How To Remove And Clean Carpet Stains At Home?

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Staining your carpet can be tremendously frustrating. Investing thousands of dollars in a beautiful centrepiece for your home, only to see it marred by a spill or accident, is disheartening. Fear not! In this article, we’ll walk you through all the tips and tricks you need to know about cleaning a carpet, especially focusing on the benefits and care of New Zealand wool carpets.

Understanding Carpet Types and Their Cleaning Needs

Carpets come in various materials, each with its own properties and effective cleaning methods. Here’s a quick guide to some common carpet materials:

Cleaning Wool Carpets

New Zealand wool stands out as a superior fibre for carpets due to its exceptional durability, comfort, health benefits, and environmental sustainability. Wool fibres have a natural protective layer that repels stains, making them more resistant to spills and dirt, and easier to clean and maintain. Renowned for their strength and resilience, New Zealand wool carpets can withstand heavy foot traffic and maintain their appearance for many years, making them ideal for both residential and commercial spaces. To clean a stain on a New Zealand wool carpet, promptly blot the spill with a clean white cloth and apply a solution of mild dish soap and lukewarm water, then rinse with clean water and blot dry. Avoid rubbing the stain to prevent damaging the fibres and always test the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first.

Cleaning Tencel Carpets

Tencel is extremely absorbent so you should clean quickly so as not to give the stain time to soak in. Don’t use too much water to clean. Also, don’t use hot water or steam cleaners, as Tencel is prone to shrinkage.

Cleaning Tencel Carpets

Vacuuming techniques for effective carpet cleaning

We have four tips for vacuuming your carpet regularly.

  1. Crisscross Vacuuming: Start by vacuuming your carpet diagonally in one direction, then repeat in the opposite diagonal. This method ensures thorough cleaning by addressing the fibers from multiple angles.
  2. Overlap Strokes: As you vacuum, overlap each pass by 50% of the vacuum head’s width. This ensures that every fiber is effectively cleaned by making two passes over each area.
  3. Utilize Attachments: Make use of your vacuum’s attachments such as crevice tools and brushes. These are effective for cleaning edges, corners, stairs, and upholstery where the main vacuum head may not reach easily.
  4. Regular Canister Emptying: Empty your vacuum’s dirt canister frequently to maintain optimal suction power. This prevents clogging and ensures effective dirt removal during each vacuuming session.

Read more: Choose best carpet for stair runners

Spot cleaning and stain removal tips for carpets

When spills occur, promptly blot them with a clean, white cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible—avoid rubbing to prevent fibre damage. 

Next, apply a cleaning solution. Choose a suitable cleaning solution based on the stain type: for general spills, use a mixture of mild dish soap and lukewarm water; tougher stains like wine or coffee may require water with white vinegar or a specialised carpet cleaner. 

Always test the solution in a hidden area first to ensure it won’t harm the carpet. Apply the cleaning solution to a damp cloth and gently blot the stain from the edges toward the centre. After treatment, rinse with clean water, then blot dry with a towel, applying firm pressure to remove excess moisture. 

Allow the area to air dry completely before walking on it, using fans or open windows to speed up drying if needed. Following these steps diligently ensures effective stain removal and helps maintain your carpets in excellent condition.

Dry carpet cleaning techniques

Dry carpet cleaning is a method that uses very little or no moisture to clean carpets, making it suitable for carpets that cannot tolerate wet cleaning methods.  Some carpet materials like jute, sisal, coir, silk, and hemp should not be cleaned with water or other liquid. Instead, use one of the material-specific carpet cleaners in the table above if you have it. Otherwise, spread a dry cleaning detergent on the stain, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then vacuum it up.

