Read these 43 Cleaning Carpet Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cleaning tips and hundreds of other topics.
Because wine contains tannins, it's sometimes difficult to remove. There are simple solutions to cleaning carpet stains made by both red and wine stains. For instance, if you spill red wine on the carpet, immediately pour a glass of white wine over the stain. The white wine will neutralize the red wine and the stain will disappear. To remove carpet stains caused by white wine, just dab with some vinegar. Both stain removal remedies take less than five minutes!
The key to cleaning carpet stains is to act immediately. The longer you wait to remove carpet stains, the more time the stain has to set. Take a clean, dry cloth and blot until no more of the stain can be lifted. Next, pour club soda on the cloth and blot until the stain is completely removed. Always blot the stain. Vigorous rubbing can cause the stain to spread and that part of the carpet to become worn.
The last thing any of us need is wax dripped on the carpet. Once it hardens, it seems impossible to remove. All is not lost though. For cleaning carpet stains made by wax, first chip off as much of the surface wax as possible, using a dull knife or paint scraper. Once that is done, place a cloth or several layers of paper towels over the wax and apply a warm iron. Iron the towel for a few minutes and then lift. The wax should now be on the cloth instead of the carpet. Remove carpet stains left behind by blotting with a vinegar, or if it doesn't come up easily, nail polish remover.
If dropped on the floor, pancake syrup can make a sticky mess. It can be even messier if it gets embedded into your carpet fibers. When cleaning capert stains consisting of pancake syrup, make up a solution of one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to one teaspoon of warm water. Pour this into a spray bottle and blot to remove carpet stains. Blot again with clean water to remove any sticky, soapy residue from the carpet.
Coffee stains on carpet aren't difficult to remove if you act quickly. Here's a good rule of thumb: to remove carpet stains effectively, it's important you get to the task immeidately upon spilling, if you don't you're more likely to incur permanant damage. Dab at the stain with vinegar or club soda until it's removed. If you waited too long and the stain has set in, you should still be able to remove the stain by using dry-cleaning solvent. Blot until the stain is lifted.
Gum on the carpet can leave behind a sticky, gooey mess! Don't panic if you have to remove carpet stains made by gum, however. It's quite easy. Spray the area with WD-40, or smear with peanut butter and the gum will come right out. There may be a spot left behind from the dye in the gum. Cleaning carpet stains such as this is easy too. All you have to do is blot with a little club soda. No one will ever have to know!
When cleaning carpet stains that are tomato based, such as spaghetti sauce or tomato soup, you can try using a liquid enzyme detergent, a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide, or an oxygenated cleaner such as Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate. When working to remove carpet stains, remember to always test a cleaning product on an inconspicuous spot first. After applying the cleaner, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with clean water. Always blot carpet stains; don't rub them, so as not to damage the carpet fibers. Work the stain from the outside in, so as not to spread the stain any further.
In addition to cleaning carpet stains, you might want to remove static electricity as well. To do this, put a dryer sheet on the bottom of a swiffer duster or dry sponge mop and run over the carpet. Replace the sheet as needed. If you prefer liquid fabric softener, this too will remove static from the carpet. Pour some fabric softener into a spray and dilute with water, about one part fabric softener to five parts of water. Spritz your carpet with this solution and static,and the shock that comes will it, will be eliminated.
Cleaning carpet stains left by permanent marker isn't difficult if you act swiftly before the stain has a chance to set in. First try hairspray or rubbing alcohol. Spray directly onto the stain to saturate and let sit for thirty to sixty minutes. Blot with a damp sponge or cloth until the stain is removed. If this didn't work, you can try a non-acetate nail polish remover. You may want to test this in a hidden area first however, to be sure you won't damage the carpet further.
