No matter how much you vacuum, a carpet will never feel clean when it has a stain. Regular carpet maintenance and immediate spot cleaning is crucial for keeping those testy stains at bay. But how you approach a stain makes all the difference for successful removal. So start your carpet treatments on good footing with these tried-and-true solutions.
Identify whether it’s a spot or a stain
Yes, there is a difference. A spot simply indicates an additional substance, while a stain means the actually discoloration of the fiber (which proves trickier to remove). A wet spot can easily become a stain if left too long, so be sure to tackle any spills immediately to reduce damage. To fix small spots, quickly blot (not scrub) the spot to stop it spreading through the carpet weave. Then treat with the appropriate cleaning solution and run over with a vacuum to dry.
Choose the right cleaner
Whether it’s a spot or a stain, identifying the right cleaning solution proves essential. Eco-friendly hydrogen peroxide cleaners will fix most water-based spills like coffee or tea. For oil-based substances however, water-based hydrogen peroxide won’t work. Instead, try products formulated for removing grease like environmentally-safe d-limonene-based spotters. Enzyme-based cleaners will also work best for organic materials such as food.
Opt for water extraction for larger issues
For larger, older spills that have caused staining, consider using spot water extraction machines for full removal. This is especially true for deep stains, as surface treatments won’t remove spills that have seeped into the carpet fibers. The stain will soon reappear as the soil migrates up the pile. A spot extractor provides more thorough cleaning by spraying water and your selected cleaning solution deep into the carpet. Meanwhile the simultaneous vacuum suction can remove the soil and moisture more effectively.