Dry carpet cleaning techniques

Steam cleaning methods for deep carpet cleaning

Steam cleaning is a simple process that entails 5 steps:

  1. Move the furniture off the area you want to steam clean. 
  2. Vacuum the floor you will steam clean.
  3. Fill the steam cleaner water reservoir with mostly clean water and a bit of detergent that’s compatible with your carpet material.
  4. Let the steam cleaner heat up for a few minutes and then run it over the carpet at a slow but constant speed.
  5. Let the steam-cleaned carpet dry naturally. This will usually take a few hours, and you can open nearby windows to speed up the process.

Regular maintenance routines for clean carpets

Here are a few tips for keeping carpets clean:

  • Use doormats to keep people from tracking dirt and mud indoors.
  • Clean up spills as quickly as possible using cleaning solutions compatible with your carpet.
  • Vacuum regularly. We’d recommend once per 2 weeks in high-traffic areas and once per month in low-traffic areas.
  • Have professionals deep-clean your carpet every 8-14 months.

Read more: Choose carpet colours for living room 

Deodorising carpets to remove odours

First of all, abide by these three rules to keep your carpet from getting smelly in the first place:

  1. Vacuum regularly.
  2. Treat spills immediately.
  3. Use proper ventilation.

If your carpet smells and it’s made of a water-safe material, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the carpet with the solution. Allow it to dry completely. The vinegar smell will go away as it dries, taking the odours with it.

If you have a carpet you’d rather not get wet, try sprinkling baking soda over the carpet and leaving it overnight before vacuuming it up. Baking soda naturally absorbs odours.

Preventing mold and mildew in carpets

A few ways to prevent the moisture that will cause mould or mildew on or in your carpet are:

  • Blot up spills immediately! Even if it’s just water, letting liquid in your carpet go away on its own is a bad idea if it’s soaked in there.
  • Buy a moisture barrier pad insert for your carpet when having it installed.
  • Ventilate your home.
  • Dehumidify your home if you live in a humid area. Pro tip: air conditioning is a natural dehumidifier.
  • Get your carpets deep cleaned every 8-14 months to prevent bacteria from growing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Carpet Cleaning

The most common mistakes people make when cleaning their carpets are:

  • Over-wetting. Even carpet materials like wool and synthetic fibres that are okay to clean with water have their limit. Soaking them in water or cleaning solutions will often attract mildew or mould.
  • Scrubbing. When cleaning any carpet, you should blot using medium-gentle dabbing motions instead of scrubbing.
  • Not testing cleaning products. Even if you’re pretty sure a given cleaning solution is fine for use on your carpet, try using a little in an inconspicuous corner of the carpet and observing the results to make sure it’s not going to cause discolouration.
  • Skipping routine vacuuming. Vacuuming regularly is important to avoid any buildup on the carpet fibres. We recommend vacuuming high-traffic areas every 2 weeks and low-traffic areas once per month.
  • Neglecting professional maintenance. Even if you take great care of your carpet, it’s highly unlikely you are getting at the areas deep within the carpet that can host bacterial growth. That’s why you should have professionals deep clean your carpets every 8-14 months.

We hope this guide helps you to keep clean carpets for the entire life of your home. After all, a well-maintained carpet lasts forever. For even more tips and tricks, head over to our full post about carpet & rug care and maintenance.

FAQs for Remove Specific Stains

How to Get Blood Out of Carpet

Blood stains on carpets can be particularly challenging to remove, but with the right approach, you can effectively eliminate them without damaging your carpet fibres.

The key to successfully removing blood stains is to act as quickly as possible. Fresh blood is much easier to clean than dried blood, which can set into the carpet fibres and become more stubborn to remove.

Cold Water Method

  • Start by blotting the stain with a clean, white cloth to absorb as much blood as possible.
  • Apply cold water to the stain and continue blotting. Never use hot water, as it can set the stain permanently.
  • Repeat this process until no more blood transfers to the cloth.

Salt Paste Method

For dried blood stains, a salt paste can be an effective solution.

