How to Remove Stains from Carpet

For many homeowners, carpet is the perfect flooring choice – but stubborn stains can still cause a huge headache. Fortunately, many stains are surprisingly easy to remove from carpet if you have the correct supplies and use the right technique.

When trying to remove any type of stain from your carpet, remember to never scrub, as it can permanently ruin carpet fibers and cause the stain to set in the carpet. Instead, use a blotting technique when cleaning up any stain, working from the outside of the stain to the inside. For most liquid stains, you can follow these steps when removing the stain from the carpet:

  • Remove excess, if possible.
  • Blot the stain with a clean, absorbent, white cloth from the outside in.
  • Apply stain remover solution. See below for stain removers for certain types of stains.
  • Let set for 5-10 minutes.
  • Blot with clean cloth and clean, warm water, then blot with dry cloth.

There are a lot of options out there for store bought stain removers, but you can also make your own stain removing solution from common household items! If you do opt to buy a stain remover, be sure to test it out on your carpet in an inconspicuous spot, such as underneath furniture, to make sure it doesn’t react negatively with your carpet. If you’re looking for a solution for the following types of stains, try out the methods below for removing them:

  • If your stain is water-soluble – including soda, milk, wet or latex paint, washable ink, mud, alcohol, or food dyes – try mixing ¼ teaspoon white vinegar or nonbleach detergent with 32 ounces of water.
  • However, if your water-soluble stain is chocolate, wine, tea, mustard or coffee, you should try using a different solution – 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of ammonia.
  • Don’t use ammonia if you have a wool or wool-blend carpet, though – use mild detergent in lieu of ammonia.
  • If the ammonia solution doesn’t work and you have a solution-dyed carpet, try mixing one part chlorine bleach to five parts water. Do not use this bleach solution on other types of carpet, as it will damage your flooring. Check with your manufacturer if             you’re unsure of what type of carpet you have.
  • For wine or juice stains, you can also try spritzing the stain with club soda. Blot with a clean cloth, and repeat this process unitl the stain is no longer visible.
  • For fat, oil or wax stains, you’ll just need a paper towel and iron. Place the paper towel over the stained area of the carpet and iron it on a warm setting. The heat should cause the fat, oil or wax to come up from the carpet and stick to the paper towel.
  • If you have wax or gum stuck to your carpet, cover it with a bag filled with ice cubes to harden the wax or gum. Then shatter the wax or gum with a blunt object, and vacuum the pieces up before they soften.
  • If there is spilled glue on your carpet, you’ll need to moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Press the moistened cotton ball onto the stained area of your carpet, and gently wipe off the spilled glue. Repeat this process until all the glue is gone.

For homeowners who love their beautiful carpet, knowing the correct techniques to remove stains ensures that their flooring can continue to look as good as new. And, of course, if you ever have any questions about your carpet, don’t hesitate to call your local flooring professional! SOURCE: The Old House, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping