You can’t always avoid it. Your beautiful carpet is likely to get stains, no matter how much care you put into it. But can you remove carpet stains naturally, without exposing your family to harsh cleaning chemicals?
Removing carpet stains can be a difficult task. If you’re dealing with old carpet stains, it can take a considerable amount of time and effort to remove them. That’s why it’s best to be prepared to tackle the stains as soon as they happen. These natural solutions avoid the use of harmful cleaning chemicals that contribute to indoor air pollution. And cleaning your carpet stains with simple ingredients you may already have at home will save you a lot of money.
Let’s look at some natural ways to remove carpet stains effectively.
1. Use Salt, Vinegar, and Borax
You can make your own natural carpet stain remover out of three ingredients you may already have at home: table salt, white vinegar, and borax powder. Note that while borax is a naturally occurring mineral, it is not safe to ingest and should be kept away from children.
Here’s how to make and use this natural stain remover:
- Mix ¼ cup salt, ¼ cup white vinegar, and ¼ cup borax into a paste.
- Apply the paste to the stained area.
- Let it dry for 24 hours and then vacuum.
- Clean with water to remove any residue left behind.
- Blot the area with a clean, dry cloth.
2. Use Baking Soda for Greasy or Oily Stains
This common baking ingredient has a wide range of household uses. One of those uses is to help remove stubborn carpet stains. If you get greasy or oily stains on your carpet, baking soda can help remove the stains without using harmful chemicals.
Just follow these steps:
- Sprinkle the baking soda all over the carpet stain.
- Let the baking soda sit overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Vacuum the area afterward.
- Use a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining residue.
3. For Liquid Spills, Use Cornstarch
Although cornstarch isn’t much help for dried stains, its absorbent properties make it useful for large liquid spills.
- Blot up the excess liquid with a dry, clean cloth.
- Spread cornstarch all over the stain. Let the cornstarch absorb the liquid.
- Scrape up the powder and vacuum the area.
4. Use a Natural Stain Remover
As a last resource, you can use natural enzyme stain removers available on the market like Puracy Natural Stain Remover. This product uses natural ingredients that are biodegradable and it’s free of bleach, perfumes, sulfates, ammonia, petrochemicals, caustics, phosphates, phthalates, animal byproducts, dyes, gluten, chlorine, and allergens.
Before you use any stain remover, you should test it out first on an inconspicuous area on your carpet. Some cleaning solutions can cause damage to certain carpets. To test it out:
- Apply several drops to the testing area. Hold a white cloth on the wet area for about 10 seconds.
- Check the carpet and the cloth for color transfer or any visible damage to the carpet.
- If you notice the color coming off onto the cloth or discoloration on your carpet, don’t use the stain remover and test another one.
Additional Carpet Stain Removal Tips
No matter which of the above methods you use, be sure to follow these tips to ensure the best results.
Clean Up Immediately
Scrape off the excess solid with a clean spoon or butter knife immediately. Take care not to rub the spill into the carpet.
Next, gently blot any excess liquid using a clean, white, absorbent cloth.
Blot the Stain Away (Don’t Scrub)
Never rub the stain. Rubbing can cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. When the stain has softened up from the treatment, gently blot it clean. Always work your way from the outside edge of the stain towards the center to prevent the stain from spreading.
- Use a clean, white, absorbent cloth to blot from the outside in.
- Repeat until the stain no longer transfers to the cloth.
- Blot the stain with cold water, then blot dry.
For more thorough drying:
- Cover the damp area with a ½-inch thick layer of cloth.
- Weigh it down with a heavy object.
- When the cloth is saturated, wring it out and replace it (or use another dry cloth) for at least 3 minutes or until the area dries.
Want more? Check out Planet-Friendly Stain Removal Tips.
About the Author
Allen Michael is founder and editor of Home Viable, a site that’s focused on ways to keep the home clean and comfortable.
This article was originally published on January 25, 2021.