Tips for Removing Carpet Stains

Tips for Removing Carpet Stains

Stain removal can be a tedious job but there are some easy strategies that will help you get rid of the toughest spots. This article lists some effective solutions for a variety of carpet stains, including water-based and oil-based stains.
Carpets are expensive additions to your home décor, and you do not want the stains to ruin their beauty and elegance. Often, a lot of time is spent thinking of a possible solution to get rid of the stains, ignoring the basics. Various commercially available stain removal products also prove to be inefficient at times.

For successful removal of these stains, it is essential to treat the stains based on their type. Different types of stains need to be treated with different combinations of treatment solutions.

Basic Stain Removal Tips
  • Scrape out semi-solid or solid stains using a plastic spatula, and vacuum out the stain as much as possible. Do not use a knife or other sharp-edged tools.
  • Liquid should be blotted up immediately before it can seep into the carpet fibers. Use paper towels or tissues for this.
  • Always test the cleaning solution on a small patch to see if it works or is causing damage to the carpet.
  • When using a stain removal solution, apply it to the stain using a piece of cloth.
  • When removing large stains, start working from the ends, towards the base, so that it does not spread further.
  • Never use a brush or rub harshly, it will only cause more damage to the carpet.
  • Be sure not to wet the carpet too much while rinsing and cleaning.
  • Clean ink splotches with some lemon juice.
  • Clean coffee stains immediately with a mixture of 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon glycerin.
  • For water-based stains like urine, coffee, and tea, use a mild water-based cleaning solution. Try a mixture of vinegar with lukewarm water, or hydrogen peroxide with lukewarm water.
Water-based Stains
Water-based stains include alcohol, blood, fruit juices, wine, milk, soft drinks, and water-based furniture polish stains.

Cleaning: Use a cleaning solution made by mixing 2 tablespoons of non-bleaching household ammonia in a cup of lukewarm water. Apply this solution and use your fingertips to gently work the solution over the stain. For milder stains, a solution made by mixing ¼ tablespoon dish washing detergent in a cup of water can be used along with the rinsing and blotting procedures.

Rinsing: Rinse off the solution using lukewarm water by wetting the stained carpet fibers.

Blotting: Place an absorbent paper towel, that quickly soaks up all the water. You may have to repeat the rinsing and blotting procedures to make sure that the carpet is completely free of the solution.

Drying: Allow the carpet to air dry. Do not dry with a dryer as it can damage the fabric.

Oil-Based Stains
These are relatively difficult to get rid of compared to water-based stains. They include butter, cooking oil, chocolate, crayons, mayonnaise, candle wax, and black grease stains.

The most important thing to do as soon as the carpet is stained is to blot it with a tissue paper or a paper towel so that the staining agent can be soaked up as far as possible. Cornmeal can also be used for this.

Cleaning: Make a cleaning solution by mixing together one part wood spirits (methylated alcohol) with one part ammonia. Apply this cleaning solution to the stain and repeat until it has been effectively removed.

Rinsing: Rinse using mild soap and water.

Blotting: Blot using an absorbent towel or paper towels.

Drying: Allow to air dry or use a vacuum cleaner to dry the area.

If you are unable to get the stain out yourself, try calling a carpet cleaning professional. Also, remember to read the carpet manufacturer's instructions before treating it to any kind of stain removal solutions.
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