Stubborn stains are a universal problem everyone has to deal with at one time or another. Stain removal products are a 19.7 billion dollar industry worldwide, showing just how far people will go to get stains out of their carpets and upholstery.
You can find yourself dealing with all kinds of stains, from spills, pets, flooding, fire, and other causes. If you find yourself dealing with stains that just won’t go away, try these seven tips:
1. Avoid Scrubbing
When dealing with carpet or upholstery stains, one of the most important things to remember is to avoid actually scrubbing the area. This only pushes stains deeper and could make any damage permanent.
Instead, you should blot the stain. Press a cloth against the stain without any side-to-side scrubbing motion. This lets the cloth absorb any liquid instead of pressing it deeper into the carpet or upholstery fibers.
Make sure to use a white cloth while cleaning stains. You don’t want to find dye from a cloth leaching into the carpet and making the mess even worse.
2. Understand the Type of Stain
Not all stains are created equal. That’s why you need to have a solid understanding of the specific stain you’re dealing with if you want to make any real progress.
The most important distinction is between water-soluble and non-water-soluble stains. Depending on the specific substance responsible for the stain, water may or may not be able to remove it effectively.
Mud, most drinks, and other types of stains dissolve easily in water. However, some stains don’t. For example, stains from coffee, wine, and other sources won’t dissolve easily in water as you try to clean them.
3. Try Dish Soap
Dish soap is one of the first things you should try for most stains around your home. It’s particularly effective at removing non-water-soluble stains, as it’s designed to take hold of grease and other compounds so they can be removed from dishes.
You’ll only need a few drops in a cup of water to get started. Soak some of the water into a towel and blot at the stain. It’s best to avoid pouring this solution onto the area, as the water could soak through the carpet entirely to the floor below.
Allow the water and dish soap to sit for a few minutes, and then use a clean towel to blot the stain again. Ideally, this should be enough to remove any stain you’ll find around your house.
4. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
You can move on to baking soda and vinegar if you have a stubborn stain that doesn’t respond to dish soap. These two simple household ingredients can provide powerful cleaning that can make quick work of even deep stains.
Sprinkle some baking soda onto the stain, and then mix a cup of white vinegar together with a cup of water. Pour that solution into a spray bottle and spray it on the affected area. You’ll see the baking soda and vinegar start to foam as they react together.
Leave the area for a few hours to let it fully set in. Then, blot the area with a towel. You can reapply the solution again if the area has dried out.
5. Rent a Carpet Cleaner
Carpet cleaning equipment can be rented from various establishments for thorough cleaning. This equipment uses a mixture of water and detergent to penetrate the carpet and vacuum the water back out.
While running the equipment can require a bit of elbow grease, you can use a rented carpet cleaner to tackle your carpet in general and tough spots in particular.
6. Leave It to the Professionals
In many cases, simply reaching out to professional cleaners is the most straightforward way to deal with tough stains. Professional cleaners have a wide range of tools at their disposal to tackle specific types of stains.
Professional cleaners can even take care of serious damage from flooding or fires. When you are faced with a serious mess, it’s best to let professionals with the skills, experience, and tools for the job handle it.