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How to remove common carpet stains

Updated on May 23, 2008

How to remove unsightly stains

For some unexplainable, obscure, malignant reason I realize that carpets can never and will never remain stain free. If you have a dog 99% he will vomit right on the carpet, if you have kids spaghetti sauce will surely spill one day or another, and don't even think to sip your glass of wine while sitting on your sofa on your living room carpet, I don't need to be a fortune teller to predict what will surely happen.

Some people may call it bad karma or simply bad luck but I always tend to blame it on gravity. Gravity is what makes professional steam cleaners stay in business. If we lived in space all our carpets would be immaculately clean, but let's stop dreaming and get back to earth on our filthy carpets.

Luckily, there are some rescue remedies for all those unsightly stains, some days I wonder how I can live without them as no week seems to go by without any stains. Here are some tips to prolong your carpet's life and keep it as clean as you humanely can:

-Red wine. Remember last time you were sipping your Lambrusco? I knew it would land on your light colored carpet transforming you living room carpet into one of the best CSI crime scenes! No need to worry, before the police heads to your house, grab some Club Soda and blot, I will repeat, blot, the fibers until you no longer see the stain.

-Vomit. OK, your dog or cat just decided to puke on your carpet. For some obscure reason it had to be right before the property line that separates your carpet from your tile floor. Clean up is definitely not pleasant, especially for the fact that the red dyes used to make the dog or cat food supposedly "appealing" to our eyes, will create a visible stain. Make a 30/70 ratio of hydrogen peroxide to water solution. Test a small area first and then blot, repeat blot only. Rinse out with a white vinegar/ water solution.

-Pet urine. We love our pets, they are so cute, but we certainly do not love what pours out of them. If your dog or cat leaks on your dear carpet, invest in a good carpet cleaner with enzymes. This is vital because not only will enzymes take away the offensive odor away but they will also discourage your cat or dog from going again in the same spot (and choose the other hundreds of remaining spots available instead).

-Ink. You are writing a love letter and then suddenly your pen decides to explode, and of course, since I am writing this article, it ends up all over your carpet. Grab some rubbing alcohol but do not rub, remember blot, just blot the stain. Let it stay for about half hour and then rinse out with soapy water. In case you are curious I repeat blot because many people tend to rub ruining prematurely the all too precious carpet fibers.

-Gum. It should stay in our mouths but with kids we can find it just about anywhere. It will look extremely sticky once embedded into your carpet's fibers but there is no need to despair as all you need to do is head for your freezer. Grab an ice cube and freeze the gum and then help remove it with a knife.

-Mud. Yes, your guests made it through your living room totally ignoring your fluorescent colored welcome mat at your entrance. You wished you lived in China where taking off shoes was mandatory. Go to your hubby's bathroom cabinet and steal his shaving cream. Spray over, let it stay a little while, and you named it, blot!

-Wax. Candles, candles, candles, they are so popular with their ever growing new scents! Aside from being major fire hazards they may leave wax residue on your carpet (or where you just planning on shaving your legs?) Grab your iron, put it on a low setting and place a paper towel (make sure it is not colored or it will make another stain) on the wax and melt the wax away.

I think I covered the major stains that can happen in any household. Luckily, there are also various miracle carpet cleaning products on the market that cover a large variety of stains.

But not all may work. Did you ever wonder why after you shampoo your carpet it is shortly after dirtier than before? Well, let's think logic. The shampoo remains in the carpet fibers and becomes a sticky residue that not only is not clean, but will actually attract all the dirty icky stuff that hitch hikes on the bottom of our shoes. Pretty disgusting, huh?

Yes, our carpets will inevitably always be a major hassle to maintain clean. This is why I am replacing all of mine with hardwood floors. Until I will move to space in a gravity-free planet, I feel like I have had enough carpet cleaning.


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    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      Great hub! Very interesting tips and I haven't come across ways on how to removing pet urine, ink, gum and mud yet. thanks for the advice!