Whether you dropped a cup of coffee or a glass of red wine, stains on your carpet can be a nuisance to remove. With that being said, here are some of the best and easiest ways to get rid of any stain from any carpet.
Every part of your house requires cleaning, including carpets. The only issue is that carpets can be quite hard to maintain.
Before doing anything, you need to find out what type of carpet you have. Is it made of natural or synthetic carpet fibers? Each material has a different look and feel to it and, thus, needs a different method of cleaning.
Spots vs. stains
First thing’s first, what is the difference between spots and stains? You might not know that there is a difference between them because we tend to use these words as synonyms for each other. Spots or on the outside carpet fibers, while stains penetrate deep within them. In some situations, there is a spot and a stain, but in most cases, a stain is hidden under the carpet fibers.
The easiest way to know how to clean a carpet is to know whether it has spots or stains. Figuring this out is not always easy, but you can make it simpler by analyzing the location, look, and smell of a soiled area.
Typically, carpets in dining areas will be prone to soiling from food or drinks. Carpets placed in entryways are more likely to be soiled by dirt brought in from outside such as animal feces, mud, and grease.
Choosing the best chemicals to clean the area is easiest when you know what material the carpet is made of. The 5 main carpet materials are:
- Polypropylene (Olefin)
There are different types of stains that you will come across on carpets, including:
Petroleum-based: Stains of this nature often include oil, ink, or grease. Organic solvents tend to be the best chemicals to combat these stains especially if it is a dry powder. The cleaning chemical must penetrate the carpet fibers in the same way that petroleum-based stains will. Always ensure that the room is properly ventilated when you are using a dry powder cleaning agent.
Protein-based: These stains are usually caused by body fluids such as blood, urine, or even vomit.
Water-soluble: These stains are easily removed in most cases and include mud, some foods and drinks, and some water-based pen inks.
Natural/Organic-based: Some stains such as tea and coffee can be more difficult to clean simply because heat increases the strength of the bond between carpet fibers and liquids.
Man-made: These stains generally affect nylon carpets more than other fibers.
Tips for Cleaning Your Carpets
Do not rub stains: The best way to clean a stain is to blot it as this will soak up the dirt instead of pushing it deeper into the carpet fibers.
Baking soda and vinegar: There are a few ways to do this that will help remove stains from your carpet. Put club soda on a slightly damp cloth and blot the stained area. This should lighten the stain in which case you can repeat the procedure until the stain is gone. If it doesn’t work, mix a 1 to 1 ratio of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the stain and blot it with the baking soda cloth. Rinse the area with warm water and brush the carpet fibers in their natural direction.
Shaving cream: You might not know that shaving cream works well to remove most stains. Simply apply some shaving cream to a stain and allow it to sit for 45 minutes. Wipe away the shaving cream and rinse the clean area with warm water.
Dishwashing liquid: A cup of warm water with a teaspoon of dish soap is enough to remove some tough carpet stains. Spray the solution onto the stain and allow it to soak for a while before blotting the area with paper towels or a clean cloth.
Removing wax: You will need to soften the wax by putting a cloth over a warm iron and placing it on the wax spill. Once the wax is soft enough you can scrape it off with a knife.
Hydrogen peroxide: This is great for residual stains that sometimes follow blood spillage. You can use full-strength peroxide which will fizz when it encounters blood. After rinsing, the stain should mostly be gone.
Pet stains: Organic cleaners work best with these stains when sprayed directly on the spot. Scrubbing will help with removing the spot and odor properly.
If you are trying to remove stains caused by oil or grease you must ensure that you are using cleaning agents specifically designed for these stains. Using only warm water will not have much effect on the stain. This is how to remove oil-based stains:
- Using a piece of cotton wool, work the cleaning agent into the stain from the edges inward.
- Blot the stain with a tissue or paper towel to absorb some of the dirt. The color of the carpet may change while cleaning, but it should return to normal once the carpet dries.
- Spray the area with a soap solution to wash away any residue left by the cleaning product.
- Blot the area with a tissue or paper towel once again.
- Use a hairdryer to dry the area. This will also help avoid watermarks.
- If the stain is not completely removed, repeat the process.
- Finally, use a paper towel to cover the area and place any heavy object on top of the paper towel. Leave it to dry for at least 48 hours.
Steam cleaning should be done by a professional yearly or more depending on how much you use your carpet.
Carpets need to be cleaned thoroughly and with the right chemicals and a steam cleaning machine like McCulloch 1275which is why properly trained individuals should steam clean your carpets. The benefits to keeping your carpets clean not only include higher productivity, but also faster drying, reduction in illness-causing bacteria, and increased longevity. If you want to extend the life of your carpets, you must maintain proper cleaning practices and do your best not to harm the carpet.
Even if you maintain a regular cleaning routine, you are bound to still see some accumulation of dirt on your carpets because it is the easiest target.
Dirty carpets are detrimental to both your health and the appearance of the area you live or work in.
There are a few ways to deep clean your carpet including:
- Wet shampoo – You can use a wet carpet shampooer to deep clean your carpets. Finding the right shampoo is important because some leave behind a sticky residue for dust to settle on. Put a drop or 2 of the shampoo onto a dish and allow it to dry overnight. If a sticky residue is left behind, avoid using it to clean your carpets.
- Dry shampoo – Use the instructions provided on the packaging to remove spots and stains. Remember to vacuum the powder residue left behind once you’re done cleaning.
- Hot water injection-extraction – This method is best done by professionals and involves the injection of hot water and cleaning solution into the carpet. This loosens dirt deep within the fibers of the carpet which is extracted seconds after the injection. Extraction of the water so soon after injection is what prevents the carpet from getting soaking wet.
Combining these methods will also suffice when you want to deep clean your carpet.
Regardless of the method you choose, you must ensure that the cleaning agent you use is carefully removed from the carpet once you finish.
The Fundamentals of Carpet Cleaning
- Vacuum regularly: Vacuuming regularly can make a room look cleaner by removing loose dust that can fly into the air when it’s disturbed. This will also increase the lifespan of your carpets.
- Vacuum at the right speed: Vacuuming slowly will increase the amount of dirt or soil that you remove from stains and spots. You must vacuum before and after cleaning a carpet.
- Empty your dust collection bags: Do this frequently and replace any filters at the same time.
- Invest in a doormat: This will rid shoes of most outdoor dirt and prevent them from being tracked into the building and onto your carpet.
- Refrain from using a lot of water: This is more for environmental purposes than anything else, but it will slow down the drying process. Deep and steam cleaning should not be done too often as it uses hundreds of gallons of clean water.
- Know your spills: If you know what you spilled, it will be easier to clean using the right chemicals.
- Clean sooner rather than later: Cleaning a spill as quickly as you possibly can work in your favor later on. If liquid spills dry, dust and other dirt may stick to them making the stain even worse. Cleaning sooner will also avoid long-term carpet damage.
- Keep stuff handy: The last thing you want to do is have to run to the store to get carpet cleaner machine when you’ve dropped a glass of wine.
Keeping a clean home or work environment is difficult, so being able to remove carpet stains is an important skill. Remember that the key to removing a stain as well as possible is identifying what it is. This will not only save you time but money as well because you won’t need to replace the carpet or have it professionally cleaned as often. There will be a time where a stain will prove tougher than your cleaning skills. In this case, consider having your carpet professionally patched. If that isn’t an option for you, try and cover the area with furniture. Now that you can get the better of stains, share the tips you’ve learned with other homeowners. You will surely be thanked for sharing your knowledge.