Get the best tips for how to remove carpet stains effectively and gently
Written by Audrey Swanson
We've all been there. You're walking to the couch with a bowl of salsa and tortilla chips to enjoy while watching a big game, and before you know it, you trip over one of your kid's toys and the spicy red sauce goes flying. Or maybe the dog comes into the house after a big rain, and before you see the mess that is their paws, they've left paw prints of mud all over your pristine carpet.
Spills, stains, and stenches in carpet happen. So do natural wear and tear, as well as dust, allergen, and hair buildup. Most carpet sees a lot of different types of messes during its lifespan, so we're here to share expert-level advice on how to clean your carpet. This includes best vacuuming practices, tips for how to remove carpet stains and odors, and the benefits of using a natural carpet cleaner.
3 important tips for proper vacuuming
When you think about it, carpets are basically the collectors of all the dirt, dust, and grime that accumulate in our homes. Everything floating through the air and traveling on the bottoms of our feet and shoes eventually lands on carpet -- pretty disturbing, huh? That's why knowing the best vacuum cleaner cleaning tips is so vital.
1. Vacuum high-traffic areas often.
A lot of people save their cleaning needs to do in one fell swoop, often cleaning their entire home every one to three weeks. Instead, we recommend vacuuming "high-soil" areas near the entries of the home and where people most often walk at least once a week, and preferably more, to preserve your carpet's quality. The following is a great rule of thumb -- “frequent care is easy care.”
2. Vacuum slowly and intentionally.
It can be easy to zone out while vacuuming, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover. Try to focus on vacuuming slowly with overlapping passes. It may be helpful to count to three for each forward and backward stroke. Vacuums work by rotating a spinning brush and using air suction to remove and pick up debris from carpet. If you're vacuuming too quickly, then it won't have time to get as much dust, dirt, hair, and crumbs as it possibly can.
3. Pick the best vacuum for your needs, and take care of it.
Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's the right fit for you. Look at vacuums' functions and reviews prior to making a purchase; you may not always need the prettiest or most expensive option. If you have big dogs that shed, a pet-hair-friendly vacuum might best suit your needs. For those who also have hardwoods or tile, look for vacuums that function well on many surfaces. (For a great cordless option, we recommend checking out the Dyson V8.) Be sure to look for clogs in the hose, empty the canister often, and swap out or clean the filter when it turns gray to keep your machine lasting a long time.
Best way to clean carpet stains and odors that won't seem to budge
When dealing with spills, smells, and markups on carpet, it's best to clean the stain as soon as possible after it happens. Most carpets these days are created with liquid resistance, but you still want to take the necessary precautions to avoid long-term carpet blemishes.
1. Remove chunks and excess.
If the spill is thick or chunky, remove the excess with a spoon or spatula before working on the stain itself. You want to get as much off as possible to work solely on the stained carpet and not rub excess into it.
2. Dilute with warm water.
If the stain is fresh, then diluting it with warm water will help with the next step.
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Start by firmly blotting the stain with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. If the stain is sticky, dark-colored, or a food item, you may want to slightly dampen the cloth with clean, warm water. Never scrub or rub the affected area because this can push the stain deeper into the carpet fibers. Continue blotting until the cloth doesn't pick up any more color.
Use Puracy Natural Stain Remover next. We like using natural cleaners on carpet since this is the place where our bare feet walk and rest, kids play, and pets snuggle and nap. Many common carpet cleaners and stain removers have harsh chemicals and fumes that we simply don't want in our homes or around our families. Our stain remover, however, is made of six plant-based enzymes that tackle hundreds of types of stains and odors with natural plant power.
To use: Spray the stain, then wait at least 15 minutes. Fill a bowl with warm water, saturate a clean microfiber cloth with the water, gently wring, and press it into the stain by using a gentle back and forth motion. This will pull the stain and stain remover from the carpet by essentially rinsing it out with clean water. Repeat until the stain and stain remover are cleansed from the carpet.
If the stain remains, then it's time to bring out the big guns. Use Puracy Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo to clean the stain either by hand or with a carpet-cleaning machine. Our clinical-grade formula rapidly removes stains, soils, and odors from all washable fabrics and carpet.
6. Get a Professional Clean.
It's also recommended to get your carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year to maintain its quality.
The case for natural carpet cleaners and stain removers
Using natural carpet cleaners and stain removers will keep harsh chemicals away from your carpet and away from your family. A common chemical used in traditional carpet cleaners is naphthalene, a potential carcinogen, which could be dangerous for people to inhale after carpets are cleaned. Traditional carpet cleaners and stain removers alike also often contain high levels of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). When people are exposed to these chemicals through inhalation or skin contact, nasal irritation, asthma, and respiratory disorders may flare up.
We are big believers that green is clean, and plenty of plant- and mineral-based ingredients can effectively clean carpet and stains just as thoroughly as chemical-laced options. Plus, they won't emit harmful carcinogens and VOCs into the air in your home as a result, which is just a win-win.
A final added benefit, reported to us by rave customer reviews, is that our carpet shampoo will leave your carpet fibers feeling extra soft.
For tips on how to make your own homemade DIY stain remover, check out our post on the easy, one-minute recipe using natural household ingredients to try on your next carpet flub.
Our Natural Stain Remover and Natural Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo are 99.96% natural and made of powerful plants, minerals, and enzymes to get fabrics and carpets clean, without negative health or environmental side effects. Try the pure power of plant-based cleaning. We're confident you'll be satisfied, and if not, we offer a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee.