Between kids and pets, our carpets take a beating. Unfortunately, spills and stains are an inevitable part of life. It’s helpful to arm yourself with some tools to address them.
Drinks and food can leave their marks on carpets. Even makeup and gum occasionally have a way of ending up on the floor. However, there are solutions for a variety of stains that may occur.
It’s not impossible to keep your carpet in tip-top condition. Hiring a cleaning service is always great is you’re a busy person, if not here are some awesome stain removal tricks you can use next time you encounter a spill.
Table of Contents
1. Removing Tough Beverages
Some of the most common stains carpet suffers are caused by spilled beverages. Coffee and wine can both stubborn stains. Luckily, there are ways to remove the evidence of a beverage spill, even if it’s been there a while.
The polyphenols in red wine give it it’s rich color and antioxidants, but it can also wreak havoc on your carpet. Rest assured that a spilled glass of vino isn’t the end of a clean rug. There are several strategies to remove red wine stains.
If you catch the stain immediately, blot up the excess wine with a dry towel. It may seem odd, but you can pour white wine on the spill to neutralize the stain. Then rinse the area with soap and water and dry with a clean towel. Repeat these steps until your stain disappears.
Older wine stains are possible to remove with more time and patience. Add a tablespoon each of distilled white vinegar and dish soap to a cup of water. Gently blot, not rub, the mixture onto the stain. and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then soak up with a clean rag and repeat as many times as necessary.
Coffee spills are likely with the chaos of busy mornings. Taking a few minutes to clean the stain up immediately will be worth your clean carpet. But it’s also not impossible to get rid of an old coffee stain.
Keeping a spray bottle on hand filled with one part vinegar and two parts water can be so convenient when these situations arise. Soak up as much coffee as you can with a rag. Spray the area with the solution and dab up with a clean towel. Continue rinsing until the coffee disappears.
To get rid of older stains, grab a can of basic, white shaving cream. Apply it to the area and allow it to work for 15 to 20 minutes. Blot up the excess and rinse the area with cold water. Repeat this process under the stain is removed.
2. Tackling Food Stains
No matter how well you maintain your carpets, food spills are inevitable. This is especially true if you have children or like to entertain the company. Tackling them quickly is your best bet. But there are also strategies to get rid of old stains and avoid awkwardly cleaning your carpet during a party.
Cleaning up dropped pasta sauce or other bright stains is simple. Remove as much of the spill as possible by picking up any removable food with a cloth. Then grab your dish detergent and add a tablespoon to a cup or two of water. Apply to the stain, rinsing, and repeating the steps until the stain vanishes.
Older stains can be erased with corn starch. Mix the powder with water to make a paste. Apply a thin layer to the stain and allow it to dry. Then flake off the dried residue and simply vacuum it up. You can apply the mixture again if the stain is still there.
3. Cleaning Up Cosmetics
Nail polish, lipstick, and eyeliner come in fun, vibrant colors. It’s not as exciting when they end up on your carpet. From simply dropping a tube on the floor to your little girl experimenting with makeup, cosmetics stains are likely.
Remove any makeup from the surface of the carpet as soon as possible. For nail polish, the logical and effective first step is nail polish remover. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are also helpful in removing all types of makeup. Apply to a clean, damp cloth and blot the stain until it’s no longer visible, then rinse the area with cool water.
Just discover a stain that has dried for a while? That will require a little more elbow grease. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and spray liberally with distilled white vinegar. Allow it to sit for a few hours then scrub the area with a dish scrubber or toothbrush. Vacuum the dried powder and clean with water.
4. Remove Sticky Spills
Gum and candle wax is daunting stains to tackle. Once dried, they adhere stubbornly to the carpet fibers. With a little patience, they are easy to remove.
Fill a bag of ice from the freezer. Lay it on top of the stain and let it sit until the gum or wax hardens. Then, use a basic table knife to scrape away the stain. You may need to pause and re-freeze the spot, then continue scraping.
A simple can of WD40 is also helpful in removing a sticky stain. Apply directly to the stain and use a small brush to pull the stain away from the carpet. Keep repeating until you’ve brushed it all away. Then, rinse the area with dish detergent and cold water to remove the grease.
5. Eliminating Odors
Being a pet owner means you likely suffer the effects of an occasional accident. Even when cleaned up right away, pet urine can leave a lingering odor. It can be challenging to eliminate it completely.
Baking soda is a great deodorizer. Sprinkle it on the area and use your fingers or a broom to make sure it gets deep into the carpet fibers. You can even add a few drops of pet-safe essential oils to the powder for an extra punch. Let it sit overnight, then thoroughly vacuum it up in the morning.
Vinegar can eliminate unpleasant scents very effectively. Spray the area so it’s well coated, not saturated, in vinegar. Allow it to sit for a few hours to neutralize the odor. Then rinse the area with detergent and water to get rid of the vinegar smell.
It’s helpful to prepare an arsenal of tools to quickly and efficiently address stains. It’s helpful to address spills as quickly as possible. But keep in mind that even old stains can be removed with the right strategy.
These techniques can help you keep your carpet clean, bright, and odor-free. You’ll even extend the life of your carpet. And you will be able to enjoy pristine flooring for years to come.