How to Clean the Worst Carpet Stains
Stains can ruin your carpet unless you know how to clean them effectively. Here are some of the most difficult stains and tips for removing some of the most common, and toughest, carpet stains.
Acid (vinegar, drain cleaner). Dilute these spills right away with baking soda and water or club soda or other fizzy water. Apply a solution of one part ammonia and 10 parts water. Rinse with cold water, let dry, and vacuum gently.
Blood, chocolate, mustard. These are water-soluble stains, but they require a special touch. Absorb as much as you can, then try tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water. Don’t use this on wool or wool-blend carpet; instead use mild detergent and water. If that doesn’t work, you can try one part chlorine bleach to five parts water, but only on solution-dyed carpets. Bleach will harm other types of carpets.
Chewing gum and wax. Harden it by pressing an ice cube against it. Once hardened, the gum or wax can be pulled off. You may have to shatter it with a blunt object before pulling it off.
Coffee and tea. Blot the spill immediately. Mix one teaspoon mild detergent, one teaspoon white vinegar and one quart warm water, and apply the solution to the stain. Apply dry-cleaning fluid. Vacuum gently after the carpet is dry.
Soft drinks. Act fast because some of the dyes in the drinks can permanently stain your carpet. Blot up the spilled drink. Mix one teaspoon mild detergent, one teaspoon white vinegar, and one quart warm water. Apply the solution. Let the carpet dry. Vacuum gently.
Urine. Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot with a damp cloth. Next, spray or blot with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Finally, apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear, mild detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, rinse, and blot dry.
Vomit. Treat vomit quickly. Blot up as much as possible, then dilute immediately with baking soda and water or with club soda. Apply a solution of one part ammonia and 10 parts water. Rinse with cold water, let dry, and then vacuum.
Wine. When red wine is spilled, dilute it with white wine. Clean the spot with cold water and cover with table salt. Wait ten minutes, then vacuum up the salt.
Mild detergent, club soda, and white vinegar are important to keep on hand for many carpet stains. Most water-soluble stains, such as alcohol, colas, gravy, ice cream, milk, washable ink or mud can be cleaned with a simple solution of 1/4 teaspoon of non-bleach detergent (or white vinegar) mixed with 32 ounces of water. Also, you should know what kind of carpet you have: some cleaning solutions may harm wool carpets or solution-dyed carpets. If these solutions don’t do the trick, then you might want to call a local professional carpet cleaner. You should have a regular professional carpet cleaner do your carpets at least once a year anyway (more than that if you have kids or pets).