Dealing with carpet stains can be tough, and it becomes even more difficult when you're trying to avoid using harsh chemicals in your home. Many commercial carpet cleaners that you can buy at the store are dangerous to small children and pets, and they can aggravate allergies or breathing problems like asthma. What's more, they're expensive. Luckily, there are some green, safe, and affordable methods that you can try at home to get stains out of your carpet. Take a look at a few helpful strategies for DIY spot cleaning.
Begin With the Basics
Before you attempt any fancy tricks to clean the stains out of your carpet, give good old soap and water a try. You might be surprised how effective a little bit of mild liquid soap and water can be. The trick is in how you apply the soap and water. Most people make the mistake of rubbing it into their carpets, but that only serves to push the stain deeper into the carpet fibers.
A better techniques is to apply a small amount of liquid dish soap mixed with water to the stain, then blot it by pressing a clean white towel into the wet spot. Lift the towel, and repeat the process until the stain is removed. Do not scrub or rub with the towel. You'll need to have a little patience for this method to work, and you may need to repeat it multiple times, but you can lift most carpet stains this way. Once the spot is lifted, mix a few spoonfuls of vinegar with water and use the mixture to rinse the stained area.
Use Household Ingredients for Tough Stains
Some stains are more stubborn than others. But for most stubborn stains, there is also an ingredient that works well to remove them. You can gently and easily remove the majority of common household stains with ingredients that you already have in your kitchen.
Did you spill a glass of red wine? Break out the club soda. Wet the stain with the club soda and then blot to remove the wine. If you accidentally drip candle wax onto your carpet, or if your kids missed the trashcan with their gum, the answer is in your freezer – use ice to harden the gum or wax, and then it can easily be scraped off. Grease tracked in from the garage? Sprinkle the stain with baking soda or cornstarch, then let it sit overnight. Vacuum up the powder and apply a mix of vinegar and water to the stain, then blot with a towel until the stain is completely removed.
The Last Resort
For an especially stubborn stain, or an old stain that has had a long time to set in, you may have to break out the big guns: rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Use these with care, because they may bleach your carpet. It's best to test them out on a small, hidden spot of the carpet first.
Use the rubbing alcohol or peroxide just the way you would use a soap and water or vinegar and water mixture. Apply a small amount, blot with a clean towel, and repeat until the stain is lifted.
When spot treatment isn't enough and your whole carpet needs attention, consider using a carpet cleaning service that specializes in green cleaning methods. That way, you'll still have a clean carpet and avoid the use of unsafe chemicals, but your carpet will get the professional attention that it needs. To learn more, visit Aesthetic Flooring & Hard Surfaces.