If you have ever had to deal with a tough carpet stain or carpet that just will not come clean, than learning a few time tested rug and carpet cleaning techniques may be your next step. There most certainly are occasions where a professional cleaning may be in order, but often a more economical option is available. The first tip for carpet stain removal is to treat the stain as quickly as possible. This may or may not involve trying to remove the stain. Sometimes it is best to allow substances to completely dry before treating. Dirt tracked in from the outside, for instance, is often most readily removed by vacuuming the area once the dirt is dry. Blotting the area with a damp cloth can then take care of any smaller particles left in the carpet fibers.
When treating wet stains, time really is of the essence. Many substances, like wine or spills containing dye, can quickly discolor a carpet. Most carpets have been treated for at least some level of stain resistance, but most often water dissolution is the first and best option when dealing with stains. Dissolving the liquid from the spill followed by gentle blotting to remove any excess is usually a good first step. Always try to work the stain from the outside toward the center using a blotting motion as opposed to rubbing or scrubbing. A harsh carpet cleaning can potentially damage the fibers and result in the need for costly repair or replacement.
If water alone does not remove the stain, try a small amount of a mild dish washing liquid. The solution should be gently worked into the fibers followed by rinsing the area with warm water. Remember to rinse and dry completely. Soap residue will invariably attract and trap dirt making the stained area even more noticeable. Once rinsed thoroughly, blot the area with a clean towel or dry cloth. For stubborn stains, a solution of 2 tbs. of ammonia to 1 cup of warm water will often break down the elements causing the discoloration. Once applied, diluted vinegar can be used to neutralize the ammonia. If these household remedies do not adequately deal with the stain, than a commercial stain removal product should be applied. Use caution however, as these products when used incorrectly can sometimes discolor or permanently damage carpet fibers. It is usually a good idea to test a carpetcleaningproduct in a less noticeable area before pouring or spraying a cleaner directly on the stain.
Sometimes the best solution is simply to call your local carpet cleaner. Steam cleaning or hot water extraction is the method most commonly used by professional carpet cleaners. If you currently need help finding one in your area, there is a link to a detailed directory listed below.