  1. Mix cold water with salt to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the blood stain and let it sit for several minutes.
  3. Blot the area with a damp cloth to remove the paste and stain.
  4. Vacuum the area once dry to restore the carpet’s texture.

How to Remove Oil from Carpet

Oil stains on carpets can be tricky to remove due to their greasy nature, but with the right techniques, you can successfully eliminate them.

Dish Soap Solution

How to Remove Oil from Carpet

Dish soap is designed to cut through grease and can be effective on oil stains.

  1. Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water.
  2. Apply the solution to the stain using a clean white cloth.
  3. Blot the area, working from the outside of the stain towards the centre.
  4. Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.

How to Remove Tea Stain from Carpet

Tea stains can leave unsightly marks on your carpet, but with prompt action and the right techniques, you can effectively remove them.

Baking Soda Paste

How to Remove Tea Stain from Carpet by baking soda

For stubborn tea stains, a baking soda paste can be effective.

  1. Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Vacuum the dried paste and rinse the area with clean water.
  4. Blot dry with a clean cloth.

How to Remove Chewing Gum from Carpet

Removing chewing gum from the carpet can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can effectively eliminate it without damaging your carpet fibres.

Freeze the Gum

The most effective method for removing gum from a carpet is to freeze it, making it easier to scrape off.

  1. Place a few ice cubes in a plastic bag.
  2. Apply the bag to the gum for about 15 minutes or until the gum hardens.
  3. Use a butter knife or spoon to scrape off the hardened gum.

How to Get Paint Off Carpet

Wet Paint Removal

If you’re dealing with wet paint, act quickly to prevent it from drying and setting into the carpet fibres.

  1. Blot the paint with a clean, damp cloth to remove as much as possible.
  2. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the paint and push it deeper into the carpet.
  3. Continue blotting until no more paint transfers to the cloth.

How to Remove Lipstick from Carpet

Lipstick stains on carpets can be particularly challenging due to their oily nature and vibrant pigments. However, with the right approach, you can effectively remove lipstick stains from your carpet.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

Rubbing alcohol can be effective in breaking down the oils in lipstick.

  1. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a clean white cloth.
  2. Dab the stain gently, working from the outside towards the centre.
  3. As the lipstick transfers to the cloth, use a clean section to avoid redepositing the stain.
  4. Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.

How to Remove Ink from Carpet

Ink stains on carpets can be particularly challenging to remove, but with the right techniques, you can effectively eliminate them without damaging your carpet fibres.

Water-Based Ink Removal

For water-based inks, try the following method:

  1. Blot the stain with a clean, damp cloth to remove as much ink as possible.
  2. Mix one tablespoon of dish soap with two cups of cold water.
  3. Apply the solution to the stain using a clean cloth.
  4. Blot the area gently, working from the outside of the stain towards the centre.
  5. Rinse with clean water and blot dry.

How to Clean Puke Out of Carpet

Cleaning vomit from the carpet can be a challenging and unpleasant task. It is important to act promptly to prevent odours and stains from becoming permanent. If you find it too difficult to clean on your own, consider hiring professional carpet cleaning services to effectively address the issue.

How to Clean Urine & Poop of Pets from Carpet

Clean Dog & Cat Pee

Dog and cat urine can leave stubborn stains and odours if not treated properly.

  1. Blot the area with a clean cloth to absorb as much urine as possible.
  2. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the solution generously over the affected area.
  4. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Blot the area with a clean, damp cloth.
  6. Sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it sit overnight.
  7. Vacuum thoroughly the next day.

Clean Dog & Cat Poop

Cleaning dog, and cat faeces from carpets requires careful handling to prevent the spread of bacteria.

  1. Use gloves and remove as much solid matter as possible.
  2. Blot the area with a mixture of dish soap and warm water.
  3. Apply an enzyme cleaner designed for pet waste.
  4. Allow it to sit for the recommended time.
  5. Blot with a clean, damp cloth.
  6. Sprinkle baking soda over the area and vacuum once dry.

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