Carpet Stains 4-1-1: Best Practices for Removing Stains

A spilled glass of red wine on a carpet

Carpet Stains 4-1-1: Best Practices for Removing Stains

There are many urban legends on how to get up stains with certain techniques and some household supplies. Truthfully, many of these legends should be forgotten.

Thankfully, Best Pick Reports published an article debunking a lot of the misinformation about getting stains out of carpet. Along with the help of Daniel McPherson, a professional carpet cleaner from Houston, Best Pick Reports dispels these myths and gives some great advice for stain removal and carpet maintenance.

Here is Best Pick Report’s advice on removing carpet stains:

Conventional Wisdom #1: Scrubbing Stains 

The tendency is to think that vigorous agitation is the best way to attack any stain, but scrubbing is very bad for carpets. Rubbing at the stain will often cause it to embed even more deeply in the carpet fibers. When the carpet’s texture is roughed up by scrubbing or by using a stiff brush on it, McPherson points out, the fibers in that area will never return to normal.

Best Practice #1: Blotting Stains 

By blotting instead of scrubbing, you are using the wicking action of liquid to gently pull the stain out. Blot with a towel to remove the stain and the carpet fibers will maintain their form.

Conventional Wisdom #2: Cleaning Solutions

There’s a world of home carpet cleaning products on the market, but their value as a permanent solution to carpet stain woes is questionable. Most of the common products we buy for cleaning purposes are simply too alkaline. That’s often the reason that carpets seem to resoil in exactly the same spots that were cleaned.

Best Practice #2: Plain Water

Surprisingly, water by itself is highly recommended as a tool for fighting both stains and the residue resulting from consumer carpet cleaning solutions. Additionally, rinsing with plain water after using a carpet cleaner will neutralize the alkaline residue and prevent resoiling. Just be sure to avoid overwetting the carpet, and dry the area thoroughly.

Conventional Wisdom #3: No Shoes on the Carpet

We all know those people who are fanatical about having shoes removed when anyone enters the house. However, dry soil, like that tracked in from outdoors, creates abrasion. When it’s constantly ground into the carpet by walking back and forth, it wears on the fibers and can leave the carpet more vulnerable to staining after a short time.

Best Practice #3: No Bare Feet, Either!

While it might seem that taking shoes out of the equation is the way to go, having bare feet in regular contact with the carpet poses its own problem. Oil-based soils are the most difficult to get out of carpet. For walking around at home, McPherson suggests clean white socks as the best foot covering.

It wouldn’t be a CRI blog post if we didn’t finish things up by encouraging you to maintain your carpet by vacuuming on a regular basis or recommending our Seal of Approval certified products or service providers, but the Best Picks Report article includes that regular vacuuming will extend the life and maintain the beauty of your carpet.

– Paul