If you have carpeting in your house, you surely take good care of it, as a dirty carpet can look awful. However, rugs and carpets will get dirty, whether a fine glass of wine spills or your energetic dog race through the living room with muddy paws.
Luckily, spills and dirt usually come off with a wipe. However, it can be a headache when stubborn stains stay on your rug, and rearranging the furniture may seem the best choice.
So you've finally decided to tackle all those ugly spots? Read on to learn how to remove old stains from a carpet.
General recommendations for carpet cleaning
Before getting started, check out these recommendations—they'll help you avoid making that stain a more significant issue.
Don't scrub too hard
Sometimes, using a brush helps release the particles trapped on the carpet fibers. However, avoid using stiff brushes or scrubbing too hard as it could damage your carpeting, spread the stain, or make it go deeper.
Use white towels
Avoid using anything different from white towels and cloths, especially when cleaning light-colored carpets. Towels might decolorize and transfer that color to the carpet fibers when in contact with the solvents.
Clean the stain inwards
When cleaning a liquid on the carpet, most people try to wipe it as fast as possible without paying much attention. However, they could be spreading the spill rather than cleaning it up.
Why should you care about this recommendation with a dried spot in the living room? You can expect that stain to start behaving like a fresh spill once you rehydrate it. Remember to wipe it inwards, going from the outside edge to the center.
Spot-test your solution
Depending on the material, some products could damage your carpeting. Try your mix on a small area of your carpet to see how it reacts. The goal is to remove a stain, not make a new one!
What type of stain is on your carpet?
That ugly stain on your carpet may be a coffee spill, mud, or almost anything. However, in a general sense, there are only two types of stains: those you can dissolve with soapy water and those that need a stronger cleaner.
Water-soluble stains (like milk or mud) are the easiest to eliminate, as they will combine with water and wash away. On the other hand, non-water-soluble stains (like blood, chocolate, and wine) usually require specific solvents to remove them from the carpet fibers.
Learning which type of stains you are dealing with is advantageous. However, if you don't know where the stains came from, you can still tackle them; start with soapy water and then try each method.
How to clean old stains from your carpet
Even though old stains don't come off as smoothly as fresh ones, they are not an impossible job. Follow these methods, and your carpets will be spotless in less than you think!
1. Soapy water
This method is the best choice for water-soluble stains. Also, if you don't know where the spill came from, you should start with soapy water. Besides, soap is the safest method to try without risking your carpet as it won't stain or damage the fibers.
Whisk a few drops of dish soap in a cup of water. To apply it, damp a clean towel or microfiber cloth and wet the stain (not too much as it will make the dirt particles move deeper.) Scrub it gently with a toothbrush and let it sit for five minutes.
After the five minutes have passed, pour water on the stained area and blot it with a clean towel to rinse the soap out of the carpet.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
This method is perfect for colorful carpeting as hydrogen peroxide doesn't have bleaching properties. Besides, applying it is as easy as it gets!
First, grab a spray bottle and pour some hydrogen peroxide into it. As always, spot-test the solution first on a hidden section of your carpet. If it's safe, apply it to the stained area and let it rest for around 15 minutes.
Once time's up, scrub the stain softly to loosen up the dirt. Then, vacuum the residue or clean it with a damp towel.
3. Baking soda and vinegar
With this all-around stain remover, your stain will come out in no time. Cover the spot with a layer of baking soda, and then spray a solution of water and vinegar until foam starts to form. Let it sit for a few hours.
When the mix dries, it'll harden; at this point, you only need to suck it up with a vacuum cleaner. The foam should have absorbed the stain, so there won't be any trace left.
4. Club soda
Another simple yet effective solution is to fill a spray bottle with club soda and spray it on the dirty spot. After leaving it for a few minutes, work it out with a toothbrush and blot it with a clean rag.
As the finishing touch, place some salt over the stain—it will absorb the remains of the soda and dirt. Once it has taken effect, wipe it with a microfiber cloth or vacuum it if you prefer.
Ammonia is a regular household product used for cleaning, but it can be harsh and challenging to handle. Besides, not all surfaces and materials will react well to ammonia. For example, it is best to avoid this strong product if you have a wool carpet.
If you decide to use this powerful chemical, try it on a small spot to eliminate any risk. Here's how you do it:
Mix two tablespoons of ammonia in a spray bottle for every cup of water and spray it on the stain. Leave it for a few minutes as it takes effect, and then wipe the area with a paper towel or a clean microfiber cloth. Repeat if necessary.
Keep the rest of your home spotless!
After dealing with those tough stains, why not prevent any further mess in your home? A regular cleaning routine is the best way of keeping your carpet and house spotless! Are you too busy to keep up with the cleaning chores? Rain City Maids is ready to help you.
Eastside Seattle has never seen a better cleaning service than Rain City Maids. Book with us today and check it out for yourself!