Carpet Tips From A Professional
Before you scroll down to the carpet stain removal tips, check out these tips that a professional carpet cleaner wanted to share with us: “Spot cleaning a carpet is good. It keeps the carpet looking good until you have time to call a professional to do the job. Remember, carpet manufactures recommend having your carpets professionally steam cleaned at least once a year. Twice if you soil them frequently. Cleaning your carpet too often can hurt your carpet and shorten it’s life-span. One of the problems that we come across is when homeowners clean their carpet themselves and leave behind a terrible residue in the carpet. This is especially true when using certain name brand carpet spot removers. These products leave a residue that
temporarily leaves the spot looking good and giving you a false sense of satisfaction for
a job well done. However, within a few weeks or even days, the spot is replaced with a
grayish-blackish spot the continues to collect more dirt as the spot has traffic over it.
When these spots are rinsed out, it leaves a residue that is worse than the original spot. One other item to note, keep in mind before you start spilling things on that stain - you may do more damage and end up costing yourself more money than if you just simply called a professional. I commend Barefoot Lass with the service that she offers and I would not want her to stop doing it! I just believe there are some things that should be left to people that have the professional knowledge and experience to handle the situation.” Thank you so much SW for your words of wisdom mr. carpet man!
Miele & Dyson Vacuum Cleaners from Vacuum-Direct.com
Remove Blood Stains
Blot with a white paper towel to remove as much of the blood stain that you can. Next, neutralize by spraying the stain with a solution of 1/2 cup cool water and 1 Tbsp. of clear ammonia. (do not wet backing!) Blot to remove excess moisture. (use a white paper towel for blotting) Then spray on a solution made with 1 qt. cool water and 1/4 tsp. of dish detergent. (not containing bleach or lanolin) Joy or Dawn are good. Blotting to work the solution into the area. Continue if you see the spot being removed. Now, use a spray bottle filled with cool water to rinse. Then apply a 'pad' of paper towels and place a brick or heavy book on top to absorb the moisture. If all of the stain does not come out, moisten the ends of the fabric with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Let stand for 1 hour. Blot and repeat until carpet is stain free. Repeat the brick to absorb moisture.
Candle Wax Removed From Carpet
Brandon sent this tip in but he says that the credit goes to Sandy from Scottsdae, AZ. First, remove as much of the wax as you can by hand after it has dried. You can try using a credit card or a plastic knife or spoon. Then place a piece of brown paper bag or a wet towel over the wax in the area you want to clean and go over it with a warm iron. (warm not hot! hot temperature will burn some carpets!)Keep the iron moving, and move the paper often. The heat from the iron melts the wax, and the brown paper wicks the wax OUT of the carpet. Repeat until it is gone. I have seen red wax completely removed from very light colored carpet this way and not trace of the wax remained. Thank you both for the great tip! Steve B. from Everett, WA writes; "In all of the remedies for wax removal it has been my experience that an iron with a Teflon base should be used to prevent the wax from wicking through the paper or cloth and sticking to the iron plate." Thanks for the wisdom Steve! Read this! Christopher a professional carpet technician from Sav. GA says; "If you really want to remove wax I wouldn't recommend a brown paper bag, there is too much risk involved. For best results simply wet a white clean cloth, squeeze out the water till the cloth is damp and place over the wax. Place a hot iron over the cloth. The steam will reach into the bottom of the carpet and melt then suck the hot wax into the cloth! Repeat if necessary." Thank you so much for setting us straight Chris!
Andrea Haston from Texas sent this super tip in; "Ivory bar soap is a miracle-worker! I have removed furniture polish, red wine, tomato sauce, and grape jelly stains from my carpet. Just scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse well." Thanks Andrea!
Water Soluble & Grease Stains
Mike from Apopka, Fl. writes; "This tip works for almost all water soluble or grease stains. Spray the area with an ammonia and water mix (50-50) that has a few drops of liquid soap added for increased "wetability". Do not allow the fluid to sit more than a few seconds and then use a shop vacuum that is rated for wet use (very important) and suck up the stain. Repeat until the stain is gone and then vacuum the area that was wet until it is almost dry. This sounds like it takes a long time but if the solution is left in a spray bottle and the vacuum is readily available, it only takes 5 minutes. The use of the vacuum is important as ALL of the normal spray "washes" that appear to remove the stain simply drive the stain deeper into the carpet where it can't be seen for a while. The above process mimics the professional carpet cleaner process and actually removes the stain." Wow... thanks for this super duper tip Mike!
