Knowing how to remove old stains from carpeting can be important for those who want to get their carpets in tiptop shape. While it is always better to clean the carpet when something spills before it leaves a stain, sometimes this is not always possible.
Although the word "stain" suggests that the mark is permanent, it is possible to remove set stains in some cases by learning how to remove old stains from carpets. In other cases, even when it is not possible to restore your carpet to its full glory, you can still improve the carpet's appearance by taking some steps to remove set-in dirt and stains.
How to Remove Old Stains From Carpeting
Simple solvents and solutions can do a great cleaning job and can provide a simple answer to the question of how to remove old stains from carpets. For example, a bottle of hydrogen peroxide which costs under $1 may be the solution for your problem.
Simply place the hydrogen peroxide on a spray bottle. Spray it on the old stain. Saturate the stain if you must to loosen up the stain's particles. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. You will need a little bit of elbow grease now. Use a stiff brush to work on the stain to help it loosen up some more. Then use a steam vac to suck up the peroxide mixture from the carpet. You may also use towels and cloths to absorb the peroxide. Your carpet should hopefully look clean and stain-free.
Club soda is another popular cleaning agent. While best used on fresh stains, it can also be used to effectively get rid of set in dirt and even blood stains. Simply spray club soda on the stain and leave it for a few minutes. Work it with a brush or steam vac to remove stain.
You may also want to sprinkle some salt over the stain after applying either club soda or hydrogen peroxide, since salt draws the moisture out of anything and can help draw in the club soda or hydrogen peroxide along with the stain itself. Results will vary depending on the type of carpet and its fibers. Carpets with natural fibers are much harder to clean.
If the ready-made products don't work, you can also try making your own cleaning solution at home. Mix ¼ tsp of liquid dish washing soap with 1 cup warm water. Do not use detergents that have bleach in them. Spray the soap solution on the stain. Extract the stain using your steam vac or shop vac, towels, or any piece of cloth. Rinse the stain with warm water and repeat the process until the stain is removed. This works especially well with old pet stains.
Another homemade solvent consists of a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of ammonia. Apply, extract, and repeat. Alternatively, you can try mixing a cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of water and applying using the same procedure.
Tips for Using Solvents
When cleaning new or old stains using solvents, work from the outside of the stain towards its center. This prevents you from spreading the stain and doing more damage to the carpet. The process should involve applying the solvent, blotting it with a cloth, rinsing, extracting the solvent, and repeating the procedure until the stain is completely removed. Always make sure that you do not leave any solvent residues behind and let the carpet dry as soon as you are done cleaning. If the stain has reached deeper into the carpet, dry it quickly with a fan to prevent any leftover stain from working its way up to the carpet's surface.
One of the most common types of set or old stains comes from red wine spills. A common trick to remove red wine stain is, believe it or not, applying white wine. The white wine will recreate the initial occurrence of the stain, making the red stain easier to remove.When using white wine, like any other solvent, always remember the drill: apply, extract, and repeat. You may also include a spot cleaner to aid in the process. Finally, as always rinse the carpet well and let it dry out completely.
Carpet Cleaning Tools
A steam vac or a shop vac is a very useful tool when removing carpet stains since it does most of the work for you. A wet or dry vacuum will easily help you extract spills and are also capable of repeatedly flushing the stain with cleaning solution until it disappears. This can be much better than you kneeling on the ground to brush off the stain.
While home remedies will work to remove most old carpet stains, sometimes a stubborn stain simply will not budge. If you are stuck on how to remove old stains from carpeting, you could always hire a professional carpet cleaning service, especially those with hot water extraction systems, to help you.