Dealing with Carpet Stains

by Amy Gordon
(last updated January 28, 2019)

Find us a household that has not had to face the problem of stains on the carpets and we'll find you pigs with wings! Seriously though, carpet stains are part of everyday existence and removing stains from a carpet can be one of the toughest household chores. One encouraging fact is that most carpet manufacturers these days provide instructions to buyers on carpet maintenance and cleaning.

Let's take a look at a few tried-and-true methods for removing common carpet stains. (You should always realize that some stains will always prove tougher than others and may require cleaning at the hands of a professional carpet cleaner.)

Food and Drink Stains

For stains from beverages like tea and coffee and acidic drinks like fruit juice, the first step to removal is to gently mop the affected area with a paper towel. If you act immediately after the stain has formed, this usually does the trick. However, if the stain has been allowed to settle for some time, you may have to use a solution comprising one part white vinegar and three parts water. You can either spray the solution on the stain or apply it with a soft cloth. At any rate, the spot must first be soaked and then dried gently with a soft cloth.

A lot of people also use detergent to remove the stain, but this is only advisable if you know for a fact that this will not harm your carpet fibers in any way, since most detergents contain bleaching agents.

An additional remedy for fruit juice stains is to simply soak the affected area with water and then wipe it gently. Since the acidic content in fruit juice may require some bleaching, you could try using a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, which turns moist when exposed to sunlight and can be wiped clean.

Pet Stains

Offending items may include blood and vomit. Once again, the swiftest course is to blot as much of the stain as possible with a tissue or wet cloth. For more stubborn stains, the most common remedy is an ammonia-water solution, which should be left on the stain for a little while and then wiped off gently.

For bloodstains, it is imperative that all solutions used to remove the stain be cold. A small amount of detergent in water usually works best, failing which you can try the hydrogen peroxide solution previously mentioned, but once again, be careful to avoid bleaching. It is wisest to verify beforehand that the fibers in your carpet will stand up to hydrogen peroxide. On an inconspicuous area of carpeting, test the hydrogen peroxide by pouring it over a small area and letting it stand for at least an hour and a half.

Chocolate Stains

In a household with young children, chocolate can cause untold damage to carpets. Since any chocolate stain will leave a solid residue, the first step is to scrape this off gently with a hard brush or spatula. The remnants can be removed using a soft wet cloth or wet tissue. If this fails, use an ammonia and water solution and wipe off the excess moisture. In case this fails as well, you will probably have to use a little water mixed with detergent or even dish soap, but be very careful to prevent discoloration by wiping off the remnants of the soapy solution with a wet cloth.

Related to chocolate is chewing gum, which can either be scraped off gently, provided it is hard enough. If not, it needs to be hardened with ice and then scraped off.

Candle Wax and Glue

For candle wax stains, it is essential to gently warm the spot so that the wax melts. Of course, you have to take care that the carpet does not singe! Once the wax has melted, a simple wipe with a cloth soaked in alcohol will do the trick.

For glue, follow the procedure described above to remove chewing gum.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

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