Get some non-acetone nail polish remover that has no fragrance or color added. Next, take a white cloth or paper towel and dip in the remover. Now test on a hidden part of the carpet (corner of a closet or a remnant) by blotting on the carpet. If color transfers to the cloth or the fabric 'melts', contact a carpet care professional. If your carpet is color safe, apply the remover to a white cloth and blot (do not rub) the stained area. This may take some time. Just keep blotting until the stain is gone. If the stain remains, make a solution of 1 teaspoon of dish washing liquild and 1 quart of warm water. Apply with enough of the solution to cover the stain and let soak for 5 minutes. Blot the excess moisture and rinse with warm water. Blot thoroughly with a clean cloth. If the stain reappears after drying, repeat. Aimee Keely from Kansas writes; "This is truly a miracle! I have teal green carpets, and I spilled a deep, dark purple fingernail polish onto it! I used Cutex fingernail polish remover, and dabbed it until the polish was a dull-looking purple. Then I used "10 Seconds Shoe Cleaner" to get up the rest of the nail polish, and you wouldn't believe it! The nail polish isn't there anymore! I'm back to my pretty teal green carpet! Try it...you wont believe it!" Thanks so much Aimee! Janelle writes; "I spilled a dark red nail polish all over the carpet in my apartment. I tried so many different strategies and nothing was working. Until I read this tip and now it's all gone! You mix 1 Tbsp. of ammonia with 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide. Saturate the stain with the solution, then place plastic wrap over it. Cover the plastic wrap with heavy books and leave overnight. In the morning, voila! Rinse with water." Thanks a bunch Janelle! I will test this the next time I spill any nail polish and let you all know how it works for me.
Nail Polish and Ink
Patsy from Citrus Heights, CA writes; "I have used hair spray to remove ink or nail polish from carpets. Just spray the stained area and dab with a paper towel." Thanks Patsy!
Simple Yet Effective!
Bob and Ann sent this simple yet effective carpet stain remover tip; "We have found that if you use 1/2 hair shampoo, 1/2 water in a spray bottle it works wonders!! We put 1/2 shampoo, 1/2 water in a spray bottle, spray the stain, let it sit for a minute or two then scrub lightly with a rag or brush most stains we have encountered have come out! With 4 kids in the house we always have lots of shampoo and LOTS! of stains. Thought this may be some help to others. Funny thing is the husband figured this tip out!" Thanks to you both!
This tip was sent in by Sherry Fisher from Ohio; "The best carpet stain remover I've ever found is a product called "Spot Shot." Years ago I had a grease stain on new beige carpeting. I tried everything for a year and finally gave up and bought a throw rug to cover it up. I happened to find this product and tried it. I couldn't believe it, after all that time, it came up beautifully. I even wrote the company about it and they sent me a huge supply of their products! I bought my 'Spot Shot' at Kmart." Thanks bunches Sherry, I can't wait to try it!
Anne Bass from Tacoma Washington, writes; "I was told years ago by a carpet cleaner to use peanut-butter to take gum out of the carpet. Once he showed me, I was a believer. Just put a spoon of peanut-butter on the gum. Use the spoon to mix it into the gum and then let it sit for just a couple minutes. Then rub with the spoon to loosen it. Take a wet rag and wipe it up in sort of a picking motion. Next take a rag and wash the spot. This really works!" Thanks Anne! This next tip was sent in anonymously; "This is a tip for removing ground on gum from carpet. Soak with WD-40 and rub with a cloth. This may take a couple of applications depending on how much gum. The WD-40 breaks down the gum somehow. The first time I tried it I was amazed. I had been trying to remove the gum for 6 months and it took me 10 minutes with the WD-40!" Thanks for the super Tip! Angela from Kentucky writes; "I clean rental property and do the carpets too. They used to replace carpet that had gum and wax on them. I tried the peanut butter and it left a stain, but did get out the gum. One day I was trying to get a job done kinda quick because I had another one to do and I wondered if lighter fluid would work to dissolve it. To make a long story short, it got the gum out in just seconds and dissolved the wax with-in a minute. So I found out something new to get the job done faster!" Thanks for sharing Angela!
