Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk: Top 10 Carpet Stain Removal Ideas


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Red wine. Chocolate milk. Muddy shoes. Crayons.

If you live in a home with carpet, you’ve likely seen it all. As comfy and cozy as it can be underfoot, it seems to attract all kinds of spills and stains.

The good news? You can restore your flooring to its original glory. All it takes is some elbow grease and a little know-how.

That means the next time your toddler wants to show you the artwork he created on the rug or you overfill your coffee mug too high, you don’t have to worry.

Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite tricks for carpet stain removal. In a perfect world, you’ll never need these, but perfection is boring, anyway.

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

1. Always Blot, Never Rub

What’s the first thing you do when you encounter a stubborn stain? You soak your rag in solution and start scrubbing!

Yet, even though you have good intentions, you’re working against yourself. Rather than lifting the stain, you’re pushing it deeper into the carpet fibers.

Over time, this causes them to break down. That means your carpet won’t only look dingy with half-treated stains. It will also look older than its age.

Instead, when you go to remove a stain, grab the solution, along with either a clean towel, sponge or paper towel. Then, start blotting, moving inward from the outside diameter as you go.

2. Keep Shaving Cream on Hand

You may have watched an infomercial for every carpet cleaning product under the sun. Yet, one of the most effective solutions is sitting in your bathroom cabinet: shaving cream.

That’s right. A can of shaving cream, which you can find for mere dollars at the drugstore, is ideal for removing stains.

Instead of applying it and immediately blotting, let it sit for about 30 minutes. Once it has set, you can use a dry cloth to blot it up. Complete the process by spraying the area with a mix of one part vinegar and one part water. Use a cloth to wipe away the solution.

3. Use Club Soda the Right Way

Sure, your mother and grandmother both swore by club soda as a stain removal extraordinaire. They were right, but do you know how to use it the right way?

Pour a little soda on a clean cloth. Then, blot it on top of the stain. If it persists, mix a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then spray it on the area.

After about 15 minutes, dab a sponge on the area to soak up the liquid and lift the stain. Repeat the process a second time if it’s still there. If it’s gone, rinse the spot with warm water.

Place a few paper towels on the carpet to absorb the water, weighing them down with a heavy book to speed up the process.

4. Grab the Detergent

It makes sense when you think about it. You should treat a grease spot on your carpet the same way you’d treat one on your pots and pans: with dishwashing detergent!

The next time you spill bacon drippings on your rug, mix a drop or two of your favorite grease-fighting detergent into a cup of warm water, then stir. Pour it into a spray bottle and get to work on your stain, being careful to blot.

Larger stains may require a few repeats, but you’ll marvel at how effective (and simple!) this method is.

5. Give Gum the Cold Shoulder

It’s never a great feeling when you pull your shoe off the ground only to find that it won’t budge. When you realize it right away, you can remove it on the spot.

Sometimes, though, we aren’t aware that we’re tracking around someone else’s half-chewed candy until we get home.

When you step in gum and track it onto your carpet, don’t panic. Run to the kitchen and grab a few ice cubes.

Run the ice over the gum for around 30 seconds to freeze it. Once it’s solid, you can lift it up (using a spoon, not your fingers!), then cut the strands as close to the top as possible.

6. Make Your Iron Pull Double Duty

Burning candles can make a home feel warm and inviting. It’s also a quick way to add some serious hygge during dark, colder months.

They lose their charm, however, when they drip sticky, hot wax onto your carpet or rug. When it dries, that wax hardens and gets embedded into the fibers, making it difficult to remove.

The best way to get it out? Heat it back up again!

Place a clean white cloth over the area, then lay a warm iron on top. When it’s melted, use a dull knife to scrape it away. After a few applications, swap the cloth for a paper towel and repeat the process. The remaining wax will bind to the towel.

It’s important to use a white cloth in this case, as you risk transferring colored dyes onto your carpet otherwise. Also, remember to never iron on your carpet for more than 30 seconds, or you could burn the fibers.

7. Fight Blood with Hydrogen Peroxide

If someone is bleeding in your house, seek medical help immediately. When the storm has passed and all is OK, then you can take the time to clean the stains it left.

To do so, turn to the do-all solution that homeowners around the world swear by hydrogen peroxide.

Start by blotting the stain with a mixture of detergent and warm water. From there, scrape up any blood you can.

If some persists, apply hydrogen peroxide right onto the spot, no blotting cloth required. It will begin to foam immediately. Use a few paper towels to blot the area dry.

8. Avoid Chemicals with Fido

Few things smell as foul as animal excrement or urine in a home. Yet, you don’t have to give up your favorite pooch or feline because she isn’t potty trained yet!

When accidents occur, resist the urge to grab a commercial cleaner full of chemicals. In the event that your pet returns to the same spot again, you don’t want him walking on such products and transferring them to his paws.

Instead, opt for an all-natural, organic spot treatment so you can keep everyone in your family safe, four-legged members included.

Do these messes happen on a routine basis? You may want to bring in an expert to deep clean every once in a while. This carpet cleaner hiring guide is full of tips on how to find a carpet cleaning professional in your area who uses green, non-toxic methods.

9. Lift Up Smashed Candy

Especially if you have kids in your home, crushed candy pieces wind up on your carpet at some point or another.

From candy canes to Sweethearts, there’s no shortage of hard candy that can leave a cloud of fine, sticky dust all over your area rug.

Instead of vacuuming it all up, scrape it with a dull knife first, getting up all that you can.

Then, mix a solution of warm water and a few pumps of gentle soap. Apply it to the spot using a sponge to remove all of the sugar from the fibers. Leaving them there can attract bugs, dust, and debris.

Dry the spot with clean towels once you remove the candy.

ECOVACS Deebot 600 Robotic Vacuum
Deebot 600 Robotic Vacuum

ECOVACS Deebot 600 Robotic Vacuum

10. Set up a Cleaning Schedule

Still wondering how to clean a carpet? The short answer is “every day.”

Make it a point to vacuum your carpet on a routine basis, taking the time to spot treat any surprise stains you come across. This way, you’re more likely to spot issues and you can prevent dirt from settling into the fibers.

Want an even deeper clean? Rent a steamer or another portable carpet cleaner and go over your floors. Do this twice a year and notice the difference it makes.

Carpet Stain Removal and Other Home Tricks

Knowing a few carpet stain removal tips is key to not stressing every time someone fails to take their shoes off in your home, or your toddler brings you a sticky snack he made all by himself.

With this guide, you’re ready to spring into action any time a spill occurs, and it will occur.

Want more tips and tricks on how to maintain, decorate and beautify your home?

That’s why we’re here.

We offer you timely advice on ways to make your personal space as creative and dynamic as you are.

Moving into your new space and looking to install carpet? Check out our guide on the best kinds to buy. Then, enjoy it while it’s new and stain-free…for now!

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