Anyone who has ever owned a dog or a cat knows all about cleaning carpet pet stains. Unfortunately, urine can saturate absorbent materials such as carpet, well beyond the surface area that can effectively be cleaned. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the urine from the carpet fibers, carpet backing and padding underneath, thereby creating ideal conditions for bacteria and mold growth (and thus malodors). However, you might not be ready to replace your items just yet. When cleaning carpets stains such as urine, blot up as much as possible with an absorbent white cloth. The newest technology uses peroxide and detergents to penetrate the soiled area to remove the stain and deactivate the odor. Simply spray a product such as PAWS - Pet Accident Washup Solution or Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate on the soiled area, and then allow it to penetrate for approximately five minutes. Using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the odor persists, repeat the process. PAWS will do an excellent job on old pet stains and odors too. You can also try saturating the area with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the odor or stain persists, repeat the process. Another option to remove carpet stains made by urine is baking soda, which can be used to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry; brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.
To remove carpet stains that contain oil, you'll first need to absorb the oil. Baking soda and corn starch work best, but talcum powders also can do the trick. First sprinkle the powder liberally onto the stain and leave overnight. The next day, vacuum the powder. If there's still some discoloration left behind, try blotting the stain with a mild dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent formulated to cut oil and grease. Once the stain is lifted, blot again with a clean damp sponge or cloth.
If adhesive removal is hindering your carpet cleaning efforts, try this quick tip: WD-40 will effortlessly remove adhesive residue from almost any surface. Rubbing alcohol will also remove this sticky residue, but more elbow grease might be needed. Before removing carpet stains,you'll probably want to test both of these products on a hidden area of your carpet first, but either of these should do the trick. If the adhesive residue isn't cooperating, you might want to try an over the counter product such as Goo Be Gone or Goof Off.
Anyone who has ever hosted a party has had to contend with careless guests. They don't spill because they're inconsiderate of course, they 're just having such a good time, they're not paying attention. That can mean only one thing. Spills on the carpet. If you're finding yourself having to remove carpet stains caused by soft drinks, you might be happy to find out this is an easy spot to remove. The last thing you want after a party is to spend a lot of time cleaning carpet stains caused by an overzealous party goer. Pour some vinegar onto a cloth and blot the stain until it's lifted. If you can't live with the smell of vinegar, blot again with a damp sponge.
No one likes to spend precious free time cleaning carpet. To save wear and tear as well as time spent cleaning carpet stains and dirt, have everyone remove their shoes upon entering your home. If you don't already have doormats and boot scrapers in place for your guests, it would be a good idea to do so. Try and keep walkways and entrances swept and free of dirt and debris that can be tracked in on one's shoes.
Try this tip when cleaning carpet stains: Apply a generous layer of baking soda or cornstarch to greasy spots and leave overnight. After vacuuming, the grease should be absorbed. If there is any residue or discoloration left behind, blot with vinegar until the stain is lifted. A dishwashing liquid or detergent specializing in removing grease will also remove carpet stains that are greasy. Make a solution of half detergent and half water and spray directly onto the stain. Blot until the stain is removed. Blot again with a damp sponge to rinse.
Anyone who has ever had to remove carpet stains will appreciate this tip. If you have chocolate or coffee stains on carpet, dab with straight vinegar. That's all it takes. Blot until the stain is removed and blot again with a damp sponge or cloth to rinse. If the smell of vinegar isn't for you, try a mild else that dishwashing liquid for cleaning carpet stains. Pour some onto a clean cloth and blot until the stain is lifted.
Cleaning a carpet is simple if you act quickly to remove stains. If you wait, you're giving the stain a chance to further embed itself into the fibers. When cleaning carpet stains, never rub at the spot. Not only will this cause the carpet fibers to weaken, and perhaps create a worn area, but it will also cause the stain to spread and penetrate deeper. If your stain disappears and comes back again, your carpet is a victim of "wicking." (Wicking is when liquid that has pooled around the bottom of a carpet works it's way back up the fibers to the top.) To prevent this, cover the stain with a thick towel and weigh down with a heavy object such as a book or a brick.
Don't cry over spilt nail polish! Manicure mishaps are easily remedied. To remove carpet stains caused by nail polish, just use nail polish remover! Pour onto a cotton ball or clean cloth and blot until the polish has disappeared. Blot again with clean water to remove all residue. Remember, when cleaning carpet stains, especially those made by nail polish, it's important to blot. Don't rub or the nail polish will spread.
