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Carpet Stain Removers

Carpet Stain Removers

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Of all the carpet stain products that are available, water is the one to try first. Virtually all others have the potential to damage your carpet (water will generally only hurt if it is not dried up and so allows mildew to grow). Many cleaning products are caustic, like bleach, and will remove the dye from the carpet if not used properly. They generally don't become inert, so they continue to damage your carpet over time if they are not rinsed out completely. So try water first.

When Water Isn't Enough

Many of the commercial carpet stain removers work well, but some are designed for particular types of stains. Read the label carefully.

Also, some will work better or worse on a particular type of carpet. Read the label for warning about use on any particular carpeting (wool is easily damaged by some products), and pretest the product in an inconspicuous area. To do do this, apply several drops of the solvent to your carpet, then press a white cotton cloth on the area for fifteen seconds. Examine the cloth to see if there is color transfer from the carpet, and examine the carpet for color changes or other damage. If there is any color transfer or damage at all, try a different stain remover.

To treat a spill or carpet stain, apply the cleaning agent to a white cotton cloth and work it into the spot gently. Work from the outside towards the center, so you don't spread the spot, and don't rub too hard. Blot the stain after a few minutes, then reapply the solvent. A shop-vac, if you have one, works better than blotting. Continue in this way until you no longer get a transfer of the stain to the cloth. If this doesn't remove all of the spot, other carpet stain removers can be tried.

Once you have removed as much of the stain as possible, rinse the area with cold water. Blot up the water or use your shop-vac. Repeat, until you are sure all of the stain remover is out. You can use a stack of plain white paper towels with a weight on them to soak up the last of the water. Also, a fan will help speed up the drying time. Fast drying prevents any remaining stain that is deep down in the carpet from wicking up to the surface.

Dawn dish washing detergent (a few drops in a cup of water) makes a decent carpet stain remover. It works especially well on greasy stains (maybe a teaspoonful to a cup of water). Use the original blue Dawn, and follow the process outlined above.

For a better idea of what to use on specific stains, see the list on the Homepage.

When to Avoid Water

Water can make matters worse with some types of glue spills. For more on how to get these out, see the page How to Get Glue Out of Carpet.

How To Remove Carpet Stains | Using Carpet Stain Removers