Carpet is expensive. And, since it’s usually in one solid piece covering a large area, it can be terrifying when a small (or not so small) stain is threatening the viability of the entire room. The first tip – the tip that applies to every stain of every kind – is to always blot – never, ever rub. Rubbing integrates the stain even further into the carpet, making it even more difficult to remove. Although it can be tempting, do not panic and try to rub the carpet. When it comes to cleaning products and strategies, each stain needs to be treated differently, so here are five common culprits and how to fix them.
We all love pets, but we don’t always love what pets can do. If the mess is solid, remove it using gloves or another physical barrier. If it’s wet, first blot to soak up the initial moisture. This may remove the stain altogether, but if not, add plain water and continue to blot and repeat. If there is still a stain, use a carpet cleaner specifically designed for pets. After the stain is removed, neutralize the odor so your pet will not return there a different day – try white vinegar mixed with warm water, apply to the area and blot after several minutes.
Blood stains in carpet are easy to joke about (and an inquiry on how to remove them is a great strategy for getting rid of telemarketers), but if you’re injured, there isn’t too much comedic value to be found in tending to your wounds while also panicking about your carpet. For blood stains, you will want to move as quickly as possible. First, always use cold water and not warm or hot – blood coagulates with heat, and cold will prevent it from penetrating the fibers further. Fill a spray bottle with two teaspoons of grease-fighting dish detergent – like Dawn – and cold water, then spray liberally. Soak the carpet thoroughly, and then use a white cloth to blot so you can see the stain transfer. Repeat this process as necessary.
The worst part about coffee spills is knowing that if you had drunk your coffee, it probably would have prevented the accident that caused the stain. Instead of panicking, we have some solutions that can help you remove the stain (though you may want to, carefully, get yourself another cup so you can work productively). First, blot, but make sure you change cloths frequently as they can spread the stain when becoming saturated. Then, try a mixture of white vinegar (1/4 cup), dish soap (1 tablespoon), and put them into a spray bottle and fill the rest with water – spray liberally, blot, and repeat.
The regular conduct of business can sometimes lead to an unfortunate accident where your carpet (and your wallet) are the potential victims. If you find yourself with an ink stain on your floor, this can be a terrifying moment as ink is frankly designed to leave its mark. For ink, move quickly and dampen a cloth with isopropyl alcohol (the higher the percentage, the better) and then dab the cloth on the stain. Let it stand, then use a liquid-friendly vacuum to remove excess moisture from the carpet. Repeat this process as necessary. If you don’t have a vacuum, blot until the carpet is dry.
Beverages often contain dye, and kids can often take beverages where beverages shouldn’t go – namely, on your floor. Even if you don’t have kids, accidents happen, and you need a solution – fast. You’ll be relieved to hear that although the damage may appear horrific, you can often remove beverage stains from even the whitest of carpets. Get the same mixture of white vinegar, dish soap, and water that we provided above for coffee stains. Spray liberally, let soak for five to ten minutes, blot, and repeat until the stain is lifted.