How to Remove Stains from Carpets

How to Remove Stains from Carpets

Chris Bailey of Bailey’s Floor Care in Leicester, a Professional Carpet Cleaner, explains what to do when removing nasty spots and stains from your carpets.

With today’s stain-resistant carpet, treating spots and stains has never been easier. With proper patience and prompt attention, most common house-hold spills can be removed. OR you could just avoid spilling on your carpet in the first place.

Preventing soiling and spills is all about planning in advance, whether for a party or for everyday living. But no matter how hard you try, spots and stains are going to happen.

What your carpet is made of will give you clues about which cleaning solutions will work best. Natural fibres absorb more moisture than man-made fibres; therefore, drying takes much longer and the risk of tracking soil is far greater. Check the pH of the cleaning solution. Wool requires a neutral or slightly acidic pH. Man-made fibres can withstand more alkaline solutions, which cut grease and suspend soil faster. Check your manufacturer recommendations if you’re not sure what to use.

Removing Spots and Stains – watch this short video from Woolsafe about how to remove red wine stains…

Act quickly! Many spills can be removed when immediate action is taken. The longer you wait, the higher the probability that a spill will become a permanent stain. No carpet is completely stain-proof. So to knock out spots, give them a one-two punch.

Step One: Absorb the Spill

Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels (no prints or colour).

Warning: Use of a printed or coloured material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet!

Start at the outside of the spot and continue towards the centre to prevent the stain from spreading. Blot until barely damp. Semi-solids like food spills may need scooping up with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed up.

Warning: DO NOT SCRUB. Scrubbing can damage the carpet because fraying and texture change is the likely result. Use a soft white cloth to blot the spot.

Step Two: Treat the Spot or Stain

Use a Woolsafe approved Spot remover. Check out for a list of Woolsafe approved spot removers and cleaning solutions or call us on 01530 215 036 and ask us about our Professional Spot Remover. Make sure to add one to your shopping list before an emergency arises. Though these have been laboratory tested, make sure you have pretested any cleaner on a hidden are of your carpet.

Follow the product’s directions carefully. Generally speaking, apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the centre. Blot; don’t scrub. You may need to do this several times to remove the spot.

What if you don’t have a Woolsafe approved or our Professional Spot Remover handy? Try one of these home-made remedies.

  • Use plain water: Surprisingly, water often works better than untested carpet cleaners.
  • Use a detergent solution: Mix ¼ teaspoon of a clear (nonbleach, nonlanolin) dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of warm water. Try this on spilled wine and smeared chocolate. Never use laundry detergent; it may contain bleach or simply be too harsh.
  • Use a white vinegar solution: Mix 1 cup white (not red wine or cider) vinegar with 1 cup water. White vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) is sometimes effective on tannin (weak vegetable dyes found in tea and coffee), and it leaves no residue. However, be careful because acids can set some other dye stains.

Don’t Over clean!

Warning: Zealous people can get into trouble when trying to remove stains and spills from carpets. Remember to:

  • Properly mix solutions so you don’t create too strong a concentration. In truth, more isn’t better.
  • Use the right amount of water and don’t keep the carpet damp for long.
  • Use the right solution on the stain or spill.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions. In particular, test the product on a hidden spot of carpet before applying it where all can see the results.

Special Tips for Pet Owners

Do you have a pet? Dogs especially have urine retention problems when they’re puppies, elderly or sick. For puppies, packs of 100 temporary pads can be purchased from pet supply stores. These work better than newspaper, so spread them around on the spots where your puppy tends to gravitate. When Fluffy makes a mess, throw the pad out.

Sometimes, when a new dog is introduced in the home where another dog has been, they will mark spots in the house in the same way they mark their territory in the neighbourhood. Cats also mark territory inside the house.

  • Check out the Woolsafe approved products that are specifically designed for pet stains and odours.
  • Vacuum more frequently to capture pet hair and dust drifting from Fluff’s fur.
  • Have your carpet professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months, or more frequently.

 In the case of a pet accident

  • Clean up new messes promptly.
  • Pick up any semi-solids with a spoon or spatula and then follow the steps for spot and stain removal outlined in this Blog.
  • When dealing with urine spots, don’t use a steam cleaner, because the heat will set the stain and the smell. Extracting the spill with a wet-vacuum and rinsing with cool water will reduce the odour. Certified carpet cleaning companies know how to permanently remove pet stains and odour – where possible!

If you have caged pets, check pet stores for scent killing products (mineral or earthen products sold in bags), which you place near their cages. Plain old baking soda or clove oil on a cotton ball may mask the stench. Place washable area rugs under the pet cages to help trapped spilled foods, dust and dirt from animals. Wash often!

If fleas should become a problem, keep in mind that your carpet is probably harbouring eggs * keep us a regular vacuuming schedule! Check with you veterinarian for treatment options as well as tips for getting fleas out of the household environment.

We’re passionate about carpet cleaning and actually get a kick out of providing not only great carpet cleaning but a fantastic service on top of that. Nothing is too much for our clients and we find that this attitude towards who we are and what we do is what keeps our clients coming back time and time again. So if this is the sort of service you would like and you want your carpets professionally cleaned then please contact our friendly team on 01530 215 036. We provide carpet cleaning services in Derby, Leicester and surrounding towns.

We are a professional floor care company who specialise in carpet cleaning, rug cleaning, fabric & leather upholstery cleaning, Karndean & Amtico cleaning and sealing, stone floor cleaning and restoration, wood floor sanding and sealing as well as cleaning and sealing your patios and driveways for our domestic and commercial clients throughout Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire (Inc Coventry, Kenilworth & Leamington Spa) and Northamptonshire.

Written By: Chris Bailey

Caring for his clients' soft furnishings and floors since May 2000. Chris is passionate about providing a second-to-none level of service that he believes all his clients deserve.

Read More Posts by