Best Ways To Remove Tough Carpet Stains
Carpet can be an attractive finish to your flooring, but it comes with the potential for staining. Here are a few ways to cost-effectively keep your carpet pristine.
Before you start
Before applying any of these methods, be sure to test the technique on a patch of carpet that’s out of the way just in case.
Steam Cleaning If you have the cash to rent or buy a steam cleaner this is often the quickest, most effective method. Just swing by your local hardware store, pick one up with some cleaning solvent and follow the included instructions to steam away any pet, wine, coffee, or blood stains you may have.
Vinegar and Water If you can’t afford a steam cleaning then you can make your own mixtures to eliminate stains. For common stains like beer, soda, ink or ice cream use a mixture of ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar mixed with 32 oz of water in a spray bottle. Spritz the mixture onto the stains in question and gently dab them away. In case of pet stains increase the vinegar ratio to ¼ cup per 32oz.
Borax Damp the stain area with water and clean with borax and a bush. Let dry and then vacuum clean.
Baking Soda This can work great for grease stains and foul smelling odors
Resolve or other carpet detergents This is my personal favorite way to clean up carpet and fabrics. It’s designed to work with a steam cleaner but I’ve found that it can work just as well on its own by spraying on the effected area and sopping up with a towel for quick spot cleaning. OxiClean works well in a pinch too.
Professional Grade Stains
Blood Use a vinegar-water mixture but be sure to use cold water. The colder the better. This will help stop the blood from clumping together and will let you clean it off much more efficiently. Make sure not to push it into the carpeting and be patient. If it’s already dried, then try using borax to sop it up.
Wine In the case of a highly acidic compound try a tablespoon ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water, unless your carpet is wool based. You can also use the borax method (or use the same technique with salt).
Pet stains If you have a biohazard situation on your hands, the first thing you’ll want to do is clean up the initial mess by sopping it up with a towel(take care not to grind it into the carpet though). Throw away any physical waste and use the vinegar-water solution to dab up any residue and treat any odor. If the vinegar doesn’t help with the smell or the stain, then you should probably try the Baking Soda method I mentioned earlier.
Ink Stains Soak a cloth in Isopropyl alcohol and dab to the problem area as needed. Don’t worry about staining the carpet—Isopropyl evaporates into the air at room temperature.
Coffee stains Try blotting if the stain is fresh. If not you can try the vinegar-water route or buy a product intended to treat nothing but coffee stains.