Spills are inevitable, but stains don’t have to be. The most effective way to reduce carpet stains is to spot clean immediately. In doing so, you avoid the spill from soaking into the fibres and creating lasting or permanent damage. However sometimes, no matter how hard you try to clean the mess right away, you find yourself going over stubborn carpet stains multiple times before removing it completely.
There are many cleaning hacks to reduce the visibility of common carpet stains, but first, here are some basic tips that are used to apply to all carpet stains and spills.
Always use a white cloth to transfer the mess onto, so that you can clearly see how much of the mess you’ve cleaned. Using a white cloth also gives you a good indication of whether you should change the cloth, to avoid transferring the mess back on to the carpet.
Spot Cleaning should always be approached by blotting, not scrubbing. Although you may be tempted to scrub stubborn stains away, scrubbing actually has the opposite effect, as it spreads the mess and enlarges the stain further. Similarly, you should blot from the outside in. This is also a way to avoid the stain from spreading.
There are many DIY cleaning solutions and methods to consider when attempting to remove your stubborn carpet stains. Rather than going out of your way to get extra cleaning supplies, here are some easy and useful tips to clean those stubborn stains with supplies and ingredients that you already have.
The Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda is a very effective cleaning solution for a number of different purposes. It’s widely used for removing odours in Tupperware, burns on stainless steel, coffee stains on mugs, and grease in kitchen filters, and there’s no exception of how effective it is removing carpet stains. Baking soda can be used in a number of methods, so it’s useful to test which method works best for the stains in your carpet.
One method is to simply sprinkle an adequate amount of baking soda on the stain, let it rest for 10 minutes or so, then vacuum up the excess. This allows for the powder to soak up the stain, as well as remove any odours. This method tends to work best on small stains.
Another way to use baking soda is to mix it with an equal amount of water to create a paste. Place the paste on to the stubborn stain and let it sit for a few minutes, before blotting away the solution with either a cloth or cleaning brush.
Similarly, you can sprinkle baking soda onto the stain and let it rest, before blotting it with a wet cloth, rather than creating an initial paste.
To get the best results, you can repeat this method a couple of times in one clean, before giving it another attempt on your next clean.
Baking soda works well with coffee, red wine, and other general stains.
The Vinegar and Baking Soda Mix
Like baking soda, vinegar is an effective solution to remove carpet odours and stains. So combining the two gives your DIY cleaning solution a greater push, especially for stubborn stains. In fact, this solution has proved to be effective on stains that are not only weeks or months old, but years old.
Begin by sprinkling enough baking soda to cover the stain. Next, pour a few drops of white vinegar over the baking soda. You’ll notice the solution mixing together and beginning to create an acidic, bubbling sensation. Leave the mixture bubbling for approximately 10 minutes to absorb the stain, then blot away or vacuum it up. Repeat as necessary until the pesky stain becomes invisible.
The Dish Washing Solution
Rather than purchasing multiple cleaning products, why not use the same cleaning products for multiple uses? Not only does dishwashing liquid make your dinnerware and cutlery sparkling clean, it’s also effective in spot cleaning your carpet.
Simply mix 2-3 drops of dishwashing liquid to one cup of lukewarm water. Using any more than the recommended couple of drops of the dish soap will leave a soapy residue on the carpet. If this does become a problem, you can always add more water, however, this will prolong the cleaning process.
When creating this DIY solution, it’s important to use clear dishwashing liquid to avoid the liquid itself doing any damage to the carpet.
For tougher and darker stains, consider adding a few drops of white vinegar for extra strength.
The Toothbrush Method
Using a spare toothbrush is an alternative method to using a cloth and is especially effective in removing deep and aged carpet stains. However, it’s important not to get carried away with scrubbing and to, instead, continue to dab, as you would with a cloth. While some stains may just require water, consider using your choice of DIY solution to get the best results with stubborn stains.
The Harden and Scrape Method
The “harden and scrape” method can be used to clean any mess that isn’t a liquid. This includes gum, dirt, and mud. This method involves removing the non-liquid mess before applying a cleaning solution.
When cleaning gum out of your carpet, it’s important to get rid of the gum residue immediately. While it will leave behind an aftermath stain, this reduces its damage and allows you to complete spot treatment until it’s completely gone.
Start by peeling off as much gum as you can while it’s still gooey. To get rid of the tough excess bits, place a couple of blocks of ice in a ziplock bag and rest it on the gum to harden. Once the gum has hardened, it will be easier for you to scrape it away using a knife or any other similar tool that you have handy. It’s important to scrape away all of the excess bits of gum so that you don’t have to prolong the cleaning process.
Once the gum has been removed, you’re likely to be left with a stubborn stain. Use your choice of cleaning solution to blot on the stain as required until it becomes invisible.
The one positive thing about gum stains is that they tend to be a lot smaller than liquid spills and therefore, quicker and easier to get rid of with this DIY method.
When coming across dirty or muddy footprints, it’s important to avoid spreading the mess any further, as it’s is quite easy to do so. Cleaning dirt out of carpets is possibly one of the only times where you shouldn’t attend to it immediately. Instead, allow the mess to dry completely. Once it’s dried, scrape off as much as you can and vacuum the excess.
Next, apply a DIY cleaning solution of your choice and let it sit for 10 minutes or so, allowing it to soak up as much of the stain as possible each time. Gently blot away and repeat as necessary.
Over time, these DIY methods and solutions can prove to be very effective in removing stubborn carpet stains completely.
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