Carpet stains are inevitable but there are some easy ways to remove them! There are many types of stains that can affect your carpet. Some common types of stains include coffee, wine, ink, and mustard. If you have a stubborn stain on your carpet that is not coming out with the first cleaning attempt, don't give up hope just yet! There are some tricks that will help you get rid of these pesky spots once and for all. Read more to find out how!
Common Causes of Carpet Stains
There are many different types of dirt and debris that people track into their homes on their shoes, between their toes or even in with their pets. Some of the common causes of carpet stains include:
- Soot, ash and dirt
- Wax, particularly melted-over candles
- Grease and oil stains created by cooking spills
- Vehicle fluids like gasoline or antifreeze
- Food left behind by pets and humans, such as berries and grapes
- Soda and wine
How To Treat Stubborn Carpet Stains
Carpet comes in many different colors, styles, and patterns, with most carpet made from synthetic fibres such as nylon or wool. Wool carpet can be notoriously difficult to maintain, but with these tricks for removing stubborn stains you'll be on your way to having fresh looking carpets again in no time at all!
The first step to removing any carpet stains is, of course, vacuuming your carpet before you do anything else. Not only will this make it easier for you when cleaning the spot, it will also help prevent further staining in that area. This step is particularly important if there are other people living in the house, as they will be less likely to track the stain into that area or spill something else on it if they can't see it.
Some vacuum cleaners such as from Dyson ship with both a hardfloor and soft-brush attachment. Be sure that you’re using the right attachment to remove any physical grit.
If you are dealing with an oil-based stain (e.g., food stains), then use oil solvent cleaners to clean up the mess instead of water-based cleaners like dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent. The oil solvent cleaners will bind the oil, drawing it into a waxy cloth that can then be easily vacuumed up. Follow this step with a good steam-cleaning action from your home steam cleaner for best results.
You can also use a dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent to clean up those types of stains by rubbing the spot gently with a cloth until you see some of the stain disappear. For tougher stains, let it sit for at least half an hour before cleaning.
If your carpet is nylon or synthetic, look for products that are designed to remove spots and spills from these types of carpets. If you use water-based cleaners on this type of carpet, it will lead to swelling and bubbling.
If you have pets, then chances are some of your stains will be from urine. The first thing you should do is absorb as much of the urine as possible with a clean cloth or towel before it soaks into the carpet's padding. Next, use a solution made from one part white vinegar and one part water to help neutralise the urine. If you have a steam cleaner at your disposal, then that will also come in useful here for deep-cleaning purposes. Do not use harsh chemicals or bleaches that are designed for hard surfaces because they could damage your carpet.
If the urine stain is on a light-coloured carpet, then it might be worth trying hydrogen peroxide to help remove the stain, as long as it is non-toxic. If your dog or cat has urinated multiple times in one particular area, saturate that area with water and leave it for several hours to fully moisten the padding underneath.
Rub the area to help push the urine up through the carpet's fibres, then use a steam cleaner to help flush it out of there for good. Do not rub too hard because you could damage the fibers. If this doesn't work, bring in a professional cleaner who will be able to rid your carpet of the stain for good.
If you have a dye-based carpet, then blot any stains immediately! You don't want to risk pushing the dye into the fibers, because it could cause permanent staining if this is not treated immediately. Sometimes rubbing alcohol will also work well on certain types of dyes.
If your carpet is wool or silk, then you will have to treat it a bit differently as both dyes and water will damage these types of carpets.
If the stain is fresh, try applying full-strength white vinegar onto a clean cloth and blotting at the spot from the outside inwards to prevent further staining. If this does not remove the stain, take a clean cloth with a little bit of water on it and blot from the outside in, just as you did before.
If the stain is old but not set, try adding a few drops of dishwashing liquid into a bowl of warm water and then using this mixture to wipe at the area from the outside in. Do not rub too hard! If this does not work, bring in a professional cleaner at once.
To help prevent stains from setting into carpets, cover up dark areas with throw rugs or mats that can easily be removed for cleaning or replaced when it is time to clean them. If you do get a stain, be sure to treat it immediately for the best chance of removing it and preventing it from setting.
Want to know how you can maintain your carpet? Check out this guide.