Useful Carpet Stain Removal Tips

Carpet Cleaning Seattle knows that today's carpets are designed to hide soil and even repel it, thanks to the advances in chemical treatments. However, carpet fibers can still trap and hide dust, dirt, bacteria and other pollutants. Over time, that can lead to a general deterioration of your carpet.

There are several basic facts you should know about carpet stain removal methods:

  • For fresh stains use plain baking soda, pour it dry on to the fresh spill, but do not soak the baking soda. Let it foam and bubble, let it sit for a few minutes, then sponge up thoroughly.
  • For older stains, combine two tablespoons detergent, three tablespoons vinegar and one quart warm water. Work into carpet pile and blot dry. Repeat if needed.
  • Using shaving cream let it foam on the carpet, wipe clean with sponge and rinse with damp cloth.
  • Always brush stains lightly to the center of the spot to avoid spreading it.
  • Do not allow children or pets to crawl or walk on cleaned carpet for at least 8-12 hours - preferably longer - until carpet is thoroughly dry.

We think that these carpet stain removal suggestions will help keep your carpets looking beautiful and fresh for a long time.

Carpet Stain Removal Tips Guide

Coffee stain removal
Coffee stains and carpet are a common problem. Blot coffee stains immediately! Then mix one tablespoon of mild detergent, one tablespoon of vinegar and one quart of warm water. Apply the solution to the stained area. Let the carpet dry. As a worst case scenario, apply dry-cleaning fluid at this point, and let carpet dry again, then vacuum.

Red wine stain removal
Sponge with club soda (if you drink red wine make sure you have a bottle of club soda around!), or cover with salt and let it absorb the wine, vacuum up the salt, with the HOSE, if a stain remains, wipe gently with a solution of detergent, water and vinegar.

Bleach carpet stain
As soon as possible, blot the area. Bleach is going to discolor your carpet. You may be able to water the bleach down immediately after the spill to lessen the effect of the bleach, but this may simply spread it out more as well. Soak up as much of the bleach as possible and let it dry.

Your only real option is dying the spot to match the rest of the carpet. This really depends on how noticeable the spot is, if it's a bleach stain on blue carpet, you might as well dye it and blend it in, if it's a bleach stain on off-white carpet, you may be better off leaving it because the dyed spot may end up darker than the rest of the carpet. This is really your call, since after a bleach stain you're pretty much in repair territory, not cleaning. We rarely use bleach, nine out of ten times there are safer and better formulas that don't have the destructive and poisonous qualities of bleach. See our section on natural cleaning for examples.

Ink stain on carpet (other materials too)
Ball-point inks are all a bit different in their make up, they contain any different number of resins, oils and solvents, so it's unlikely one tip is going to work on them all. We list some recipes and techniques here that may help entirely or at least partially reduce the stain somewhat. Here is a list of known treatments.

Using an absorbent cloth

  1. Spray hair spray on cloth, dab on area and blot with dry cloth to absorb the ink.
  2. Soak cloth in Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, dab on area and blot with dry cloth to absorb the ink.
  3. Soak cloth in spirits of turpentine, dab on area and blot with dry towel to absorb the ink.
  4. Same as above using nail polish remover.
  5. Same as above using tea tree oil.

Never apply solvents directly to the stained material! Always test an inconspicuous area first.

Additional Stain Removal Tips

Rust
Do not use chlorine bleach, it sets the rust. You have two options, as far as we have found - the first is Oxalic acid, rather toxic and the other is a product called Whink, which contains hydrofluoric acid, which is extremely poisonous, so we would try to avoid using it, but you may find it to be your only option.

We have heard that a pumice stick will work, we use pumice stones on hard water and rust stains in the toilet bowl, and it works great, so maybe try using pumice on your carpet, it can't hurt. It would probably only work on a carpet with an extremely short nap. Let our Seattle cleaners know if it works for you.

Lipstick
Scrape and blot excess, apply mild detergent on damp cloth. Blot don't rub. Apply ammonia on damp towel, blot, don't rub, apply white vinegar on damp towel, blot, (don't rub!), rinse with water, put paper towel with weight on top to absorb the stain, repeat blotting and not rubbing till dry.

Blood stains on fabrics
As soon as possible soak the spot in COLD water, do not use warm or hot water, it will set the stain. For stubborn blood stains, apply a paste of meat tenderizer crystals, leave for about an hour and rinse with cold water. For really nasty blood stains use Hydrogen Peroxide, which is the main ingredient used in commercial blood stain cleaners.

Blood stains on carpet
Use a paste of corn starch and water. Apply the paste and wait a few minutes and rinse with cold water.

Pet stains and carpet - pet stain removal from carpet (removal of excrement, vomit and urine).
After scraping off solids, use 1/2 tsp. of mild detergent per pint of water and blot, then use 1/2 tsp. of ammonia per cup of water and blot, follow with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, blot again and rinse area. Ammonia repels pets. They won't want to resoil the area.

We hope these specific carpet stain removal tips from our Seattle cleaners have been helpful.

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