It used to be that to remove carpet stains caused by crayons, one would have to scrape off as much crayon as possible with a butter knife. After than a cloth or paper towel would be placed over the area, and it would be pressed with a warm (not hot) iron. When the towel was lifted, the crayon would be removed. There's a new method for cleaning carpet stains that are wax based, however. WD-40! Just spray on, leave for a minute or two and wipe off! What could be easier than that?
The tannins in grape juice can make it difficult to remove carpet stains made up of this dark purple liquid. Club soda can help with this. Pour some directly on the carpet and blot. You can also try cleaning carpet with a solution of vinegar and a mild dishwashing liquid. Again, dab until the stain is removed. Blot again with a damp cloth to remove any residue.
Crafty people are usually meticulous with their work. Every now and then however, accidents happen. What do you do, for instance, if glue spills onto the carpet? Don't panic that's for sure. Cleaning carpet stains made from glue is simple and doesn't take long at all. Act quickly while the glue is still wet and blot with a warm sponge. When no more of the glue can be lifted in this manner, soak a rag in warm vinegar and lay it over the stain for thirty minutes. The glue should wipe clean after this time. If the glue has already dried, gently scrape away anything that's hardened using a butter or putty knife. When no more hardened glue can be removed, apply the vinegar soaked towel. If worse comes to worse and none of these methods for cleaning carpet stains work, use a dry cleaning solvent. Read the packaging to make sure it will work on your particular carpet and blot until the stain is lifted.
Here's a household hint. Before cleaning carpet stains with a steam cleaner, slip plastic baggies over your furniture legs. This will not only protect your furniture legs from the steam cleaner, it will also protect your carpet from stains caused by rusty metal chair legs.
Unfortuately you can't employ the same techniques used for cleaning carpet stains as you would to repair burns in the carpet. In fact, one can pretty much consider a burn permanant damage. Before you toss your carpet in a dumpster hower, you might try one of these methods to remove carpet stains caused by burns. The first thing you can try is snipping the very top fibers of the carpet. If the burn is too far down in the fibers, you can cut out the burned spot with an exacto knife and cut out another piece exactly the same size and shape from a carpet remnant or hidden area of the carpet. Paint a little glue on the sides of the piece of carpet and glue into place. Hopefully no one will ever notice.
To remove carpet stains and odor such as those made by vomit, the newest technology uses peroxide and detergents to penetrate the soiled area to remove the stain and deactivate the odor. Simply spray a product such as Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate on the soiled area, and then allow it to penetrate for approximately five minutes. Using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the stain or odor persists, repeat the process. You can also try saturating the area with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then, using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the stain or odor persists, repeat the process. Another option for cleaning carpet stains is baking soda, which can be used to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry; brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.
It's important to keep the area around metal furniture legs dry. If not, we might end up with rust stains on our carpets. These unsightly orange stains can set in and become a permant part of the décor if we don't act quickly enough. It's best to act immediately upon seeing the stain. To remove carpet stains caused by rust, it's best to use an acid-based cleaner. Vinegar and lemon juice work well for this task because they're both contain acids. A cleaner containing oxalic acid will also work at cleaning carpet stains such as rust.
Before employing any chemicals for cleaning carpet stains caused by oil paint, first test in a hidden area such as inside a closet or under a piece of furniture. The last thing you want to do is incur further damage. To remove carpet stains such as these, first try a little paint thinner. Dab as gently as possible until all of the paint is removed. If this doesn't work or no paint thinner is available, try using some dry cleaning solvent. If the paint hasn't penetrated deep into the carpet fibers and it won't be noticebale, snip a little bit off the top of the carpet. If none of these will work, contact your carpet care professional.
