We all have them, and we’ve all attempted to remove them. Carpet stains are an inevitable part of life. Although we do what we can to avoid them, various stains occur, and we have to be ready to treat them as soon as possible when they do. From mud to red wine, there is hope to rid your carpet of stains.
To be sure you are ready to treat almost any type of stain, keep the following home ingredients on hand so you can make your own stain remover within seconds:
- club soda
- baking soda
- cornstarch, and
- white vinegar
Also, the more absorbent cloths you have on hand, the better.
Carpet Stains 101
Some general instructions for all types of stains include getting to them as soon as possible, within seconds of occurrence if possible, and always to blot, not scrub each one. Common ways to treat stains with household items include:
- If you want to act fast on any stain, pour a heap of salt on it and let it stay there for up to 15 minutes. Salt has absorbing capabilities and may pull most of the spill out of the carpet. Vacuum and try again if the stain is still wet.
- Add white vinegar to a spray bottle and spritz the stain, soaking it thoroughly. Let this sit for several minutes before wiping up. You may need to do this several times depending upon the stain. You can also combine salt and vinegar to act as a stain remover.
- For less forgiving stains, make a paste with corn starch and white vinegar. Combine one tablespoon of each. This creates a paste to spread over the stain. Let it harden, scrape up, then vacuum.
- Club soda can also serve as an effective stain remover. First, blot up as much of the spill as you can with a paper towel. Add club soda to a cloth and press into the carpet. Rinse a few times and reapply until stain is gone.
There are specific ways to get rid of carpet stains based on what caused the stain in the first place. Here are eight specific stains and how to treat them using household ingredients.
1. Coffee and Tea Stains
We love our coffee and tea, and we take them with us from room to room. This can lead to spills on our carpets. When this happens, blot up as much of the spill as you can, but make sure not to rub it deeper and wider into the carpet. Quickly combine a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of water. Add a little of this mixture to your carpet over the stain. Then, sponge with one of your absorbent cloths. Continue to add small amounts and blot again. You can do this several times in a row until the stain fades and eventually disappears. Add a little cold water and dry.
2. Red Wine Stains
Perhaps one of the most common spills of all is red wine (and also grape juice). It wreaks havoc on carpeted floors — especially on light colored ones.
As soon as possible, blot up as much of the puddled wine as possible. Spritz with club soda, and blot with one of your absorbent or microfiber cloths. Repeat as many times as needed.
3. Chocolate Stains
For chocolate stains, scrape away as much of the chocolate as you can. Follow up with a quick vacuum to pick up the dry particles. Combine ¼ teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap with a cup of warm water. Apply the mixture to the stain with a cloth, starting on the outside. Work your way into the center as you try to remove the stain. After five minutes, blot consistently until the stain disappears.
4. Fatty Food Stains
Spills of fatty foods, such as gravy and butter, require the use of baking soda. Sprinkle over the stain and let sit for several hours, then vacuum. Follow this up with a light blotting with a cloth doused with a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
5. Grease Stains
For grease stains, combine a small amount of liquid dishwashing soap with a cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray on the stain. Blot and repeat until grease is removed.
6. Soil Stains
Who hasn’t tracked mud or dirt into the house and left it on the carpet? If still moist, let the soil dry before scraping off as much as possible, then vacuum. Combine a cup of water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and apply. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes, then blot with a towel.
7. Blood Stains
Blood from wounds, small or large, is another common cause of stain on carpets. If the blood has dried already, place a little of your dishwashing liquid and water combination over it. Scrape off as much as you can. Next, add a splash of hydrogen peroxide, which should cause it to start foaming. Blot and let dry.
8. Pet Stains
Pets are often the source of many carpet stains, from vomit to urine. Steps to remove these pet stains include first scrapping up whatever you can. Moisten a cloth with water and blot the stain. If the spot doesn’t come out right away, try sprinkling with baking soda. Let this sit for a few minutes, then vacuum. Baking soda not only helps remove stains, but it also helps eliminate odors. Additional treatment for urine stains is to blot the spot with a towel that has been soaked in club soda.
No matter how diligent we are in cleaning our carpets, stains are bound to happen. Being prepared with useful home ingredients can make stain removal possible, and also make it quicker and easier.