Carpet Clean-Up: Stain Removing Secrets

Carpet Stain
Posted at 5:45 AM, Jun 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-30 05:28:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- Have you ever tried to clean coffee out of your carpet? Or wine? It's no easy task. Is this something you need to leave to the professionals -- or do home remedies really work? We find out in this Angie's List report.

Different spots may require different cleaning methods, but no matter the spill -- there's no time to waste.

"If you discover a stain on your carpet, you want to act quickly, but don't be too hasty. You want to make sure you're using the right tools. Use a dry, clean cloth and blot – don't rub – the stain, otherwise, it might lead to a lasting stain," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

Blood can be one of the trickiest things to get out.

"If the blood has coagulated and started to clump, you'll want to take a spoon or a very dull-type instrument – a butter knife, something of that nature – and remove it first, and then start to blot it out with a soap-and-water solution," said professional carpet cleaner Mike Swinson.

Use cold water for blood stains, but for just about everything else, try a cup of warm water mixed with a quarter-cup of dishwashing liquid.

Red wine can be one of the toughest spills, but there is a solution.

"So what you need to do is first, blot the spot where the red wine has been spilled, and then, if you actually sprinkle some white wine on top of the red wine, you'll improve your chances of getting that spot out," said Hicks.

But  for deep stains that seep through to the padding, blotting and cleaning will only do so much.

"Obviously, you won't be able to get all of it that way. The best way to do it is to use an extractor of some sort. A little, small hand extractor can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars in carpet cleaning," said Swinson.

You can find a small, portable spot lifter for under $100; a more powerful extractor could run several hundred depending on the suction power and recovery tank capacity. Leave it to the pros when it comes to ink, bleach or Kool-aid. Those all make the "tough stain" list and you can damage your carpet if you aren't careful. Also, try any home remedies in an inconspicuous spot before attempting to clean something in a highly visible area.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.