Even with the best intentions of trying to keep your new carpet clean, there will come a time when an unfortunate spill, a pet’s little accident or a child’s mucky finger marks may stain your carpet. It can be easy to panic when a stain happens, and whilst it is important to act swiftly so the stain does not set in, it is crucial to use the right cleaning method.

Different types of stains require different systems of stain removal, so knowing how to clean up a particular type of stain is vital. There are basically three different ways you can remove unwanted stains from your carpet.

Method A

Blot the carpet with clean absorbent material. This will remove any excess liquid. The stained area then needs to be sponged gently with a mixture of half a pint of warm (not hot) water combined with a teaspoon of detergent for woollens. Alternatively, carpet shampoo can be used, in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Never rub or scrub the area, as this can damage carpet fibres and encourage the stain to set. Rinse with clean warm water and blot the area thoroughly. Brush the pile to its natural direction. Use several sheets of white absorbent kitchen roll and place on the damp area. Put a heavy object on top of the sheets to weigh them down. This will help to dry the patch and soak up any residual stain.

Method B

Use a household dry-cleaning fluid to sponge the stain. Refer to the specific manufacturer’s guidelines on how to use and apply the fluid.

Method C

Make a solution of one part white vinegar to three parts of clean warm (not hot) water. Sponge the stain gently, but do not rub or scrub it. Leave for approximately 15 minutes. Sponge the area with clean warm water. Then follow the steps outlined in Method A.

When to Use Each Method

Different stains will require different methods of treatment, so for the more common type of stains, such as drink spillages or whatever may be relevant in your household, it is worth getting to know how to effectively deal with these. Usually, the types of things that cause stains can be divided into water-soluble stains and stains which are not water-soluble. Water-soluble stains tend to be easiest removed using Method A, although this can vary.

Stains that are water-soluble relate to things such as drinks, ice cream, jelly, mud, washable ink and certain types of paints. Some water-soluble stains such as blood, chocolate, wine, tea, coffee or vomit will need to be removed using a cleaning solution. If any vomit has dried, then Method C should be used.

Pet urine should be sponged with cold water and then removed using Method A if the stain is still wet. If the stain has already dried, then Method C should be initially used, then sponged with cold water, followed by Method A.

It is really important to act swiftly with pet urine stains and make sure every trace is removed. Pets have very sensitive noses and even if we can not smell any urine, they may still be able to detect its presence, which may encourage them to urinate in the same area again.

Fat-soluble stains will not absorb water, so carpets with grease or oil marks will need to be treated using Method B, then followed by Method A.

Chewing gum is especially tricky if it gets stuck to carpets, but can be removed using a freezing agent to break the gum away once it has hardened. Method B is then recommended.

Nail polish can be removed by using a small amount of nail polish remover on the stain, and then proceeding with Methods B and A.

Wax – if wax has settled on to the carpet, then place a paper towel over the carpet and iron it on a warm setting. It should come off the carpet and stick to the paper towel.

Cigarette burns can be removed by rubbing the carpet gently with a dull knife or the edge of another hard and flat surface.

Choosing a Carpet

When choosing a new carpet, it is worth picking one that is stain-resistant if your home is likely to be exposed regularly to pets or children; both can be notorious staining agents. Most carpet suppliers will be able to advise on the best type of carpet for your needs. Synthetic fibres tend to be more stain-resistant than non-synthetic ones. However, a wool carpet is more resistant to stains such as cigarette burns than synthetic fibres. In some cases, a carpet may have already been treated with chemicals that can improve its stain-resistance qualities. If you do choose this type of carpet, be aware that this protection may wear off in time due to general usage or when it gets cleaned. Some carpet suppliers may be able to add this stain treatment to a carpet, so you are not just restricted to buying a carpet that has been pre-treated.

How Carpet Manufacturers are Trying to Help

Sometimes it can be impossible to prevent stains or spillages on your carpets. Some manufacturers have taken to offering a ‘stain warranty’. This can be something of a lifesaver in the unfortunate event that you are unlucky enough to end up with a stain, spillage or slight mark on your carpet. There are warranties out there – such as the 10 Year Stain Away Guarantee – that can cover you for a period of up to 10 years. This offers major peace of mind for anyone looking to buy a new carpet and can often be a deciding factor in the final purchasing decision. If our carpets come with such a warranty you’ll be able to find the information on the product description page on our website. Of course, if you’re popping in to any of our three showrooms, our staff will always be more than happy to guide you through all of the warranty details.