Pet accidents. Wine spills. Splashed beer. Dropped fruit juice. Dropped coffee. Nail polish. Our carpet cleaner once had to respond to a desperate homeowner who spilled paint on her brand new area rug. There are a lot of “oops!” that can lead to a carpet stain, and a few key tips that can make that stain a distant memory.
Don’t assume that a cleaner made with household ingredients or a common cleaner from the store is going to take out the spot without damaging your carpet. Always find a spot in a closet or under a major piece of furniture where you can test the cleaning solution to make sure it doesn’t discolor or damage the carpet.
Time is of the essence when it comes to carpet stains. Don’t wait to go after the stain. As soon as you see there is a spot on the floor, organize your cleaners and rag and go after that nasty stain.
Remove the cause
Before you spray any cleaner, wipe up any fluid (pet urine, beer, fruit juice, etc.). Absorb the fluid from the carpet with a paper towel or rag. If there is a lot of moisture, use a wet/dry vac to clean up the fluid.
Be careful what cleaner you use
Any cleaner—even a household solution—can damage your carpet and have another unforeseen impact: void the warranty. When your carpet is new(er), use an approved cleaner specified by your carpet manufacturer (if you don’t know what cleaners are approved, contact your local flooring store).
Blot, don’t scrub
As tempting as it might be to scrub as hard as possible, don’t use too much elbow grease to clean the stain. Scrubbing can damage the carpet fibers; instead, apply the cleaner and blot at the stain until the carpet is clean. If the source of the stain is pet urine, spray the stain with a mixture of two tablespoons of white vinegar and one quart of water to eliminate the odor.
Use a deep clean if all else doesn’t work
If you still can’t get the stain out, contact a carpet cleaner with professional equipment and expertise that can take care of the carpet stain. A professional deep cleaning service may be able to take care of the problem, so don’t hesitate to call them as soon as you can after your “oops!” occurred.