How to Clean Carpet Stains
Because accidents in carpets always happen.
Whether it is a spill, some art work from your toddler, or a pet accident, carpets are prone to getting messy every now and then. Here are a few tips on how to clean carpets and treat several types of stains with common household products.
Always Blot, Never Scrub
The most important rule of carpet maintenance is to always blot stains, never scrub them. Gently blot the stain from the outside in. Rinse the stain with water or one of the homemade solutions below, then blot again. Scrubbing the stain only makes it worse, and can ruin the fibers and soak the stain further in.
Homemade Carpet Stain Remover
Many stains can be removed by blotting them with a solution of 32 ounces of water and a quarter teaspoon of detergent (no bleach) or white vinegar. This solution works great for stains from beer, sodas, paint, food dyes, milk, gravy, mud, ink, and pet excrement. For stains from wine, chocolate, blood, coffee, or mustard, use a tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of water, unless your carpet is wool or wool-blend. Use water and detergent for wool carpets. If the ammonia solution doesn't work, try a mix of five parts water to one part bleach. Note that bleach should only be used on solution-dyed carpets.
To remove oil and wax stains, put a paper towel over the stain, and then put an iron on a warm setting over the paper towel. The heat from the iron will draw the stain out of the carpet and onto the paper towel. For carpet maintenance against cigarette burns, gently scrape the burn away with the edge of a flat, hard surface such as a key or a dull knife. If you get glue on your carpet, dampen a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol, and blot the stain away. Use a rag with nail polish remover to get rid of stains from nail polish.
Now you know how to clean carpets and protect them from any type of stain using common household products.