REMOVING CARPET STAINS TIPS
Knowing how to effectively remove stains from carpets is important. It will depend on what you are dealing with. Of course cleaning it up as soon as you can will also help to ensure that there is no stain left over. The problem though is that too many people don’t know what to use to clean up a stain and in doing the wrong think make a simple problem, much worse.
Therefore it ends up being there forever and in some cases they make it worse than it was before due to the product they use on it. There are a handful of items you want to keep a supply of just in case you need them to remove stains.
Make a kit and place all of the items in a plastic container or a basket so you can find them when you need them. Some of them, you are sure to find in your everyday cleaning stuff. These items include:
- Mild dish soap such as Joy or Dawn
- Clear household ammonia
- White vinegar
- Dry cleaning solvent
- Wet spotter
- Dry spotter
- Spotting brush
- Paint thinner
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Bacteria/Enzyme digester
- White cloths
- Wet/dry vacuum
There are six steps that you need to follow when it comes to effectively removing stains from carpet. Following them will help you to get the very best results.
Things to consider when dealing with carpet stains
- Try to get the stain removed as soon as you can. The longer it sets in, the harder it will be to get it out.
- It is a myth that heat is a good way to remove stains so don’t use it. In most instances it is going to result in the stain setting in and you will never get it out.
- Access the spill and take action right away. When the material is a liquid then blot it up. In such a case that you have a large amount of it then get out the wet/dry vacuum to remove it before it dries. In dealing with a solid then do your best to remove it with the spot brush by gently scraping. Make sure you make small movements so you don’t spread the area of the stain.
- Once you have removed all you can, turn to cleaners such as soap and spotters to clean them up. If you don’t know how they will affect the carpet’s type of material, definitely use them on an area that is well hidden from view first. If the test is fine then you should be good to proceed with it.
- When you apply spotter to the carpet, you want to move from the outside perimeter of the stain. Then slowly work your way towards the middle of it. This way you can contain the area and you won’t end up spreading it. To prevent damages to the fibers of the carpet, blot as you work instead of scrubbing. Only use a spotting brush to break up the stain as other items can be too harsh for the fibers to withstand.
- Make sure you remove all of the chemicals from the area with water. Then you can blot the area dry with clean towels. Use your hands to fluff up the carpeted area so that it looks like the rest of it.
- To help remove all of the moisture from the area, place clean towels on the area. Put some heavy books on top of it to make sure there is enough pressure. Allow this to sit overnight and then check it in the morning.
- There are some specific types of items that can create stains if you don’t know the right products to use to clean them. It is a good idea to have this information handy so you can easily refer to it in an instant.
Common Everyday items that can seriously stain your carpets
Lipstick – Try to scrape off as much as you can. Lipstick can be tricky so make sure you don’t spread the area of it. Try some ice to help harden it if you are having a hard time removing it. Dry cleaning solvent can certainly help too. If it is a dark color you may need to use ammonia as well.
If the lipstick stain comes from a lip staining tint, a lip gloss or any other form of liquid lip paint, blot and do not scrape.
Alcohol – Use a mild soap and water to blot it up. Create a mixture of vinegar and water then blot it as well. If necessary apply some hydrogen peroxide if the alcohol was colored and left a stain. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times to get it all out.
Blood – If the blood is dry do your best to scrape it all off. You can loosen it up with mild soap and water. Blot to remove the excess water and then add ammonia mixed with water. You may need to apply either rust remover or hydrogen peroxide if the blood is very difficult to get out of the carpet.
Candy – If you have children then it is inevitable that one day you will need to remove candy or other unknown stains from your carpet. Try to scrape it with a spotter brush or a butter knife. Then use a sponge with mild soap and water. It is important that you get all of the sugar out of the area on the carpet. Failure to do so will result in that area attracting dirt and debris easily. Blot to dry when you are done.
Candle wax – Take the time to scrape as much of the candle wax off of the carpet as you can. Don’t be tempted to use heat though as a mentioned before. Instead use ice cubes to make the candle wax hard. Then it will break off of the fibers easily for you. The use of a dry cleaning solvent may be useful as well.
Acid – Make a mixture from baking soda and water to neutralize the acid. After that is done you want to use ammonia and then rinse it all out with plenty of cold water.
Mildew – The goal is to get rid of it completely so take your time. Use a dry brush to remove what you can to start with. Then use a clean sponge to apply a good disinfectant to the area. Follow this with ammonia and then hydrogen peroxide. Keep a good eye on the area over the next couple of days to make sure you got all of it.
Oil – How many fights have occurred in your home due to someone tracking in oil on your gorgeous carpet? Keep the peace by applying some dry cleaning solvent to the area. If you don’t work from the outside in though you may get a ring left so pay attention to this detail. Use mild soap and water to make sure you have removed all of it as well.
