How to Remove Stains from Carpeting (Make Your Own Cleanser!)

How to Remove Stains from Carpeting

We spent last week in the basement, and now we’ve finally emerged to find stains all over the upstairs carpets! We probably made them while walking around after cleaning up that filthy basement. We really hate that, though, since there’s  nothing that makes a once beautiful carpet appear old and worn faster than stains. In a busy home, spills are inevitable, and stains on the carpet can make you feel as though your home is not as clean as you would like it to be.  With a little work, you can remove most stains from your carpets–even pet and coffee stains.

It is best to attack a spill as soon as it happens on a carpet. Immediately use an absorbent cloth (paper towels work well) to soak up as much liquid as possible.  Gently apply pressure to the spill, refreshing the cloth as necessary. Rubbing will soak the stain into the fibers, so keep pressure on the stain but try not to rub it in. Once you have soaked up as much liquid you can into a paper towel or cloth, you’re faced with a decision on how to remove the rest of the stain. There are a few different household products you can use to try to remove the stain. There’s also the option of carpet cleaners and spot removers (either a machine or spray solution).

Different stains respond differently to each product.  It is always a good idea to test a small section of carpet with the product or solution you intend to use to make sure that it does not harm the carpet or change the color.  If you had the carpets installed, you can ask to keep a small section of the refuse carpet to test cleaning products so you know what you can use before you are faced with the stain.

Make a solution of two parts water to one part vinegar.  Put in a spray bottle.  After blotting the stain as much as possible, spray a generous amount of the vinegar solution on the spot and let it sit for about ten to fifteen seconds.  Using more paper towels or dry cloths, again blot the stain and soak up as much liquid as possible.  You may have to repeat this process a few times to completely remove the stain.  While the smell of vinegar may be strong while you are using the solution, it will fade as the area dries.

There are products you can buy in most grocery and drug stores labeled as carpet cleaners, in spray or aerosol or scrubbing bottles.  The process for cleaning the carpet is basically the same for each product as with the vinegar solution, but you may find that the less expensive water and vinegar will clean your carpets stains just as well and also be less likely to discolor your carpet.