An unfortunate accident with hair dye can make cleaning carpet a nightmare. In many cases, it may even mean the end of your carpet. Hopefully it won't come to this. There are a few things you can try to remove carpet stains of this nature. First of all, it should go without saying that if hair dye is spilled on the carpet one should act immediately. Dampen a sponge and apply dishwashing liquid. Blot the stain with the sponge until you've lifted as much of the dye as possible. You can also try doing the same thing with vinegar. If this doesn't work and the stain hasn't set into the carpet too deep, you might be able to snip the very top fibers of the carpet without anyone knowing. If none of this works, you'll have to call in a professional who makes cleaning carpet stains his business or rearrange your furniutre to hide the stain.
If you come across a cigarette burn in your cleaning carpet ritual, you'll need to do some simple repair work. First snip away the singed edges with fine manicure scissors or a razor blade. Use tweezers to pull out the severely burned fibers and discard. Remove clean carpet strands from another, hidden area in the room. Apply glue to the burned area, and press the clean fibers into the spot. Press the area with a heavy object for several days before walking on it.
You may have noticed a couple of days after cleaning carpet stains such as milk, the spots come back. This may be due to wicking. Wicking happens when the carpet becomes saturated and the liquid pools at the bottom. After a while, it starts to work it's way back up through the fibers making the stain reappear on your carpet. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the liquid from the carpet fibers, carpet backing and padding underneath, thereby creating ideal conditions for bacteria and mold growth (and thus malodors). However, you might not be ready to replace your carpet just yet, so here are a few things you can do to eliminate the carpet odor. When you first begin to remove carpet stains, blot up as much of the liquid as possible with an absorbent white cloth. Place another thick cloth on the carpet and weigh down with something heavy so all of the liquid is absorbed. When that's done, go ahead and sanitize the area. The newest technology uses peroxide and detergents to penetrate the soiled area and deactivate the odor. Simply spray a product such as Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate on the soiled area, which will penetrate into the carpet. Allow Bio-OX to penetrate for approximately five minutes. Using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the stain or odor persists, repeat the process. You can also use baking soda to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry; brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.
The dyes in Kool-Aid, Gatorade and Jell-o generally result in a permanent stain. However, you can still try to remove carpet stains caused by these products. The newest technology uses peroxide and detergents to penetrate the soiled area to remove the stain and deactivate the odor. Simply spray a product such as Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate on the soiled area, and then allow it to penetrate for approximately five minutes. Using a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the odor persists, repeat the process. Another option for cleaning carpet stains such as these is to use ordinary household and blot at the stain using a clean cloth. When cleaning carpet stains with ammonia, wear a mask or turn you head so you don't inhale the fumes.
Rock or road salt works wonders for melting snow. The only problem is, we end up tracking it into our homes. This means we also end up having to remove carpet stains caused by this salt. It's only a minor inconvenience, however. If dealt with immediately, there's no need for road salt to cause permanant damage. For cleaning carpet stains caused by road salt, first vacuum completely. Next spray the stains with a solution of half vinegar and half water. Let this sit for fifteen or twenty minutes and blot with a damp sponge. Next time it snows, have everyone leave their shoes at the door.
Sometimes, when we're going through our carpet cleaning ritual, we come across stains that are a bit more unusual. Take for instance dry erase maker stains. While these aren't common, there are ways to remove carpet stains created by this product. Hairspray, the old tried and true remedy for removing ink stains is your best best. Spray an alcohol-based hair spray directly onto the carpet to saturate, let sit for about fifteen minutes and blot until the stain is removed. Don't forget this important tip for cleaning carpet stains: Always blot a stain, never rub. Rubbing the stain will only cause it to spread. It will also wear away the fibers. In additon to hairspray, alchohol will remove carpet stains caused by these markers. Apply the hairspray directly to the carpet and blot. Blot again with a damp sponge to clean away any residue left behind.
Miracle grow, the popular ferilizer is much better suited to a garden than a carpet. Although one would assume one would go through life without cleaning carpet stains left behind by fertilizer, accidents do happen. If for some reason you need to remove carpet stains made when Miracle Grow is spilled, you can probably clean it off if you act quickly. First vacuum or pick up any powder or soid material, be as gentle as possible however, so as not to grind the product further into your carpet. If spots still remain on your carpet, Spray the mark with shaving foam and let sit for about thirty minutes. After which, blot with a clean damp cloth.
