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How to Clean Carpet & Get Stains Out

Updated 16/10/2023

When you have carpeting, you have to accept the eventuality of food and drinks being spilled, muddy tennis shoes from your kids, dirty paw prints from pets, and more. Carpets can take a lot of beating, especially if they’re in high-traffic areas.

While it is possible to prevent some messes, it’s better to know how to clean your carpet the right way and how to remove stains, too.

Regular maintenance, such as vacuuming, goes a long way to remove dust, dirt, and debris from carpets. However, dirt still builds up over time. It’s inevitable. And it’s possible to call in a professional carpet cleaning service, but that can also be pretty expensive. The best plan is to know how to clean your carpets yourself.

So, we’ve put together some instructions and tips for getting your carpets clean for different situations!


Getting Out Stains

Follow these instructions to remove stains from your carpet:

  1. You’ll need two empty spray bottles. Fill one with cold water. In the other bottle, mix ¼ teaspoon mild dishwashing liquid (something like Dawn) and 1 cup of warm water.
  2. Spray the detergent solution onto an absorbent cloth (white is best) and dab the spot. Don’t rub it. As the stain dissolves, blot it with a clean section of the white cloth. Keep applying and blotting the stain until it’s gone.
  3. Spay another white cloth with the cold water and dab it over the area. This works to rinse the detergent solution from the carpet. When this is done, blot the area again with a dry, white cloth.
  4. Stack a pile of paper towels (white) on the wet spot and place a heavy vase or pot on top. Leave this overnight. The towels soak up any remaining stain that may be deep in the carpet. In the morning, fluffy the carpet fiber with your fingers and allow the area to air-dry.
  5. If the stain is still there, repeat these steps or try a carpet stain remover that claims to remove the specific type of stain.


How to Remove Pet Stains from Carpet

When you have pets, you can count on there being some kind of mess on the carpet. This may be potty accidents, dirty or muddy paws, and more.

To remove pet stains, use a carpet cleaner that contains enzymes. These are usually pet stain and odour removing formulas. These work to get rid of the stain and any odour-causing bacteria. This keeps your fur baby from going back to that spot and making another mess.

After applying the cleaner, work it gently into the carpet fibres with a clean, damp cloth. Blot with the cloth as you work until no more stain comes up. Rinse the area thoroughly with another clean, damp cloth. You may need to mist the area with water and then blot the space. Then cover the area with a damp cloth for about 12 hours. This gives the enzymes longer to work. After 12 hours, remove the cloth and fluff up the pile. Then allow the area to air-dry.


How to Remove Red Wine Stains from Carpet

Red wine stains are another common issue on carpeting. They can be challenging to get out, too. Here’s how to get a red wine stain out of your carpet.

Start by blotting up as much wine as possible. You can even stand on some absorbent cloths to get more of the stain out. Next, saturate the stain with Wine Away Red Wine Stain Remover or a similar product. Let this sit for about five minutes.

Next, blot the area with a clean cloth until the stain is gone, and remove any residue with a clean, damp cloth.


How to Remove Coffee Stains from Carpet

Next on our list of stains is coffee! This is another one that’s pretty common when you have carpeting. What’s more, hot liquids tend to soak into carpeting faster and stain quickly. Here’s how to remove coffee stains from your carpet.

Start by blotting up as much of the coffee as possible. Then sponge the area with cool water and blot again. Mix ¼ teaspoon liquid dish soap, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 1 cup of warm water.

With a clean, white cloth, sponge the stain with the above mixture, applying a little at a time and blotting the area frequently with a dry cloth. Do this until the stain is gone. Add one or two more drops of dish liquid to the vinegar/water mix if necessary.

Sponge the area with cold water to rinse and blot dry. Follow with paper towels on the spot and weigh these down with a heavy pot. Allow this to sit for 12 hours to absorb as much liquid as possible from the carpet.


How to Refresh Carpet with Baking Soda

Sometimes carpeting needs a little TLC to perk it up again. You can do this by using baking soda to remove odours and get rid of trouble spots. Sprinkle the baking soda lightly and work the powder into the carpet pile with a soft brush. Let this sit for 15-30 minutes before vacuuming.

Be sure to put a clean vacuum bag in the vacuum (or empty the canister) to ensure the vacuum has the suction to clean the baking soda out of your carpet.

Now the carpet may look a little lighter and smell fresher, too!


How to Maintain Your Carpet

Proper maintenance is needed to keep your carpets looking their best for years to come! So, here are some tips for maintaining your carpet:

High traffic areas: in between major cleanings, use a powder or foam carpet cleaner on the carpet. Apply the product according to the package directions and then vacuum.

Keep dirt outside: try to enforce a no-shoe rule in the house. This can be challenging, especially if everyone is used to entering your home and wearing their shoes everywhere in the house. However, doing this can extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking beautiful longer.

You may want to add a shoe rack near the front door to encourage people to leave their shoes there. It can also help to keep a small hand vacuum near the door to quickly clean up mud and dirt if they get on your carpet.

Use a doormat: doormats may seem old-fashioned, but they serve an excellent purpose. They offer everyone a place to wipe their shoes off before going into the house! That keeps your house cleaner and the dirt outside. However, it’s crucial to keep the doormat clean. Otherwise, the dirt and grit will build up and come into the house. Just wash your doormats in the washer and then air-dry them or put them in the dryer.


Summing It Up

With the proper maintenance and knowing how to clean stains, your carpet will look beautiful for years to come! It’s also a great idea to have a good vacuum cleaner and carpet cleaners on hand for any emergencies that may come up, such as red wine or coffee spills, dirty paws, and more!

If you are looking to get a new floor, be sure to get in contact with us. Our friendly team are always happy to help!


Can I use bleach to remove stains from my carpet?
Bleach should be used with extreme caution as it can damage the carpet’s colour and si. It’s best to explore other stain-removal methods first.

How can I prevent my carpet from getting stained in the first place?
To prevent stains, be proactive. Consider using carpet protectors and discourage eating or drinking in carpeted areas.

Are natural cleaners like vinegar effective for stain removal?
Yes, a mixture of vinegar and water can be effective for many stains. However, it’s essential to blot and rinse thoroughly to avoid a lingering vinegar smell.

What should I do if I spill something on my carpet at a party?
Act quickly! Blot the stain, and if needed, use a carpet cleaner or homemade solution to minimise the damage.

Can professional carpet cleaning help with allergies?
Yes, professional cleaning can reduce allergens in your carpet, making it a healthier environment, especially for allergy sufferers.

How long does it take for a freshly cleaned carpet to dry?
The drying time depends on the cleaning method used. Steam cleaning may take 6-12 hours, while other methods could be quicker.


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