1. The basics of stain removal
As a general rule, the faster you start the cleaning process the easier it’ll be to remove a stain. In some cases, acting quickly could even stop the carpet from being stained at all.
The actions you should take depend on the type of accident. For liquid stains, blot up as much as possible with a damp cloth (ideally a white one to avoid risking the colour seeping into the carpet.) It can take a few minutes to soak up all the fluid, so don’t rush this process.
If the accident contains solid debris, such as food, then before blotting you should remove as much as possible with a spoon. Avoid pushing down on the material, as this will cause it to become more embedded into the fibres.
Once you’ve removed as much of the offending material as possible, you can then move onto using a stain-remover or other method. Always check that the stain remover is suitable for your carpet material, then test on a hidden area before applying it to a larger patch.
2. Use enzymatic stain removers for dog accidents
Even housetrained dogs can have the occasional accident – particularly if they are unwell, stressed, or entering old age. Unfortunately, urine stains can be difficult to remove, and if not cleaned correctly may encourage the dog to toilet in the same place.
That’s why enzymatic carpet cleaners are an essential purchase for any pet owner. These cleaners contain harmless bacteria and enzymes that “eats” the compounds that cause odours. This makes them brilliant for eliminating odors and removing stains.
As the foul-smelling compounds no longer exist, this type of cleaner also makes it less likely that your dog will urinate in the same place.
Tip: It’s also important to blot up as much of the accident as possible when you notice it. Once dried, the stain will be much harder to remove.
3. Vinegar can remove coffee and tea stains
White vinegar is surprisingly effective at removing a variety of stains. There are many cleaning formulas that use vinegar, but one of the most effective is for tea and coffee stains.
Try mixing ½ cup of white vinegar with ½ cup of water. Use this mixture to blot or spray the stain, then allow it to sit for around 10 minutes. Once the stain has gone, gently rinse the area using a wet sponge, then dry with a soft cloth.
Keep in mind that some carpets and upholstery shouldn’t be cleaned with water-based cleaners. Always check the manufacturers guidelines, or test on a small patch of hidden material.
On a side note, you should never use vinegar to clean hardwood floors. Vinegar can dissolve the protective finish and may even void the warranty.
Tip: Never pour a DIY carpet cleaner onto carpets. For synthetic carpets you can blot the stain, while it’s safer to use a spray bottle for natural-fibre carpets.