over the plastic wrap to allow the hydrogen peroxide to do it's job.
Check it after a few hours and the stain should be gone, or at least very much improved. You can repeat this process several times until the stain is gone.
If there is still some stain residue it may be there is some grease or oil in the stain. Try 1/2 tsp dawn dishwashing soap to 2 cups of water. 1/2 tsp only of the detergent. Please believe me when I say that more is not better. If you flood the area with detergent you'll be causing all sorts of soap residue to be left in the carpet fibers and the residue will attract future dirt staining. Try to thoroughly rinse the area again with cold water to remove as much of the soap as possible. You can repeat the hydrogen peroxide step again if necessary.
Rinse with cold, clean water. Blot some more or use your shop vac or portable steam cleaner to suck it up. Then put a wad of paper towels on the spot and weight it down. Getting as much liquid out as soon as possible will keep any stain that might be deep down in the carpet from moving up the fibers and back to the surface. Now put a fan near the area that the stain used to be and dry the carpet even more.
These cleaning tips should help you beat that carpet stain. I hope they have helped!