Chocolate – scrape it away if it is solid, blot it if it is in a liquid form. Use a sponge and some dry cleaning solvent to remove what remains. You may need to use mild soap and water or hydrogen peroxide if it is staining your carpet.
Soda – This is another very common type of stain but one you can clean up quickly. Try to blot it up as soon as it occurs. Use mild soap and water to remove it as well. Let it dry completely but if you still have a stain apply glycerin. Allow it to remain for ½ an hour and then rinse it with warm water.
Ink – Don’t freak out of ink gets on your carpet because it can be removed. Try to clean it up right way with mild soap and warm water. Be careful as this is one product that can easily spread if you don’t work from the outside in. You can also spray the area with hair spray to get it to loosen up.
Jelly – Blot the jelly and get as much of it up as you can. You may need to apply mild soap and water to help it get soft. Depending on the color of the jelly and the color of your carpet you may need a solution of vinegar to get the stain completely out.
Mud – Wet mud can be almost impossible to get rid of. If you allow it to dry, then you can brush it and it will crumble. Vacuuming it up is every simple too. If you have a stain left use either ammonia or dry cleaning solvent to remove it. carpet. You may need to use mild soap and water to get the residue out as well.
Gum – Gum can be quite a mess on the carpets, and it will get worse if you use heat. Instead use ice cubes to get it cold and then it should come right out. You may have to use some dry cleaning solvent to get the small pieces from the fibers though.
Ice cream – This is one item you want to clean up as fast as you can. You should be able to blot it with a dry cloth and then to use either ammonia or a protein digester on it. If a large amount of it is spilled you should shampoo the area so that it won’t be a magnet for dirt and debris.
Mustard – Try to blot it up as much as you can. This will work for ketchup which is commonly found with mustard on carpet. Apply mild soap and water too in order to remove what remains. If there is a stain then apply either rust remover or hydrogen peroxide. You definitely want to refrain from using any type of ammonia or alkaline cleaner for this type of stain.
Coffee – Since millions of people drink coffee each day, this is a common item that can leave stains. Use mild soap and water to blot what you can of it. If you clean it up right away that should do the trick. If not, use some vinegar to blot the area as well. You may need to use hydrogen peroxide as well. Coffee can be a stubborn stain though so make sure you work until it is completely gone.
Crayon – Children love crayons but sometimes they fail to keep them on paper. Use ice to get the wax of the crayons to harden. Then you should be able to remove it with your hands from the fibers. Next you can use dry cleaning solvent to get the remaining particles of it cleaned up.
Cigarette burns – If you or others in your home smoke, the carpet may end up with burns in it. You don’t have to replace the entire carpet though. Instead you can rub most of it out with a piece of steel wool. You can also trim the top of the fibers with a sharp razor blade. If you cut deep into the fibers you should apply super glue to the area. It is clear so no one will notice it. However, it will prevent the remaining fibers in that area from fraying.
Grass – Apply mild soap with water, blot the stain until it is gone. If it is stubborn try either ammonia or vinegar to the area with water.
Greasy foods – Dry cleaning solvent works well to remove greasy foods that have been spilled on your carpets.
Nail polish– Cleaning this up will depend on the type of nail polish that is involved. If it has acetone and it is non oil based then you want to blot it as much as you can. Dry cleaning solvent should help to remove the stain completely. If it doesn’t have acetone on it then you can use amyl acetate which you can buy at any pharmacy to get rid of it.
Paint or varnish – It isn’t the end of the world if you get paint or varnish on your carpet either. Mineral water is your best way of cleaning it up without any problems if it is still wet. Should you find dry paint on the carpet simply apply a small amount of lacquer thinner to it. Make sure you test this out on a hidden piece of carpet though to make sure it won’t alter the color.
Pet stains – Indoor pets are a leading cause of stains to the carpets. Try to blot it out as much as you can with clean towels. To get enough pressure you want to step on those towels for a few minutes. This way you penetrate what has gone deep into the fibers and the smell won’t linger. Apply a bacteria/enzyme digester as well. Wait for it to dry and then use mild soap and water to complete the clean up.
Vomit – While cleaning this isn’t fun it has to be done. Apply Lysol to help neutralize the smell as you clean it. Scrape up as much of it as you possibly can. Then use a bacteria/enzyme digester. Allow the area to dry and then use mild soap and water to complete the clean up process.
Rust – There is no doubt that rust can leave a very ugly stain on the carpet. To easily remove it, use steel wool or rust remover. Make sure you completely rinse the area with warm water after you are done.
Shoe polish – Do your best to blot it up without smearing or spreading it. Scrape off what you can and then apply dry cleaning solvent. You may need to use either ammonia or hydrogen peroxide to fully remove the stains.
Tar – This can be removed by scraping it off first. Then you can use either paint thinner or dry cleaning solvent to get rid of the rest. Make sure you rinse the area too with mild soap and water to get any remaining residue out of it.