Heidi from Ernest, PA writes; "To get mud out of the carpet, use shaving cream. Let it sit for a couple minutes, then blot it up. Works like a charm." Thanks Heidi! Make sure you use the white foamy shave cream, and... it does work like a charm!
"Foote" from California sent in this great stain remover tip: "Pastel chalk stains are really tough to get out. My tip to get out pastel chalk stains from your carpet is to use Neutrogena Shampoo. Works like a charm!" Thanks Foote!
For more proof that Ivory soap works like a charm check this one out! B.H. from York Alabama writes; "My daughter had put red lipstick all over my white carpet. I took a bar of Ivory soap and warm water on a washcloth and rubbed the spot. It surprised me but, it was gone!" Thanks B.H.! Here is another tip from Joyce from Rochester, NY, "I realized that lipstick has petroleum jelly in it, so I rubbed some Vaseline into the lipstick stain on my carpet and it disappeared. Just rub the petroleum jelly into the stain well with your fingers. Then scrape the jelly up with a paint scraper or butter knife. Then use Dawn dish soap and warm water to clean up the rest of what is left behind. You may have to repeat the Vaseline step, depending on how much lipstick is in the carpet." Thanks Joyce!
Super Stain Remover!
Peg Weedon from Olympia, WA says that this is the best carpet tip; "I have found that using my husband's shaving lotion works wonders for carpet stains." Thanks Peg, I use this one myself and it is super for spots! Remember to use the white foamy kind of shave cream though, it seems to work the best.
Jenny from Bristol, UK sent in this great tar remover tip; "To remove spots of tar from carpets, spray WD40 on to some paper towel then blot the tar spot using a clean patch of towel each time (don't rub)- it seems to dissolve the tar." Thanks Jenny! Here is another tar remover tip from Sharon; "I've successfully used baking soda and Mr. Clean to remove tar from my carpet and vinyl floor. It really works!" Thanks Sharon! Barbara Crowther writes; "I have always found that eucalyptus oil is the best thing for removing tar or black oil. It works great on clothes, carpets, shoes, and clears the nose too!" Thanks Barbara!
Coffee, Tea, And More!
Trish from Halifax, England was kind enough to share this carpet stain tip with us! "To remove tea, coffee or red wine stains from your carpet, pour soda water over the stain then blot dry, repeat until stain has gone." Thanks Trish!
Sonny from Jacksonville, Fla. sent this tip in; "Household Ammonia Is great for removing carpet stains. I just spray it on the stain and wipe with a clean cloth." Thanks Sonny! Patricia Wright from San Deigo, California writes; "I am contacting you with a suggestion that a warning be added to the "clean carpets with ammonia" tip. Although the ammonia works wonders, if the spot is in a location where it receives direct sunlight the heat from the sun reacts with the ammonia to make bleach. The spot will fade immediately and then become a bleached out reminder of the original sin. Just thought you might like to add the caveat." Thanks Patricia! UPDATE: Marty and Tina write; "About the comment of ammonia changing into bleach with sun light. WRONG. The chemical compound ammonia is NH3, .the chemical compound bleach is NaOCl. It is not possible for ammonia to turn to bleach. Ammonia has worked just fine for years with me, no problem! Hope this helps." Thanks for setting us straight!
Terri Wright from Centreville, MD writes; "For urine stains from pets I found that straight rubbing alcohol poured on after soaking up will take out any pet odor because it kills the bacteria that forms in the carpet after it is left to dry. Also the best for soaking up any liquid is a disposable baby diaper with something of weight on top. They are very absorbent." Thanks a bunch Terri! Here is another tip sent in by J. Lass from Kitchener, Ontario; "To remove an accident your pet has left on your carpet, just cover with baking soda and let sit. The soda will draw the mess right out. Let dry and vacuum." Thanks J. Lass! (Love your name!) Also, here is my tip for pet accidents; "Sprinkle white vinegar over fresh doggie accidents on carpets. Wait a few minutes then sponge from the center out. Blot up with a dry cloth. Repeat for stubborn stains."
Kitty & Doggy Puke!
