Carpeted floors add a certain luxury to a home. However, carpeted floors also come with a few anxiety triggers, such as muddy paws and sticky fingers. Stains will inevitably happen.
But, fortunately, you don’t have to go into panic-mode just yet.
Knowing how to clean carpet stains, you can effectively remove any blemish before it creates a permanent mess. There are many methods, products and home remedies to discover, so let’s get started.
- Homemade stain removers include baking soda and white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap, and club soda for fresh spills.
- Synthetic carpet stain removers, such as Genesis 950 Concentrate, are effective for heavy-duty and stubborn stains.
- Different stains require different removal methods, such as cold water for protein-based stains and dish soap for oil-based stains.
- Common carpet stains like tea, dirt, wine, urine, and lipstick can be removed using specific techniques and cleaning solutions.
Homemade Carpet Stain Remover
While there are many commercial products available, you might want to consider making your own. It’s great because you know exactly what the recipe contains. Plus, it’s cheaper — and just as effective!
Synthetic Carpet Stain Remover
If you want to use commercial products, that’s totally cool. These can be great for heavy-duty, stubborn and old stains.
- Time: 35 minutes.
- Difficulty: Easy.
What You’ll Need
- Paper towels.
- Dull tool.
- Vacuum cleaner.
- Carpet stain remover.
- Spray bottle or bowl (optional).
- White cloths.
- Distilled water.
1. Treat the Stain
Before you begin to apply any cleaner, you must clean up as much of the stain as you can. If it’s a fresh spill, remove any solid material with a paper towel. Then use another paper towel to blot up as much as you can.
If the stain is old or dry, you can use a dull tool to scrape off excess solids gently. Use a vacuum to remove any crumbly parts.
It’s important to get rid of any solids or excess moisture from a stain. Going straight to applying your cleaner can cause the spill to go deeper into the carpet.
Dampen a cloth and lightly blot the stain, working your way from the outside towards the center. Avoid scrubbing, as this will only work the stain further into the carpet.
2. Apply the Cleaner
There are a wide range of effective carpet stain removers available on the market. However, before choosing one, we recommend that you consider what type of carpet you have.
After choosing your cleaner, apply it as directed on the label. Some products need to sit on the stain to work, while others can be applied and removed instantly.
If you’re using a concentrate, dilute it as directed. We prefer to do this in a spray bottle since it makes application easier. You can make a large batch and save it for stain emergencies in the future.
But before using a new product to clean your carpet, test it in an inconspicuous spot. Leave the product on the spot for as long as recommended on the label. During that time, look for signs of discoloration or damage. If you notice any, discard the product and find another.
3. Clear the Area
While you’re treating the stain, keep children and pets out of the room. Stain removers can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other harmful ingredients (3).
After the recommended time is over, use a white cloth or paper towel to blot the stain. The stain should be nearly gone — a bit of blotting will help to get the last pigments out.
If the stain is persistent, apply more of your cleaning solution as you go. Keep a clean cloth close at hand to blot between applications.
Removing the stain remover is crucial. For this, we prefer to use distilled water because it’s free of minerals.
Apply a small amount of water to a cloth and dab the area. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to dry the area by blotting the moisture. Then finish off by vacuuming the area to restore the fibers of the carpet.
Removing Common Carpet Stains
Removing stains from your carpet can be tricky, but identifying the stain can quicken the process. Different stains require different removal methods. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of stains:
Water-soluble means the stain is water-based. These are generally the easiest stains to remove from a carpet. For the best outcome, treat the area quickly. This will prevent the spill from soaking into the carpet.
Start by blotting the stain using a cloth or paper towel. If the spill is still fresh, this should remove it.
Protein-based stains are a little trickier to deal with — these can leave a stubborn spot behind. You should never use warm or hot water to treat this type of stain. Warm temperatures will set the stain quicker and make it darker. It will also be more difficult to remove.
Instead, use cold water and an enzyme cleaner.
Oil- and Fat-Based Stains
These types of stains are probably some of the most difficult to remove from a carpet. Synthetic carpets can be even more challenging to deal with. This is because the stain often grabs onto the petroleum in the fibers.
Manufacturers are aware of this issue, and many, therefore, will treat synthetic carpets with a special coating. The coating prevents fat- or oil-based stains from settling, making removal easier.
To remove oil-based stains, cool water and dish soap is the best combination. Use a white cloth to blot the stain until it’s gone.
How to Remove Common Carpet Stains
Expectations vs. Reality
When removing stains from your carpet, it’s important to be realistic. Most stains can be tricky to remove, and they often require several tries. However, you should stay patient and repeat any treatment until you reach your desired results.
Always use white cloths on light-colored carpets to avoid any color being transferred from the cloth to the carpet. Treating a spill as soon as it happens will give you the best outcome. Never leave a stain, as it will soak into the carpet and become nearly impossible to remove.