How to Remove Carpet Stains
Your Easy Step By Step Guide to Stain Removal
Carpets add warmth and comfort to any room. But they can be magnets for stains from spills, pets, kids, and everyday life. Thankfully, you can get carpets looking clean and new again by learning how to effectively remove any type of stain. This comprehensive guide covers simple carpet stain removal steps for tackling all types of stains.
The key is knowing what caused the stain, having the right cleaning products on hand, and taking action quickly.
The Trick to Getting Stains Out – Rehydrate and Blot
The most important thing to remember with any type of stain is that quick action is critical. As soon as you notice a new stain:
- Carefully blot the excess liquid with a clean cloth or paper towels. Don’t scrub or you may grind the stain deeper into the carpet fibers.
- Pour a small amount of lukewarm water directly onto the area to rehydrate it. This makes it easier to remove.
- Blot again, repeating the process until the stain is lifted.
The Dos and Don’ts of Removing Stains
- DO start by blotting excess from the stain.
- DO use a lukewarm cup of water to rehydrate dried areas.
- DO blot with a dry white towel, don’t scrub.
- DO read labels and test in an inconspicuous area first.
- DON’T use hot water, as it can set some stains.
- DON’T scrub or brush stained carpets or rugs, which can spread them into the carpet.
- DON’T oversaturate your carpet with cleaner.
- DON’T rub the stain, which can cause the fibers to mat.
The 2 Main Types of Stains
There are two main types that can plague any type of carpet.
1. Water-Based Stains
Water-based include fruit juices, soda, alcohol, vomit, latex paint, coffee, tea, blood, and urine. They often respond well to water and vinegar or club soda.
2. Oil-Based Stains
Oil-based include common cooking oil, grease, tar, cosmetics, wax, and some types of ink and paint. They require a solvent-based cleaner to break down the oil.
Follow these simple steps using eco-friendly cleaners to treat almost any common carpet stain:
Step 1: Blot Excess Liquid
- For fresh stains, quickly blot using a clean white cloth or paper towels.
- For dried stains, pour a small amount of lukewarm water directly on the stain to rehydrate it.
- Continue blotting until no more liquid transfers to the cloth or towel.
|Blot gently without scrubbing
|Rub or scrub the stain, which can spread it
Step 2: Apply Stain Remover
- For water-based, mix:
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dish soap
- 2 cups warm water
- For oil-based, use an eco-friendly solvent cleaner
- Apply a small amount directly to the stain
- Let sit for 3-5 minutes
|Test cleaner on an inconspicuous area first
|Over saturate the carpet
Step 3: Blot Stain Again
- Blot the area using clean absorbent cloths
- Avoid scrubbing or rubbing
- Repeat process until no more stain transfers to cloth
|Change cloths frequently to prevent re-depositing stain
|Use colored or printed cloths that could transfer color
Step 4: Rinse With Water
- Once stained area appears cleaned, rinse area thoroughly with clean lukewarm water
- Blot again with absorbent white cloths
- Allow carpet to air dry completely before vacuuming
Step 5: Still Stuck? Call the Professionals
If you’ve tried these methods and still see a stain residue or color in your carpet:
- Do not attempt any other cleaning methods
- Call a professional carpet cleaning service
- Tough stains may require steam cleaning to lift from carpet pads and deeper layers
|Attempting to remove stains yourself with harsh chemicals can permanently damage or discolor your carpet
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get red wine stains out of carpet?
Start by blotting excess wine quickly. Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1 cup warm water and apply it directly to the stain. Gently blot the area and repeat process until the liquid lifts. Rinse thoroughly. For dried liquids, pour lemon juice or white wine on area to loosen before following same process.
What’s the best way to remove coffee stains from carpet?
Blot spilled coffee immediately. Create a paste by mixing 2 tablespoons baking soda with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Carefully work paste into stain and let sit 5 minutes. Blot area to pull out coffee, rinse paste completely and blot again. The acidity fights the oils in coffee stains.
How can I get urine or pet accidents out?
If they are fresh, blot excess and pour baking soda directly on stain. Let sit for 5 minutes then vacuum up. If it has been sitting for a while, mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part baking soda, and 2 parts warm water. Apply to stain, allowing solution to foam for 5 minutes before blotting thoroughly and repeating as needed.
What takes out blood stains from carpet?
Work quickly by blotting excess blood immediately. Next create a cold saltwater solution and apply directly to the blood stain. As the marks loosen, gently blot area with a cloth. Avoid rubbing. If it has dried up, use 1⁄2 tablespoon enzyme laundry detergent in 2 cups cold water to gently loosen the blood before blotting.
What are the best carpet stain removers?
For most common spills, a simple mixture of dish soap, vinegar and warm water can be highly effective. For tougher oil-based marks, look for eco-friendly solvent cleaners.
What should I do if my stain comes back?
If it reappears after drying, the area likely needs more thorough cleaning. Call a professional carpet cleaning company, as it may have reached the pad underneath.
Can I rent a machine and do it myself?
Yes, you can rent cleaners from most hardware and grocery stores. Choose an eco-friendly, low-moisture cleaner and follow all instructions carefully. Work slowly and methodically.
How can I prevent future stains?
- Keep food and drinks away from high-traffic carpet areas
- Clean spills quickly to prevent staining
- Apply protectants like Scotchguard every 12-18 months
- Consider adding runners or area rugs in prone areas
Removing stains takes a bit of work, but with some basic guidelines, the right products, and quick action you can keep your carpets looking fresh. Remember to always start by blotting excess liquid and gently working in stain removers. Over-scrubbing and using harsh chemicals can lead to permanent damage.
When in doubt, call on the experts!
Gunner Reynolds is a professional carpet cleaner with the knowledge, tools and cleaning solutions get rid of stains while keeping your carpets healthy.