How to Remove Carpet Stains
There’s a lot of general information on the web about removing carpet stains, but few sources help you out when you’re in need of a technique to remove a specific type of stain. For example, it’s not as difficult to remove red wine from the carpet as it is to remove grease carpet stains.
Knowing how to deal with a specific type of stain is crucial and it can save you a lot of time. Let’s take a look at some of the most common carpet stains and how to remove them:
Bleach Carpet Stains
Probably one of the toughest stains you’ll deal with, bleach will remove the dye from your carpet. So in truth, it’s not a stain, but the discoloration of the carpet, which you can’t really fix unless you re-dye that area. Some carpet cleaners also allow spot dyeing, so instead of wasting time trying to get the bleach “off” (although technically it’s never on), you might want to fix the carpet this way.
Red wine on a carpet
This is actually an interesting technique and it’s a “fight fire with fire” type of carpet cleaning. In order to remove red wine from carpets, you’ll need…white wine.
First off, you’ll have to be quick to wipe the floor when you spill the red wine, in order to try to absorb most of the liquid, so that it doesn’t go too deep into the root of the carpet.
After the area is dry, spilling white wine on top of the stain will negate the effect of the red wine. If it doesn’t work from the first try, rinse and repeat.
What you’ll need to remove lipstick is the following: Ivory soap, a cup of warm water and a washcloth. It’s pretty much the standard, but then again lipstick should be fairly easy to remove. Just get the washcloth wet, apply some soap and start rubbing. If it’s a tougher lipstick, you may want to rub in some petroleum jelly first. Then simply scrape the jelly up using a sharp knife and you’re done.
Grease is a little tough to remove, but if you follow some basic steps, you should be able to remove it from your floor. First off, try removing the bigger chunk of grease with a towel or cloth, if it’s fresh. If it solidified, scrape it off with a knife or a metallic object.
Apply to rub alcohol on a cotton cloth and gently dab it over the area where the grease stain was. Do this a couple of times and when you see no more grease transfer on the cloth, you’re done.
Just like with most liquid type stains, ink stains can be removed more effectively if they are treated early on, right after the spill occurred. You can use rubbing alcohol to clean ink stains, but make sure you don’t pour it directly on the carpet. Instead, use some cotton cloth with the alcohol and gently dab the ink blot.
Push the cloth down, then retreat it upwards and let it absorb the ink. Do this a couple of times and your stain should be long gone.
How to Remove Carpet Odors
Nothing takes the mood out of a room like a smelly carpet. Whether the small is caused by stale dust and debris, lack of air circulation or by pets relieving themselves on your precious carpet, taking the smell out will be a priority.
Even if you have a stain, you’ll probably be able to live with it for a while, until you find the right time to get your carpet cleaned thoroughly. But with nasty carpet odors, you don’t have that much time, because it can get pretty obnoxious quite fast.
If you can’t afford a deep cleaning of the carpet, here are a couple of tips that could help you bring that bad carpet odor down a notch.
DIY Carpet Odor Removal
There’s actually a very simple do it yourself carpet odor removal technique that not many homeowners are familiar with: baking soda treatment. Baking soda may have been designed for a different purpose than cleaning carpets, but the truth is that it’s very efficient in taking out bad smells completely.
Although there’s no such process involved, you might hear others say that baking soda “absorbs” smell. In truth, it cleans up the area where the smell originated and stops it from getting in the air.
Pet Odors Be Gone!
Now, if you’re dealing with a cat or dog stain, you’ll want to sprinkle baking soda only on that area, but if you’re dealing with a general problem, sprinkle it all over the carpet, making sure it’s evened out. The longer you leave the baking soda on the floor, the better it will clean and freshen the carpet up.
You will probably want to leave it there overnight, but if you’re treating a carpet that’s not in an essential room, where you’ll need to get by several times per day, you might want to leave it for two days straight, to get the carpet cleaned up thoroughly.
When you’re ready to start the clean-up process, first sweep over the carpet with a hard-edged broom to get most of the baking soda off. Afterward, use a vacuum cleaner to pick up the remaining particles. Just make sure you don’t vacuum before sweeping, or you might damage your vacuum cleaner, as it will suck up huge amounts of baking soda.
In case any soda got stuck on the fibers, you can use a scrub to take off these particles, freeing the carpet. If you didn’t manage to get the carpet odor out with the above technique, try it again.
Still Have Carpet Odors?
If you’re still having problems, you’re dealing with some nasty stuff over there. Still, there might be a practical solution: using baking soda, vinegar, dish soap and hydrogen peroxide.
Vinegar is acidic in nature, so it will burn the particles that were harder to remove. Dish soap can give your carpet a fresh, clean smell, although alone, it won’t clean the old odor up, it will just replace it temporarily.
Our suggestion would be to combine these methods only if the double baking soda technique failed, otherwise you’re just over nuking your floor and potentially damaging it.
Cleaning Pet Urine from Carpet
Pets are undoubtedly cute and having them in the house can be a boost to the atmosphere, but no matter how hard you try, they’ll still cause you some serious headaches over time.
You spent a few hundred dollars on potty training for your dog and he still likes to urinate on your expensive carpet?
Don’t worry, this is common in every household that has a pet. Regardless of the training it got, a pet is a pet and when he’ll need to go, he’ll go right on the spot.
So from now on, make cleaning pet urine from carpets a priority, since it’s one of the few areas where cleaning up is actually more effective than helping prevent the phenomenon.
How to Remove Pet Urine Stains from Carpets
Regardless if it’s your dog, cat or hamster that did the deed, pet urine is extremely unpleasant because it has a powerful odor and leaves a visible amber spot on the carpet. Removing the odor will be discussed below, so let’s see how you can remove pet urine stains from carpets using baking soda and white vinegar:
With baking soda, you need to make sure the stain is dried down first. So take a clean towel or some paper and press it down against the carpet, absorbing the liquid as thoroughly as possible. This will greatly reduce the damage the urine will have on the carpet, so the faster you’re able to dry it out, the better.
Now dampen the area with some clean water and sprinkle the baking soda over the area, letting it dry (sometimes several hours are needed, so you might want to leave it overnight). Lastly, vacuum to remove the debris created by the baking soda and your stain should be gone.
If you want to use vinegar to clean out the stain, mix half a cup with 1⁄4 cup of warm water and spill the mixture over the targeted area. Use a dry towel on top of it and place a heavy object on top of it to apply pressure. You’ll need to keep it there for a couple of hours, so if you want to be on the safe side of things, you might want to leave it there overnight.
In the morning, remove the towel and use a soft hairbrush to clean the carpet off, if needed.
How to Remove Pet Odor from Carpets
This issue needs to be cut down in half: finding the source of the odor and removing it. On many occasions, you’ll smell the problem but you won’t be able to see it easily. It’s either because your pet peed in some corner of the house you can’t reach, or because the smell got so impregnated in the carpet that it’s now invisible to the naked eye.
In order to find such pet urine stains, you can use a black UV light that will pinpoint the exact source of the smell. Just turn off the light and close the blinds, then fire up your UV black light. Pet urine stains should glow in the dark.
If you want to know more information about carpets and how to care about it, here are additional resources that may be useful to you:
- RobotBox.net – this blog about vacuums for a different type of carpet.
- How To Clean and Remove Stains From Upholstery Professionally – simple video tip on how to clean and remove dirt from carpets.