No matter how careful you try to be, if you live in your home – as opposed to treating it like a museum – eventually, something is going to take a tumble and stain your carpet. The good news is that if you act fast, you should be able to clean things up without a problem and avoid a permanent rainbow assortment of various shades on your living room carpet!
Rule #1 is to blot or spoon up the excess moisture or liquid, never scrubbing, followed by some careful cleaning using the remedies described below. Keep in mind that you should always pre-test these solutions before use, just to ensure the colorfastness and safety of using the solution on your home carpet.
Grease Stains – Butter, Oils, and Mystery Spills
1) After blotting, sprinkle baking soda on the stained area to absorb any excess that you weren’t able to leech out. Leave it overnight, then vacuum the area in the morning.
2) Take a bit of dry-cleaning liquid and blot it on the area.
3) Make a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent and a cup of warm water, blotting from the outside of the stain toward the center. Leave 5 minutes.
4) Use a sponge with warm water on the area until the detergent is gone, and cover with paper towels to absorb the liquid overnight.
5) When the area is dry, vacuum over it again to get the carpet texture back.
Colored Stains – Juice, Wine, Pop, Coffee and Tomato-Based Spills
1) Blot the stained area using a solution of 1-2 teaspoons mild liquid laundry detergent mixed in a cup of lukewarm water. If the stain is grape juice or red wine, sponge the stain with club soda.
2) Sponge over the spot with a solution of 2 tablespoons ammonia in one cup of warm water.
3) Blot the area a second time with the first detergent solution.
4) Rinse the area, blot dry. Place down paper towels and let the spot sit overnight.
5) When it area is dry, vacuum over the spot to restore texture to the carpet.
Maddening Mustard Stains
1) Using the detergent solution for grease stains, apply a small amount to the stained area by blotting and rinsing several times.
2) Blot on a second solution of one cup white vinegar and two cups warm water, and then rinse the area.
3) If the stain still isn’t gone, mix together some powder enzyme laundry detergent with water, being sure to follow the instructions on the detergent box. Drench the area and cover with a cloth for at least 30 minutes.
4) Rinse and blot dry, repeat if necessary.
Nasty Nail Polish Stains
1) On a white cloth, apply a small amount of non-acetate nail polish remover, and work this into the stain very gently. Start from the outer edge of the stain and work toward the center.
2) Allow this to sit for about 5 minutes, then blot a few times.
3) Rinse the area thoroughly, blot dry, and vacuum over to restore carpet texture.
Monumental Makeup Spills
1) Blot the area using a dry-cleaning fluid.
2) Blot again using a solution of water and powder enzyme laundry detergent, being sure to follow the instructions on the box. Rinse the area thoroughly.
3) Apply a solution of one and a half cups water and 2 tablespoons ammonia to the area, and rinse thoroughly.
4) Blot another solution of one cup white vinegar to 2 cups warm water, and rinse again.
5) Let the area air-dry, and finally vacuum once dry to restore the carpet texture.
See Also: Cat Urine Removal Tips