Carpet is a great floor covering because not only is it cost-effective and looks nice, but it also warms up a room and helps to regulate temperatures in the colder months. However, if you have carpet in any room in your home, then you know the struggle of keeping it clean.
Quick Solutions for the Most Common Carpet Stains
Daily treading over with shoes, dog paws and whatever else you bring indoors, keep a few handy carpet cleaning solutions in your back pocket to eliminate those especially tough stains.
Before We Get Started
All types of carpet were not created equal and you definitely don’t want to damage yours. Before trying any kind of new product on your flooring, be sure to test it in a small, out-of-the-way area of your carpet first. This way if there is any sort of negative reaction, you don’t cause any further damage and ruin your floors.
Before We Get Started
Additionally, one of the best carpet cleaning tips for things like grass, dirt, mud and other “dry” stains is to vacuum the area before you get started. This picks up additional debris and prevents you from spreading it all over the rest of the carpet. Finally, don’t forget to wear gloves to protect your skin from any allergic reactions.
Dirt and Mud
The most common stain of all, it’s easy to bring dirt inside thanks to our shoes. For a fresh mud stain, don’t try and wash it immediately while it’s wet; you’ll rub the dirt further into the fibers.
Wait until it’s dry, vacuum the area and make a solution of two tablespoons dish soap (like Dawn) and two cups of lukewarm water. Scrub the stain with a cloth or brush and your solution, make sure you don’t oversaturate the floor with water; a nice, even layer will do the job. Vacuum when it’s dry and repeat the process as needed until the stain is gone.
Pet Urine and Feces
We love our pets, but they can be so gross. If Rover or Mittens has decided to mark an area of the floor as theirs, their mess can penetrate into carpet fibers and leave a room smelling like a kennel for weeks if not cared for properly.
Use a paper towel or cloth to soak up as much of the liquid as possible, then mix one part white vinegar to one part water and scrub the area clean. Vinegar is great for urine because it’s loaded with alkaline, which breaks down the organic enzymes in pee and neutralizes the odor.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the smell, sanitize the area with another clean cloth and one teaspoon of dish soap to 32 ounces of lukewarm water. Let dry and repeat if necessary.
Even if it’s especially liquidy, pick up as much of the solid matter as you can by using a grocery bag for a glove and turning it inside out when you’ve got it all. Pretreat the area with white vinegar, allowing it to sit for a minute or two before sprinkling it with baking soda. Let the solution fizz for a little bit as you prepare your cleaning solution:
A bucket or large bowl of warm water and two tablespoons Dawn or liquid laundry soap. Use a scrubby brush and start on the outside of the stain and work your way in, repeating until the stain is gone. Wait until it’s dry and vacuum the area.
Ah, the lifeblood of the human race, what would we do without our bean juice? As essential as it is, coffee can also leave a nasty stain on your carpet when left untreated. Soak up as much of it as you can into a towel and make a cleaning solution:
One tablespoon each of white vinegar and Dawn, then two cups of warm water. Gently apply the solution and blot with a clean cloth and work from the outside in until the stain is gone. Rinse with cold water and let dry.
Whether you’re an avid DIYer or a crafty individual, spilled paint on the carpet can be disastrous if you don’t work quickly. Mix together 1½ tablespoons each of white vinegar and liquid laundry detergent with two cups of water and quickly sponge away the stain.
This solution can also work with set-in paint stains, but use needle-nosed pliers or a knife to peel off as much of the dried paint as you can. Saturate the affected area in your mixture until it begins to loosen, using a wet/dry vacuum to soak up the liquid.
Once you’ve done this, use a stiff-bristled scrubby brush and work with your solution to get rid of the excess. Repeat the process as necessary until the stain vanishes.
Getting stains from your carpets doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s important to act fast before they set in and worsen. You want your carpets to look as clean and fresh for as long as possible, and it’s handy knowledge to know how to do just that.