Spills happen in most households and if you have carpet, along with pets or toddlers it is highly likely that you will eventually get a spill of something on the carpet. Even adults can spill things such as wine or coffee. It only takes a moment of inattention and the deed it done. It is what happens afterwards that is important. Treating the spill properly will hopefully remove the stain. Simply blotting it will only remove moisture and leave the stain there, so when it is time to move and then when the removalists are gone you will be left with very hard to remove stains.
To treat a stain on the carpet it is important to know what caused the stain and what type of carpet you have. The first is usually easier to identify than the second, especially if you are renting. However, no matter what type of carpet you have, it is important to mop up that spill as soon as possible. Mopping it up properly will prevent it from spreading and may even stop it from penetrating to the underfelt.
How to remove the moisture
First up, blot the stain with paper towelling or a white towel. Do not scrub or rub the area as this will damage the carpet fibres and spread the stain. Even when blotting, surround the edges of the spill with the paper towel and press towards the centre to keep it contained. Continue to press with clean sheets of paper until most the moisture has come out. There will still be a stain, especially if what spilled has deep colour, like wine or coffee.
Removing the stain
Most stains can be removed by diluting the colour. To do this you need to blot with a clean white towel that is moist, or spray the spot with a solution of cleanser, then continue to blot with the dry towel. This will very likely need to be done several times. Remember; don’t scrub or wipe at the stain, blot only.
There are many products on the market that are good for getting stains out of carpets. If you don’t have one in the cupboard ready, you may be able to try some home remedies. However, remember to first try them out in a place that is inconspicuous, just in case they take the colour out. And avoid bleach, which is likely to leave a white spot where the stain was.
A simple home remedy for removing carpet stains
One of the simplest home remedies for carpet stain removal is ¼ cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dish detergent and warm water to fill the spray bottle. Spritz the stain lightly and blot in from the edges. Repeat the process and once the stain is removed, do it again with plain water.
Vacuum or blot?
If you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner you can use it to help dry the carpet. Otherwise, stick to blotting it with a succession of dry towelling, paper or otherwise. Only use white cloth towelling so that no colour can leach into the carpet from it. This can remove stains from wine, coffee, pet urine and coloured soft drinks, so long as they are fresh.
What about blood?
When treating bloodstains always use cold water. Warm or hot will cause the blood to coagulate and adhere to the carpet fibres, making it much more difficult to remove. Laundry detergent that oxygenates is good for bloodstains. Use the spray and blot method as above. If this does not work, you may need to call in a professional carpet cleaner.