Carpeted Considerations: A Definitive Guide to Handling Floor Stains

drawing room with carpet

If you’ve chosen to install carpet inside any area of your home you may find yourself wondering about the multiple steps that you can take to ensure they stay looking their best over time. Many of us will invest in the basic essentials such as high-quality vacuum cleaners, a carpet shampooer and other carpet cleaning products that are often required to maintain clean and hygienic carpets.

The truth is that even the cleanest households without small children or pets will, at one point, play victim to an accidental spill that could result in an unwanted stain. The good news is that with the correct know-how the process handling carpet stains is pretty straightforward and most spills or carpet stains can be treated in a similar way. Below is a definitive guide to remove carpet stains without the need for a professional carpet steam cleaning service.

Start With the Basics

Even when you’ve taken every precaution to avoid spillages on carpeted areas of the home the day will eventually come when there’s an accidental spill. It’s usually tea, coffee or some other sort of beverage that was unfortunately forgotten about and knocked over. Try not to panic and make a carpet cleaning mistake! Although many peoples first thought is to raid the cleaning cupboard and douse the spill in every stain remover you can find, this is often not the best idea.

Instead begin by simply using water. Plain, warm water is often all it takes to remove a spill or stain if it’s being treated immediately. Using warm water on a plain white cloth, gently blot the stain repeatedly, each time using a clean part of the cloth. Be sure not to rub the spill or stain as this could work the spill deeper into the carpet. Depending on the type of spill or stain you are dealing with will dictate how long you will need to blot up the spillage, but be patient.

If this process is not effective then it’s time to move on to something a little stronger.

Remove Excess Spills ASAP

If the spillage is solid food then try to remove this from the carpet as soon as possible. You may want to use a spoon or blunt knife to lift solid spills off of the carpet without running the risk of rubbing any of it into the carpet pile. As mentioned above, if you’re dealing with a liquid spillage it’s best to start by blotting as much excess liquid up with a white cloth and plain water. Removing as much of the spillage as quickly as possible is key when trying to avoid a permanent stain. When using the blotting method start at the edge of the spillage and work towards the centre. This will stop the stain from spreading.

Apply Your Chosen Carpet Stain Remover

Once you have removed as much of the spill as possible it’s time to apply your chosen carpet stain remover solution. If this is the first time using the product it’s a good idea to perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area of the carpet. Different types of carpet stain removers will have different manufacturers instructions so be sure to read and follow these carefully.

You may choose to make your own carpet stain removal solution. You can do so by mixing 1 teaspoon of mild, colourless dishwashing liquid and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar with 1 litre of warm water. Whether you choose to use a pre-made or homemade cleaning solution avoid applying too much to the stain. Soaking the carpet may spread the stain and also cause damage to the carpet fibres or carpet backing. Once you’ve applied your chosen product let it sit for around 10 minutes.

Re-Blot the Area to Remove the Stain

Once you’ve allowed ample time for your chosen cleaning solution to take effect it’s time to blot the stain away. This time it’s best to use cold water unless otherwise stated on the product’s instructions. Using a clean, white cloth, gently blot the stain to remove any of the remaining carpet stain solution. Again it’s best to work from the outside in, constantly using a clean part of the cloth. More stubborn stains may require multiple cloths. Continue blotting the stain until it stops transferring to the white cloth. Once completed blot the area until it is completely dry.

A simple way to dry the area of treated carpet is to lay a clean, dry cloth or towel over the area and simply apply weight, either by using your hand, foot or heavy object. For larger areas you may have to repeat this process several times, using multiple dry cloths or towels.

The tips above should successfully remove the most common household stains or spillages from your carpets. The trick to removing carpet stains is to tackle them as quickly as possible. Doing so will greatly reduce the risk of an accidental spill becoming a permanent stain.