Holiday Carpet Stain Fixes

Spilled WineDuring the holiday season, entertaining and unforgiving stains go hand in hand. With your house filled with family, friends, neighbors, and possibly unexpected guests, inevitably those nasty spills and unavoidable carpet stains will be joining your festivities too.

Every room in your house will have more activity than usual which means more chance for food and drink accidents. It happens! We all know this but when they do, do we always remember what to do first before it’s too late? Don’t let those tough stains taunt you until the next gathering. Here is a collection of tips for just about any stain!

●    Synthetic versus Natural
Knowing and understanding what type of carpet you have before you clean or treat the stain can make a difference. Synthetic carpets are made of polyester, nylon, olefin, or acrylic. When treating this type of material, it’s best to let a detergent solution sit for a while after applying so the stain can breakdown. If you are dealing with a natural fiber like, wool, cotton, jute, or sisal, you’ll want to continuously dab and blot until the stain has disappeared.

●    Go chemical-free
To get the most out of your stain removal, use vinegar, a common household item. Why? The acid in vinegar dissolves a stain. Generally it’s safe to use vinegar on colorfast materials but make sure to dilute it especially for cotton or linen.

The Basics:

  • Use a clean white cloth.
  • Blot beverage spills, scoop semi-solids, and vacuum a dry mess before applying any wet solution.
  • Always spot test on a less visible area first.
  • Work from the outside of the stain, in, making small circles as you go.

●    The Spotting Technique
Attend to the stain as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer it sets in, the worse it will become. Remove any solid or absorb any liquid by simply dabbing the spot first before treatment. Next blot the stain with cool water and then do the same to dry. Apply one of the recommended stain removal solutions as treatment. Let this set in for at least 15 minutes. Give it a chance to work. Lastly, blot with cool water and then blot dry once again. Never over saturate the stain, this will only make a spot larger. Don’t rub a stain, this will only ruin the texture of the carpet and create long term damage.

Related Home Ownership Tips and Guides

●    Recommended Carpet Stain Removal Solutions
A few inexpensive household products and a little time is all that’s needed if you plan on making your own carpet cleaning solutions. There are a few variations out there but the principles behind the solutions are very similar. Try one of the suggestions below for your tougher or darker carpet stains.

For light carpet stains like juice, coffee, tea, or grease
●    Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in ½ cup vinegar. Rub this into the carpet stain and let dry. Vacuum up the residue.
●    Try mixing ¼ teaspoon of liquid dish washing soap with 1 cup of lukewarm water. Follow the spotting technique.
●    Or you can mix 1 Tablespoon of liquid dish washing soap and 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water for more difficult stains.

For tough or darker carpet stains like…

Red wine, cocktail sauce, cranberry jellies, chocolate
●    Mix 1 Tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap in a ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide and follow the spotting technique.

Gravy, tomato sauces
●    Make a paste made of salt, borax, and vinegar. Dissolve 2 Tablespoons of salt and 2 Tablespoons of borax in ½ cup vinegar. Gently rub into the stain, let it dry and then vacuum.

Oils like butter or grease, or just ground-in mud
●    If you don’t have borax, make a paste with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar with 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch, and then rub it into the stain. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.

Colored candle wax
●    Sponge with a solution of 1/2 wood alcohol mixed with 1/2 cup of water to get rid of the coloring. If you don’t have these products try waiting until the next day and hammer the wax to create as many pieces and then vacuum.

Use these helpful techniques and stain removal solutions on some of your furniture, as well, but pay attention to the type of fabric and material before selecting a solution. If you have leather furniture, use this maintenance guide to keep it looking like new.

What stubborn stain busters have you been successful using? Please share your suggestions below!

My name is June Seebohm and I am an experienced Realtor serving the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC area’s. I am happy to help you in any way that I can in regards to learning about our beautiful area, as well as your real estate needs or questions! Please don’t hesitate to contact me via email: or call 843-290-2929. I also have a Facebook Page where I post updates about the Hilton Head Island area, home ownership, and helpful information for both buyers and sellers. Whether you are a vacationer, resident, buyer, seller, or current home owner/renter interested in the Hilton Head area, this is a blog you’ll want to follow!

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