Carpet stains are some of the most common in the home. Equally common are the mistakes people make in an attempt to remove them. Whatever the stain, there are some basic carpet cleaning rules to follow. If you don’t, an annoying spill can become an unsightly blemish.
You might attempt to hide the stain with a cunningly placed piece of furniture. You’re equally as likely to throw your carpet away. A small stain that should have taken a few minutes to remove suddenly becomes a major household expense.
In this post, you’ll learn the three biggest mistakes people make when cleaning their carpet. You’ll also learn how to remove stains from carpet the easy way, and a few tips to prevent carpet stains.
Carpet cleaning mistake #1: Soaking the carpet
It’s really not necessary to soak your carpet when cleaning a stain. Water and cleaning solutions carry the stain, and spread it further and wider. Instead of a small ink spot to clean, you’ll find you have a stain the size of a great lake to remove.
If the stain is dry, always ‘work dry’ first. Carefully scrape any excess dried material away, and use a vacuum to remove as much as possible. Only then should you use the cleaning technique detailed below.
Carpet cleaning mistake #2: Rubbing, not blotting
From an early age, we’re taught that rubbing and scrubbing is the best way to remove stubborn stains. Not on carpet, it isn’t! Rubbing a stain spreads the stain. You need to lift the stain by blotting, not rubbing. Sure, you may need to apply some pressure, but this should be in a down and up motion, never side to side.
Carpet cleaning mistake #3: Using a colored cloth
If you use a colored cloth to clean a stain from your carpet or rug, you risk color transfer. The same as placing a red sock in a wash of white shirts. You should always use a white cloth or paper towels when removing a stain from carpet.
Five steps to removing stains from a carpet
This simple five-step process will remove most stains from a carpet:
1. Remove any excess
Whether the stain is wet (such as ketchup or sauce) or dry (for example, soil or mud), use a blunt knife to remove as much of the offending substance as possible.
With a dry stain, you can use a vacuum to suck the material away. With a wet stain, you should use a paper towel to blot away as much as possible after lifting with your knife.
2. Blot the stain with a damp cloth
Dip a clean white cloth in clean, cold water. Wring out so the cloth is damp. Gently dab the stain to lift it from the carpet fibers.
3. Use a carpet cleaning solution
Apply a carpet cleaning solution or foam on the stain, following the product instructions. Before you do, though, test it on a hidden piece of carpet to ensure there won’t be any discoloration.
After applying the carpet cleaner, leave for a few minutes.
4. Blot away the stain
Using a clean white towel, dip in cold water and blot the cleaning solution away. This lifts the stain, and rinses the solution away. Repeat as often as necessary until all the cleaning solution has been removed.
5. Dry the cleaned carpet
Using a clean and dry white cloth, blot any excess water away. Then leave the carpet to dry naturally.
How to prevent carpet stains
It’s hard to prevent all carpet stains. Accidents happen. A glass of wine gets spilled. Young children are clumsy with crayons. While it’s impossible to make a carpet completely stain proof, there are some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of a serious stain on your carpet. For example:
- Use doormats at each entrance
- Insist your children take off their shoes after they have been playing outside
- Use rugs under coffee tables
- Make the dining room or kitchen the place where children consume their drinks
If the stains on your carpet are particularly deep or difficult, contact Porter's. Our comprehensive carpet cleaning services include spot removal, deodorizing, dealing with difficult pet staining problems, carpet repairs, and on-location dry cleaning.