When diapering a baby on a carpet, be sure to take the proper precautions and lay a towel or changing mat underneath the baby. Zinc Oxide, the active ingredient in most diaper rash ointments, can leave a spot behind. To remove carpet stains made by zinc oxide, wipe away as much as you can with a clean cloth. Cover the remaining stain with baking soda to absorb any grease and let sit for an hour or so. When time is up, continue cleaning carpet by blotting any residue left behind with a mild dish soap. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, and no one will ever know a baby's bottom touched your floor!
A bleach stain doesn't have to be the end of your carpet. If it's not a huge spot, you can get away with repairing the spot and no one will be the wiser. It's not as simple as cleaning carpet stains, but it's cheaper than tossing your rug out to the curb. Cut a swatch from a hidden area of your carpet or leftover remnant. Take your swatch to your local crat store and see if you can find a fabric paint or dye that will match your carpet.If this isn't a viable option, a professional who can remove carpet stains may even be able to recommend a product to use to get the color back into your carpet.
Spilled gasoline can certainly make cleaning carpet stains a challenge. Not only is it unsightly, but it smells. Fortunately there are simple ways to remove carpet stains caused by gasoline. If you're able to get to the stain immediately, blot until as much of the stain is lifted as possible. Once all of the gas has been blotted, cover the stain with kitty litter or baking soda. This will not only absorb the gas, but the smell as well. Leave for a couple of hours, or even over night. The next morning vacuum away all kitty litter and get to work on cleaning carpet stains. First try vinegar, which will also remove any lingering smell. Blot until the stain is lifted. A mild dishwashing liquid should work much in the same manner. Once the stain is lifted, blot again with a damp sponge.
When hairspray spills on the carpet, it's imperative one acts quickly before the stain hardens. If you're not fast enough, all is not lost, it's really not difficult to remove carpet stains such as this. Ask yourself, what happens when hair spray builds up in my hair? You shampoo it, right? The same method will work here. For cleaning carpet of hardened hairspray, just blot with a little clarifying shampoo and water. In just about every case, this will be enough to do the trick. Just keep blotting until all of the hairspray and its stickiness is removed.
If you're cleaning carpet stains made up of plaster, in most cases all you'll need is a good vacuum. A shop vac is especially good for this task. Once all of the plaster and powder is removed, cover the stain in a thick cloth saturated with dishwashing liquid. Leave for an hour or so to loosen the remaining plaster and blot clean with a sponge.
Cleaning area rugs can be done much in the same manner as cleaning carpet. If spot cleaning and vacuuming isn't enough however, your rug can either be laundered in the washing machine or hosed down outside. Check your manufacturers care instructions to see if the rug can be put in the clothes dryer. If this is not recommended, hang it to dry outside. If it's too thick for clothes pins, try pants or skirt hangers to afix the rug to the clothesline.
It's tough enough having to remove carpet stains. It's even worse if one removes carpet padding only to find part of it is still glued to your floor. If you are removing old carpet in your home and find that the under padding is stuck to the floor underneath, you should be able to removeit using a commercial glue remover. Two commercial products that may also help are called Foam Off, or CitriStrip. You can also try to soak the residue with hot water, and scrape it off. A paint removing product may also help.
If tar has somehow found it's way onto your carpet, don't panic. There's a simple solution for cleaning carpet stains caused by tar, and it only takes minutes. Spray WD-40, the lubricant with thousands of uses, directly onto the tar. Leave it for about ten or fifteen minutes and wipe off with a clean cloth. You may have to repeat this a couple of times, but soon your carpet will look the same as it did before the tar was tracked in.
Be sure to test this on a hidden area first, to make sure it won't harm the carpet! Don't pour the solution directly on the carpet! Using a clean cloth, apply a dry-cleaning solvent. Blot the stain, starting at the outside and working your way to the center. Next, prepare a detergent solution by mixing 1 teaspoon of mild liquid detergent with one cup of water. Mix well. Apply the solution using a clean cloth. Rinse with water and blot until dry. (You may need to repeat a few times until all of the stain is removed).
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|