While almost everyone knows the value of regularly vacuuming your carpet to help keep it clean, now and again you may need help to remove carpet stains. Accidents happen. Spillages, dirty footwear, pets and children can all create a mess that requires more urgent and specific attention.
In an ideal world, we'll all be able to avoid these stains. But in the real world, it's best to know how to deal with stains, should the worst happen.
Here's our guide to removing carpet stains, so you can deal with them as quickly and effectively as possible.
How To Remove Carpet Stains
Some stains will be more stubborn than others. But there are some general cleaning principles that will be effective on the majority of those spillages and marks.
- One simple method is to use a dedicated spray, such as Vanish Gold Oxi. With a product such as this, simply spray the product onto the stain, and gently rub it in.
- Leave it to soak in for up to 5 minutes, then blot it to lift the stain from the carpet.
- If it's a particularly bad stain, or the stain has dried in, you may need to repeat the cleaning process.
Read More: How Often Should You Clean Your Carpet?
But if you prefer a milder mixture to tackle stains, then you can try the following method, as a general solution:
- Mix a solution of mild dishwashing liquid with warm water. A ratio of 1/4 teaspoon per cup of water will be the right strength.
- Apply the solution to an absorbent cloth, and dab the stain with the cloth. As the stain transfers onto the cloth, dab the spot with a clean part of the cloth.
- Get a separate cloth, wet it with cold water, and use this to lift any detergent from the carpet.
- Place paper towels on the spot to lift any remaining moisture from the carpet.
While the two methods we outlined above will work in general, there are some specific stains that may require specific treatments. We'll look at some of the most common ones next.
Ink stains can be difficult to remove. One effective remedy is to dampen a clean white cloth with isopropyl alcohol - the higher the concentration, the better.
Dab the stain (don't rub) and leave it to stand for a few minutes. This gives the alcohol time to react with the ink.
After a few minutes, use a vacuum cleaner or paper towels to remove the moisture from the carpet.
Red Wine Stains
Red wine is one of the most common stains people have on their carpets. And it's probably fair to say that the more red wine gets drunk, the higher the chances of having a spillage.
Start by blotting the stain with a clean white cloth to remove as much of the spillage as possible. Once again, dab, don't rub. Rubbing can cause the wine to spread, and if you rub vigorously, it can push it deeper into the carpet. You can then either use a dedicated wine stain remover, or you can use a couple of more traditional methods:
Club soda is surprisingly effective. Pour a little onto the stain, blot, and repeat until the stain is gone.
Alternatively, mix a tablespoon of hand dishwashing liquid and a tablespoon of white vinegar in two cups of warm water. Pour a small amount onto the stain. Once again, with a clean white cloth, blot the carpet. Repeat until the stain has gone.
To remove blood stains from a carpet, it is recommended to only use cold water. This will stop the blood from working deeper into the carpet fibres.
- Mix a tablespoon of hand dishwashing liquid with two cups of cold water.
- Then use a clean white cloth to sponge the blood stain with the solution you've just created.
- Keep using a clean part of the cloth to lift the stain.
- Rinse with cold water to remove any excess soap from the carpet, then blot dry with paper towels.
- Repeat if necessary
We get it. You're tired. It's early. You still haven't had that cup of Java to shake you out of your morning torpor. So you've spilt your coffee before you've even managed to drink it. Here's what to do:
- As with red wine, blot up as much of the spillage as you possibly can with a clean white cloth.
- Create a mix of 1/2 a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and 1/2 a teaspoon of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water.
- Apply a small amount of the mixture to the carpet to avoid overwetting it, and use another clean white cloth to dab the stain. Repeat until the stain has gone.
- Finally, use some cold water and a clean cloth to remove any excess soap, then some paper towel to blot the carpet dry.
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Hopefully, you won't find yourself needing to call upon this knowledge on a regular basis. But at least now you have the tools, should they be required, to remove stains from your carpet. And it's a lot cheaper than hiring a professional to do the job for you.