A good handheld carpet cleaner goes a long way but after spilling something you often need to get more creative to get the stain out completely. Don’t go into frantic scrubbing mode with any available cleaning product though, this could make it worse.
Every type of liquid, grease and anything else that leaves a mark has its own cleaning solution. So, do your research on different carpet cleaning tips beforehand to keep your flooring looking as good as new. If you also have a furry friend at home, you’ll want to make sure you have the right handheld vacuum for pet hair for that extra help around the house!
The Best Ways to Clean Carpet Stains
So if you’re looking for DIY carpet cleaning tricks that really work, stick around. We’ve put together this guide to help you tackle those nasty and annoying carpet stains. Get your home looking as good as new with these easy steps.
Here are all the ways to clean your carpet without discoloration or damaging its soft structure. Consider this your handy guide to removing stubborn carpet stains.
Rule #1: Do Not Let The Stain Set
The important rule in preventing carpet stains is not letting it set in. As soon as something spilled, get ready to soak up the worst of it. However, do so carefully without spreading out the liquid any further. Containment is the key idea.
For example, if your kid drops a plate of spaghetti, pick up all the noodles and meat and try taking as much of the sauce as possible with it. Then, handle whatever sauce is still leftover with more care and the appropriate cleaning solutions
The faster you get to work, the better the results. It is much easier getting rid of a stain that is still moist than one that has already dried up and soaked into the bedding.
Rule #2: Blot, Don’t Wipe
One of the most common mistakes people make is wiping the carpet. This only spreads out the stain making your job more difficult.
The proper way to remove something moist from your carpet is blotting with a clean dry (paper) towel. After you have taken away the initial mess, soak up the remaining moisture with a dry towel.
Also, as soon as you notice that the towel is saturated or taken on the color of the spillage, replace it. Continuous blotting with a towel that is already soaked is not effective.
Rule #3: Know When to Scrub
Though we always recommend blotting first, some stains are very difficult to remove. When you have no other option but to scrub lightly, use a soft bristle toothbrush.
Since the surface area is small you are less likely to spread out the blob. It is also more gentle on the carpet material so you are less likely to damage the fibers and structure.
Toothbrushes are also much easier to clean than white cloth. Simply rinse it regularly as you are working on the problem area. Toothbrushes don’t remove any moisture though, so always end by properly drying the affected area.
DIY Carpet Cleaning Solutions
Sometimes, a simple homemade cleaning mixture is more effective than the store-bought products, especially when running to the store takes more time than whipping it up at home. Here are a few examples of DIY carpet cleaners using everyday household products that you should keep on hand.
1. Vinegar & Warm Water
Best for: pet feces, urine, mud, coffee, juices, and sodas
This super simple solution comes together in less than a minute but works wonders. Combine white vinegar with warm water in a spray bottle for cleaning stains with odors like pet feces and urine but also works for most drinks.
For the best results, mix equal parts vinegar with equal parts of warm water. Spray on the dirty surface and blot away using a clean dry towel.
You can also choose to add a few drops of dishwashing soap to the bottle for a more soapy result. In that case, give it a few seconds to bubble on the surface before you start blotting.
2. Baking Soda
Best for: unknown stains, tomato sauces incl. ketchup, wine, chocolate
This miracle ingredient seems to be the cure for all your household cleaning problems because it comes up in nearly every DIY cleaning suggestion. This just goes to show how well it works.
Baking soda is very good at soaking up liquids, even when you are not sure what it is in the first place. After dabbing away as much as you can, cover the area with a good layer of baking soda and let it sit for several hours.
If you have kids or pets running around, you might want to place a few paper towels over it so that it does not get dragged across the room. The paper towel will also soak up some of the spillages.
Leave the baking soda until the area is completely dry. Then, throw away the paper towels and vacuum the powdery leftovers.
3. Cold Water & Dish Washing Detergent
Best for: blood
A big mistake in removing blood stains is using hot or warm water. Warm water actually makes the blood coagulate and set into the material. Always use cold water when trying to remove blood from a fabric-like material. Fortunately, this is quite easy to do.
Mix dishwashing soap or laundry detergent with cold water. Pour the solution over the required area to keep it moist but not so much that it soaks through to the bottom of the carpet.
Let is soak for a while and then blot away the liquids, making sure to replace the towel regularly. Rinse with just cold water at the end and let it dry.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Best for: old dried stains, greasy spills
The most stubborn stains and old dried up blobs require something stronger which is where hydrogen peroxide comes in. This is more of a last resort option because it could potentially change the color of your carpet if you are not careful.
Mix together 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 part white vinegar or 1 cup hydrogen peroxide with toothpaste. Either solution is very potent and should get rid of the most difficult filth.
Pour the mixture over the problem area and let it react for a few seconds before dabbing it away with clean white towels. Be sure not to spread the cleaning mixture to prevent any potential damage to the rest of the carpet.