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You know that sinking feeling that comes with seeing something spill on your carpet. Not only is there the hassle associated with the clean up, but there is the looming question in the back of your mind “is this stain permanent?”
There are a lot of high priced commercial products available on the market, all promising instant stain removal with ease and convenience. However, there are quite a few tricks to removing carpet stains from products and appliances that you probably already have in your house. Below, we’ve listed six tried and true cheap carpet stain removal ideas, and the best spot carpet cleaner.
There are a lot of high priced commercial products available on the market, all promising instant stain removal with ease and convenience. However, there are quite a few tricks to removing carpet stains from products and appliances that you probably already have in your house.
Below, we’ve listed six tried and true cheap carpet stain removal ideas, and the best spot carpet cleaner. Before we get into the best carpet stain removal methods, lets go over a few best practices:
The faster you start working on the stain, the higher likelihood you’ll be able to remove it. When you see a spill in process, immediately drop what you’re doing and start working on it. If you notice soiling in the carpet from something previous, don’t put off the stain removal process.
Don't get out your vacuum and start sucking up the stain quite yet. That will come once you pull the stain out.
The longer a stain sits, the more it sets into the fibers of your carpet. Eventually, if left untreated, it will become permanent. However, when you act quickly, you can draw the stain back out of the carpet fibers, before it has a chance to lock in.
Before you worry about which carpet cleaner solution to worry about, act quickly and soak it up. The best carpet spot cleaner in the world probably won't completely get rid of a stain that's been there awhile.
Your first instinct when you see a spill is to get in there and use a bunch of elbow grease to rub it out. This is actually damaging your carpet even more, and hurts your efforts to get the stain out. Instead, blot the spill with a cloth and cleaning solution. Blotting puts the least amount of pressure on the stain as possible.
Additionally, blot from the outside of the stain first, slowly moving towards the center of the stain. If you do it the other way, you might actually spread the stain further out.
Another popular myth is that using hot water will draw the stain out. Blot with cold water, not hot, at least at the beginning. Hot water will lock a stain in, while cold water will continue to allow the stain to work out.
Ok, now that we have those basic best practices out of the way, here are five cheap ways to remove stains from your carpet.
The best spot carpet cleaner is going to depend on what you spilled and what type of carpet you have. That’s why we’ve put together five different carpet and upholstery cleaner solutions for you. Some are very basic and easy to put together quickly.
Club Soda works really well as a cleaning agent. This is primarily due to it’s high carbonation, as the aeration pulls stains out of carpet (or any other material) and draws them to the top. Unlike so many other beverages that are carbonated, club soda is literally just carbonated water, and doesn’t contain any other sugars or additives that could get in the way of the cleaning process.
As with all stains, tackle them right away with club soda. Once the stain has settled, club soda has very little effect.
To use, you can just pour club soda on a clean rag and blot the stain. Or, you could also pour club soda directly onto the stain as well. Pour the same amount of club soda as the spill. Rinse and repeat until the stain has come up. Club soda is proof that the best carpet stain remover does not have to be complicated or expensive.
You might have heard of the club soda trick before, but shaving cream? Yes, its true, shaving cream is a fantastic solution for removing stains from carpet.
Simply spray the shaving cream onto the stain, fully covering the stain with the cream. You can either dab it into the carpet, or just walk away. Give the cream at least 30-60 minutes to set in, and then return, dabbing away. At this point, its ok to lightly scrub the cream to get out any remaining stain.
You can repeat this method a second and third time if necessary. Often times, for a really tough stain, you might want to leave the shaving cream to settle overnight. Shaving cream works especially well on carpets, and why we vote it as the best spot cleaner for carpet.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a chemical that contains hydrogen and oxygen. Because it is an oxidizing agent, it can be a great combatant to stains.
Think of hydrogen peroxide as your finisher. Apply hydrogen peroxide directly after using one of the other stain removal techniques. It will bubble as soon as it hits the stain – don’t be alarmed. Dab the peroxide away, and rinse and repeat as needed.
Hydrogen peroxide is most effective at removing blood, should you get that on your carpet. It works on plenty of other spills as well, but is the go-to for blood.
Don't be alarmed if and when it bubbles, usually right after you apply it. That's just the hydrogen peroxide working its magic.
Dishwasher detergent was designed to quickly and efficiently cut through dirt and grease. It’s a highly concentrated soap that can do wonders for removing stains on your carpet, specifically grease. Careful, as dishwasher detergent's high concentration means you don’t want to use it straight.
Mix several drops of dishwasher detergent into a cup of water and stir. Put this solution in a spray bottle, and amply spray the stain on the carpet. Again, you’ll want to lightly blot the stain, repeating several times.
Note that this works best on grease stains.
If it isn’t working as effectively as you like, you can try adding a few more drops of dish detergent to the mixture. Slowly increase the concentration until you find the solution that works for your specific stain.
One of the best home carpet cleaner solutions comes from simply mixing baking soda and vinegar. You don’t actually mix them in a bowl, but rather you apply them one right after another.
Frankly speaking, this one is pure magic, but ONLY if you do it in the correct order! Apply the vinegar first and then the baking soda. You don’t need to pour much vinegar onto the stain. Immediately after pouring the vinegar, lightly sprinkle the stain with baking soda.
There will be a little bit of bubbling, which is totally normal. In essence, baking soda and vinegar are opposites of eachother: vinegar is slightly acidic and baking soda is slightly basic. The two pair together to loosen the stain and pull it out of the fibers of your carpet.
Want more on the advanced side of using baking soda and vinegar? Read here.
Surprised this made the list? It’s true, an iron can be magical at taking stains up out of carpet. And, it’s also proof that the best spot carpet cleaner doesn’t necessarily have to be a cleaning solution at all!
In truth, the iron is best used after applying your baking soda and vinegar solution. After you’ve blotted it up, cover the area with a damp towel or rag. Use the iron on a medium to high setting, and lightly run over the stain. The heat will lift the remaining stain into the towel or rag.
An iron can also work well to pull an old stain out of carpet that was already set.
There is no need to buy expensive commercial stain removal products from the store, when you can use the products you already have in your home. The best spot carpet cleaner does not have to be a solution from the store, but you will want to think through what kind of stain it is before applying a solution.
Having a cordless stick vacuum in your closet downstairs can help. When a spill happens, but before it gets set in the carpet, whip out your convenient vacuum to pull up the majority of the spill. On the other hand, note that when the stain occurs on your furry rugs and carpets, it's important to use a good quality vacuum that specializes in cleaning shag carpets as spills and can easily be absorbed by those types.
Act quickly when you see a stain, and chances are you can remove it without any permanent damage, or high expense.
Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.