How to Clean Any Carpet Stain

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Carpets provide additional comfort and warm up the room. However, they are magnets for dust, dirt, and notoriously difficult-to-remove stains. If you drop red wine or chocolate on your carpet, don’t stress it – you don’t have to throw them in the trash or have them replaced. Follow these simple tips on how to remove stains from carpets.

Always dab the stain as soon as possible

The key to successful stain removal is speed. The faster you act, the more likely you are to successfully remove a carpet stain. If something is spilled, the first step is to absorb as much of the stain as possible. If the substance is thick or chunky, the first thing to do is to remove any physical residue. Use a butter knife or spoon to scrape off as much dirt as possible.

Next, use a damp paper towel or light-colored towel (white is best) to blot the area. The Carpet and Rug Institute says that printed or colored material can transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet. Fold the towel over and keep dabbing until most of the stain is absorbed by the towel. White towels make it easier to see how much of the stain is being absorbed.

Do some research on the best way to remove stains, not scrub

Contact the manufacturer for a list of recommended cleaning products for the carpet. Failure to use the correct detergents could void your warranty or damage your carpet. If in doubt, use an SOA-certified cleaner.

Dip a white cloth in a small amount of the cleaner. Then carefully work it on the stain. Start at the edges and work your way up to the center. Blot, don’t scrub. Never use a brush. The bristles and scrubbing can damage the carpet and push the stain deeper into the fibers. You may have to repeat the previous step several times to remove the stain.

Once the stain is gone, blot the area with clean water to remove any remaining product. Blot the area with a dry cloth to absorb moisture. Let the area dry completely.

Dealing with stubborn stains

Certain types of stains require more effort to remove. The first step in removing stubborn stains is to remove the solids and blot it as you would with stains. Let’s take a look at how to approach notoriously difficult spots.

red wine

Immediately dab on as much wine as you can. Then dilute the stained area with cold water and blot again. You need to remove as much pigment as possible before applying the stain remover. Some popular red wine stain removers are club soda, alcohol, and baking soda. As with any commercial stain removers, contact the manufacturer to make sure the carpet or carpet cleaners are safe. Dab, rinse and dry as described above.

Pet stains, fat & chocolate

Urine, feces, and other biological (including fat and chocolate) contamination require special treatment. First, remove the solids and blot on all liquids. Next, use a stain remover designed for protein-based clutter. These cleaners are based on enzymes and contain beneficial bacteria. They are designed to break down waste particles that bacteria can use up more easily. The best thing is that after cleaning, they won’t leave any traces of smell on the carpet. Rinse and dry the treated area thoroughly with a clean cloth.

coffee

Dab on any spillage and spray the area with an equal part solution of white vinegar and water. If this doesn’t remove the stain, let the area dry and then sprinkle baking soda over the stain. Let it sit overnight. Suck off the baking soda in the morning. If the stain is still there, you’ll need to use a professional cleaner.

blood

Dab on as much as you can, then dilute the area with cold water (never use hot water or the stain will set). Next, spray hydrogen peroxide over the stain. Before applying, make sure the hydrogen peroxide is safe to use on your carpet or rug. The hydrogen peroxide starts bubbling and bubbling when it comes into contact with the blood. It is completely normal. Blood has enzymes that attack hydrogen peroxide molecules and convert them to water. Pat dry and repeat if necessary.

ink

These spots can be tricky, but acting quickly will produce positive results. Spray the affected area with alcohol. Let the alcohol sit on the stain for about an hour, then gently blot it off with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Repeat if necessary.

rubber

While rubber isn’t necessarily a stain, it does leave a terrible mess on carpets and carpets. Put a few ice cubes in a sandwich bag and place them on top of the gum. Let it sit for about half an hour. This makes the rubber hard. Peel the gum from the fibers. When it softens, reapply the pouch and let the gum harden again.

Removing stains from your carpet and rugs will keep your floor (and space) bright and new. Of course, the best way to keep your floor looking its best is to avoid stains. However, if something does spill, acting quickly will save yourself a lot of trouble later.

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Header image courtesy of BanksPhotos / E + / Getty Images

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