How to Remove Stains From a Carpet: The Ultimate Guide

May 01, 2020
how to remove stains from carpet

Soft and clean carpets will bring life to any room. In fact, they feel so inviting that they often seem to invite trouble in the form of annoying stains.

Stains can come from many sources, from coffee to pet urine. In some cases, the easiest solution will be to replace the carpet. Still, your first step should be to try to reverse the damage by learning how to remove stains from a carpet.

As a rule of thumb, your best bet to minimize the damage is to act right after the accident strikes. That said, there are several techniques that can get rid of almost every stain. Of course, you’ll also need the right tools and supplies.

Looking to learn more about cleaning carpet stains? Here’s a short guide that deals with various types of stains and how to get them out.

Basic Stain Removal

First, let’s go over the most common carpet stain removal method. This should help you deal with food stains, spills, and grease.

If there’s any physical debris, start by removing it with a spoon or fork. Try not to use too much pressure or you risk damaging the carpet. Excessive pressure can also push the debris deeper into the carpet fibers, making it harder to remove.

Next, use a paper towel or damp cloth to dab the stain gently. Then, use paper towels or plain fabric to press into the stain. Keep doing this for several minutes and make sure you don’t use materials that have colors or prints.

Once that’s done, use a stain removal solution to pretreat the affected area. Avoid using products that contain harmful chemicals and additives. Finally, rinse the affected spot with cool water — not warm — and dab it dry.

For stubborn spills, you’ll have to repeat this process several times.

Dealing With Pet Urine

We love our four-legged friends, but they can be a menace sometimes. For example, when they pee on your freshly cleaned carpet.

Pet urine is potent and noxious, so you’ll need to give it special attention. For starters, don’t use a steam cleaner to treat pet urine spots. As effective as it may be in other situations, steam cleaning is likely to set the stain and its odor.

Treating these stains is a lot like treating other spills and spots. First, blot with a plain white material that contains no prints or patterns. This will absorb as much wetness as possible, allowing the solution to do its work.

Before using a stain remover, make sure that it’s designed specifically for pet messes. Work in the detergent by blotting instead of scrubbing it in. Repeat this process until you remove both the stain and the smell emanating from it.

As an alternative, consider using a home carpet cleaner, also known as a wet vacuum. After that, rinse the affected area with cool water.

Removing Red Wine Stains

If you haven’t dealt with red wine carpet stains before, consider yourself lucky. If you have, you know full well why it deserves its own section.

Again, the best thing to do is to blot the spill with a paper towel or damp cloth. Your goal is to remove as much wine from the carpet as you can. Use cold water to dilute any wine that remains in the carpet.

Then, you’ll want to apply the spray version of a carpet stain remover. Before that, though, test your carpet for colorfastness. Use the stain remover to hit a small, hidden spot — such as under your sofa or couch.

If you don’t see any change in that spot after five minutes, your carpet has passed the test. Apply enough stain remover to coat the stain and let it sit for another five minutes. Then, blot it again with a damp cloth or paper towel.

With red wine, chances are you’ll have to repeat the procedure more than once. Remember, removing recently spilled wine is far easier than if it sat overnight. For best results, you’ll want to act within five minutes of making a mess.

Getting Rid of Foul Smells

Carpet smells are often as hard to remove as the stains themselves. The good news: both homemade and mechanized solutions can do the trick.

Start by blotting the affected spot with a damp cloth and using a towel to blot the area dry. Now, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the carpet. Let the soda absorb the odors for a few hours, then remove it with a vacuum cleaner.

Electric cleaners are also an effective way of banishing funky carpet smells. Most of these solutions combine strong suction and odor-fighting shampoo to good results. Again, you should aim to neutralize these spills as soon as possible.

Carpet Cleaners

When it comes to efficient ways to remove carpet stains, cleaning machines are near the top. They look like regular vacuums but operate very differently.

As you push a carpet cleaner forward, it pumps detergent into the carpet. Along the way, spinning brushes scrub carpet fibers. When you pull the cleaner backward, it vacuums up the remaining solution and grime.

Most basic carpet cleaners cost as little as $100. Some of the more expensive models can also dry your carpet automatically. If you’re buying one, go for a model that mixes its detergent concentrate with water.

More on How to Remove Stains From a Carpet

With the above guide, removing annoying stains should be much easier. That said, some stains refuse to go away despite our best efforts.

If this happens to you, don’t lose heart — household methods have a limit to how effective they can be. For stubborn stains, your best bet is to contact a professional. With their equipment and expertise, very few stains stand a chance.

For instance, most carpet cleaning pros rely on steam cleaning as a trump card. This method revolves around using steam to clean and sanitize all kinds of surfaces.

Want to know more about how to remove stains from a carpet? Looking for professional carpet cleaning services at an affordable price? If you live in NYC, contact us right here — we’ll give you a free cleaning estimate!

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