Jeanette from Colorado Springs, Colorado writes: "This is a GREAT tip for removing kitty vomit. After blotting up most of the mess with paper towel or rag, sprinkle salt on the area and cover with damp cloth large enough to cover. Leave on for several hours and the stain will be gone. This works especially well with the yellow bile that often comes with vomit. My dog had an accident on my brand new plush carpet. I was sick about it but very relieved when this worked so well. I tell everyone about it." Thanks for sharing Jeanette! Old Man Coyote from the mountains of central Arizona writes; "My wife and I have a cat with a sensitive stomach who's always vomiting his food on our light-colored berber carpet. We've been using OxyClean to get the stains out." Thanks Old Man Coyote! You are a life saver!
E.H. of King of Prussia, PA sent in this one; "For carpet cleanups, try mixing a cup of white vinegar, one quart of water and clear laundry detergent in a widemouth jar. Shake when needed and sponge the foam on the carpet. Blot dry." Thanks for this dandy tip E.H.!
Economical Carpet Cleaning Tip
Brenda from Beaver Falls, PA wanted to share this simple yet effective carpet cleaning tip with us; "I found out that liquid tide laundry detergent does a much better job on my carpet than the pro's did. Plus it is a lot cheaper!" Thanks loads Brenda!
Colleen from MD sent in this one; "Windex removes most all stains from carpet, be sure to rinse well though!" Thanks for taking the time to send in this great tip Colleen! Eric Hayes from San Antonio, Tx. writes; "WARNING: Windex contains ammonia. This could again potentially cause bleaching in some carpets." Thanks Eric! Don't forget to test any carpet cleaners
on a hidden part of your carpet before you begin!
Fresh Carpet Stains
For fresh stains, use plain club soda. It is an instant spot remover and is the greatest! Pour a bit right on the spot and let it set for a few seconds. Then blot with a sponge.
Older Carpet Stains
Mix together two tablespoons of detergent, three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of warm water. Work into the stain and blot dry.
Make a sudsy solution of Tide laundry detergent (has to be Tide!) and warm water. Brush the suds into the stain vertically and horizontally with a soft brush. Blot up the excess. Repeat until the stain is gone. This works nine times out of ten!
Spray spot liberally with a pre-wash commercial spray. Let it set a few minutes, then hose down and watch the spots disappear!
Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch on your carpet and let it sit for an hour or so. Then vacuum. You will be suprised at the wonderful results! Mae wanted to share this with us; " I did the carpet brightening tip and got quite a few shocks as my carpet sweeper got clogged up from the corn starch, and it blew all over the walls, and everything else. So I think you should not put a generous amount on the carpet, but a sparse amount, and warn that the vacuum cleaner should be empty before doing this, be careful of electric shocks. Ouch. Hey the carpet looks great, so what's a few shocks between friends! Just thought I would let you know though." Thanks for filling us in Mae! We will definitely go easy on the corn starch and empty the vacuum bag before we begin!
Remove some carpet fibers from a hidden spot. Like in the corner of a closet. Or remove some fuzz by shaving or pulling out with a tweezer. Roll into the shape of the burn. Apply a good cement glue to the burnt spot of the rug and press the fuzz or fibers that you tweezed down into spot. Cover with a piece of paper and place a heavy book on top. Let dry for a few hours.
Michelle from Cape Cod sent this one in. She has two kids and a cat and is always looking for ingenious and non-toxic tips. Here's her tip; "Baby wipes are also great for getting fresh spills off carpets before they have time to set." Thanks Michelle!
Grapes, Pets n' Food!
Story Waggoner from Orlando, Florida sent in this great carpet stain removal tip; "My stain removal trick is to use Dawn Dishwashing Liquid to remove grape substances, pet messes and food stains... works like a charm!" Thanks a bunch Story!
Freshen Up Your Carpets
Darrel of CA writes; "I have a great tip here for freshening your carpet. Use any brand of Laundry Detergent powder (except varieties with bleach!) on your carpet instead of or in place of your Carpet freshener such as carpet fresh brand or others. This secret also cleans your carpet and adds a wonderful scent that is long lasting. Use sparingly though, as it tends to clog the vacuum if you use too much. Don't use laundry detergent with bleach however it could fade the colors or damage." Thanks loads Darrel! I sprinkled the laundry detergent sparingly and vacuumed it right up. Instant wonderfully fresh smelling carpet! Patty Sadler from Lowland, NC sent in this wonderful tip to freshen up your carpets; "A quick fix for freshening up carpets is to add a lid full of fabric softener to your carpet cleaning water!" Thanks Patty!
