A carpet can be a beautiful part of your home décor and look impressive for years if well maintained. But let’s face it–a carpet stain can happen in the blink of an eye.
Besides staining, unstained carpets may collect dirt and other harmful microorganisms that can’t be removed even by vacuum cleaners. Placing heavy furniture on the spot might appear as the quickest way to hide a carpet stain.
But the stain hardens later, making it tougher to remove. The only option you might think of is removing the carpet and installing hard flooring. But luckily, using proper products and techniques, you can remove most of the carpet stains by applying substances commonly available in our homes.
Two primary types of carpet stain
Carpet stains are of the following major types:
Washable ink, dairy products, latex paint, mud, soda, alcohol, jelly, fruit juice, blood, bodily fluids, and meat stains.
Wine, pet messes, blood, chocolate, coffee, grease, oil, lipstick, petroleum jelly, gum, wax, etc.
Carpet stain remover
Cleaning experts say you can easily fight a thing once you know what it is. But if you don’t see the type of stain, you must try different removal techniques to know which one works. Here are some of the most efficient ways to remove a carpet stain besides using a carpet stain remover:
1. Plain Water
You can use plain water on most carpet stains, diluting the pigments (especially the water-based ones) and removing them efficiently. But blot the stain instead of rubbing it to prevent particles from spreading and embedding them deeper into the carpet fiber.
This method works on water-soluble messes, and you must work fast–before the mess dries..
2. Water and Dish Soap Carpet Stain Remover
It is the safest method to start with, especially when you don’t know the nature of the stain. Mix a cup of water and a few drops of dish wash at room temperature.
Apply the solution to the carpet with a white or a microfiber towel. Wait for some time and remove the stain with a cloth and Water. This method is most suitable for woolen carpets.
Try this method on water-insoluble substances, as the dish soap helps break down the oils.
3. Water and Vinegar and Dish Soap
Mix one tablespoon of vinegar and dish wash with two cups of water. Apply the solution to the affected area with a clean white towel and dry it with water after some time.
This method works best for water-soluble stains that are tough to take off, like food dye or juice.
NOTE: Do not use a dish soap that contains bleach, as mixing bleach and vinegar creates a toxic gas.
4. Salt and Vinegar
Mix two tablespoons of salt in half a cup of white vinegar and apply it to the stain. Clean it with a vacuum after drying. Add two tablespoons of borax to the mixture for larger or darker marks and do the same.
This mixture works on water-insoluble messes; the vinegar breaks down the oils, and the salt absorbs it and allows you to vacuum it all up after a couple of hours.
5. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Spread baking soda on the stain, then spray it with a mixture of dishwashing liquid, a cup of white vinegar, and water. The vinegar foams on coming in contact with baking soda and thereby cleaning the stain. Leave it for a few hours. On hardening, scrub the surface lightly and use a vacuum cleaner.
This solution works on water-insoluble; the typical foaming reaction lifts and breaks the bond of the carpet stain at its root.
6. Ammonia and Water
Ventilate the area well, as ammonia has a powerful smell. Mix one tablespoon of ammonia and one cup of water. Leave it for fifteen minutes and clean with a cloth and blot. It’s used for non-woolen carpets.
You can try this on either a water-soluble or water-insoluble carpet stain.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
It’s mainly used on white carpets. Make a paste of a teaspoon of three percent hydrogen peroxide with tartar or non-gel toothpaste. Apply the paste to the stain with a soft cloth and blot.
Use hydrogen peroxide to remove body fluids or blood. Watch the “fizz” lift the stain, blot, and vacuum the area well. However, you must test for color-fastness before applying it to your carpet–it’s so powerful that it could leave a lightened spot.
8. Dry Cleaning Solution and Water
First of all, blot the stain. Then apply a good quality dry carpet cleaner followed by blotting with water to remove any leftover solution. Use a vacuum cleaner after the area has dried.
This helps remove darkened areas after slight water damage, such as a sink or dishwasher overflow. Be sure to extract the water damage, let the rug dry, then apply this solution to any discolorations.
You can also use this application for other water-soluble messes.
9. Ice to Remove Carpet Stain Residue
Use ice to remove a water-insoluble carpet stain like chewing gum or candle wax.
Cover the stain with glaze and leave it to freeze. It will take twenty minutes or more. Once the wax or gum gets frozen, pull the substance from the carpet, starting from its outer edge.
10. Iron and towel
This method is also helpful for water-insoluble wax or gum stains if the residue remains after treating it with ice. Set the iron on medium heat. Keep a towel on the treated area and the iron on it for a few seconds.
Repeat the process (with a clean part of the towel) until the stain vanishes. The heat of the iron transfers the pigments to the towel.
Note: Heat-test the rug before trying this; some synthetic fibers could melt, making the problem worse.
11. Commercial carpet stain remover
Sometimes, after cleaning the stain by scrubbing, the stained area looks much cleaner than other carpet parts. In such cases, use carpet cleaner mixed with hot water and liquid detergent followed by drying to clean the entire carpet.
The Takeaway: If you know what type of carpet stain you have, you’ll know the best removal option
You should seek professional reinforcements for deep cleaning if you deal with adamant stains that any home remedy can’t remove.