Plain dirt is perhaps the most common thing to get in our
carpet, and fortunately removing it is usually not that difficult.
If large areas of carpeting are dirty and stained, just call
a professional cleaner. But if there are just some isolated spots,
you can take the following steps.
It is better to prevent than lament, so you might want to
do a few things to keep that dirt out of your carpeting in the
first place. Having rugs at all the entrances to your home is
a good idea, as is regular vacuuming. The surest way to prevent
dirt from staining the floors is to have a policy of removing
shoes in the house.
Now, if the dirty spot consists of mud it is usually better
to let it dry before cleaning. An exception to this is colorful
soils like red clay, which might create a more permanent stain
the longer they are in the fibers. But regular mud, when dry,
can be broken up by pinching it or gently scraping it with a
spoon, and you can vacuum up the pieces as you do this.
If the instructions here are not
enough to get those dirt stains out of the carpeting, check out
this video to see what a good steam cleaning professional can
Removing Dirt Stains
To do this on your own follow the steps here...
1. Use water to start. A spray bottle gives you more control,
so you can apply water carefully without spreading the stain.
Spray, let it soak in for a moment or two, and blot it up with
a clean white cotton cloth or plain white paper towels. Repeat
this process until you no longer see dirt transferring to the
2. Continue this process until you no longer see the dirt
coming out on the cotton cloth. In many cases this will be enough
to get the stain out, in which case you can skip ahead to step
six. If some or all of the stain is still there, move on to the
3. Mix about 1/8 teaspoon of Dawn or Joy dish washing detergent
into two cups of warm water. Apply this (that spray bottle works
well, otherwise be careful and use your fingertips) to the spot
and work it in very gently (no heavy rubbing or you might damage
the fibers). Blot the spot with a clean cloth or paper towels
and repeat the process until you see no more stain transfer on
4. If that was still not sufficient to get out all of the
dirt, you can try hydrogen peroxide. Use the 3% variety that
you can buy (usually in brown plastic bottles) in any supermarket
or drug store. Apply it to the stained fibers with cotton swabs
and let it sit for an hour. Then blot it up, rinse the area as
specified in step two, and continue with the last step below.
5. Rinse the area repeatedly with plain water, removing it
between applications using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner or by blotting
it up with a cloth.
6. Dry the spot quickly; blot up most moisture using plain
white paper towels. Keep pressing on the spot with them, and
replacing them, until you get little dampness transferring to
the towels. Then place a fan where it will blow on the spot.
Fast drying prevents any dirt that is lower down in the fibers
from migrating up to the top where it would be visible.
It the stains appear to be permanent, see the following page
for options: Permanent Stains