Gwen Roscoe from Illinois writes; I recently spilled red crystal light on my carpet and tried a couple different carpet stain removals and nothing worked. Then I got this tip from a friend. First take a wet white cloth and place it on top of the stain. Then place a warm iron (on a low setting) on top of the white cloth. Leave on the stain for 15 minutes. Repeat until the stain is gone. I now have my beige carpet back again, stain free! This works on Koolaid as well." Thanks for the fantastic tip Gwen! Holly from Batesville, IN writes; "Just thought I would share that if the kids spill red juice or Kool-Aid on the carpet, pour table salt on the wet area and watch it bring the stain right up. Vacuum the salt and repeat until all is gone." Thanks Holly!
Lindsey from Oklahoma City, OK writes; "Paint thinner or mineral spirits will get any grease stain out of carpet, etc., even if it's been washed. Saved my car carpet from being completely ruined!" Thanks a bunch Lindsey! Michelle Ellis from Lithia Springs, Georgia writes; "One year my husband got a wild hair up his butt to clean motorcycle carburetors in the living room on the carpet (smart one huh?) and got grease spots everywhere! A friend of mine showed me how to get it out by dipping a tooth brush in Pine-Sol and scrubing... it dissolved it!" Thanks for sharing Michelle!
Easy "No Brainer" Stain Removal!
Ted the carpet guy from Roselle, New Jersey writes; "Here is one of the easiest "no brainer" solutions for removing spots. The first question I ask the grief-stricken customer with a spot problem is, "do you own a wet-dry shop vac?" This is a nifty tool that changes all the rules. If you can suck up water with a shop vac, the approach to cleaning up spills can be much more aggressive and much more effective. Detergents can be used because they can be removed. As a crowning glory, a shop vac that sucks up water can also be used (by reversing the hose assembly) to blow warm air over the clean-up area and quickly dry the carpet. I tell all of my pet-owning customers that a shop vac is a better investment in carpet care than a date with the carpet cleaner." Thanks Ted, you are a real gem!
Acrylic Paint Stains
Diane from Danville, Illinois writes; "My dog had gotten into red acrylic paint and left a dried, red stain on a cream carpet. After reading the hints for acrylic paint and for carpet stains, I decided to use the acrylic brush cleaner solution from my craft painting materials (It has an EZ AIR trademark and is manufactured by DCL Industries, LTD., is non-toxic, bio-degradable with no harmful solvents or fumes). I mixed it half and half with water and dabbed it on the stain with paper towel. Then kept dabbing with new sections of towel as I saw in some of your hints. I rinsed well with water to minimize any discoloring or bleaching of the carpet and it worked wonderfully. I was so surprised and relieved that it worked and I have to give some credit to your many hints that then helped me come up with a new solution. Thanks so much for the great ideas." Thank you Diane for the great tip!!
Old Carpet Stains
David Knudsen from Callicoon, NY writes; "I tried everything to get out some old stains on one of my carpets, to no avail. Then I tried the "Older Carpet Stain" tip of Tide, Vinegar and Warm Water. Voila! The stains came right up. The carpet doesn't look new, but it sure looks a heck of a lot better. Just one thing to add to that tip. I tried it with both regular liquid Tide, and liquid Tide HE. Tide HE is a low-sudsing detergent for front loading washing machines. It worked better with Tide HE, there isn't any foaming or excess suds on the carpet." Thanks for the super tip Dave!
Barb from Alberta, Canada writes; "To remove the dents that heavy furniture make in your carpets, place an ice cube in each one and just let it melt, it raises the pile back up. I've used it many times and it has always worked for me. There is only one problem that I have found... keeping my dog from taking the ice cubes. He loves them!" Thanks so much for sharing Barb!
To stop the static shock in rooms with wall to wall carpeting, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of one part liquid fabic softener and five parts water, then lightly mist the carpet.
I have many more great carpet tips to add. Please come back soon to see what's new! In the mean time, check out some of my other interesting and helpful pages below. And, please, oh please sign my guestbook!