Carpet stains can happen to even the most careful of homeowners. So what should you do when that glass of red wine tips over, or one of your offspring runs into the house without taking their muddy shoes off?
Choosing a stain remover
There are a variety of carpet stain removal products available, some are sprays, some foams, and some even come with a built-in applicator brush. How do you tell which is the best for you?
Your first port of call should be our test results for carpet stain removers. We test the products as per the manufacturers guidelines and record their success in removing five different stains: red wine, coffee, sauces, foundation and dirt/oil. The products will get an overall score based on these tests, but you can also look up the best product to remove a particular stain.
We also record the application method in our results – there are a variety of application procedures to follow.
Stain removal tips
For all stains though you should:
Treat the stain immediately.
Remove as much excess as possible. For liquid stains, blot up as much
of the liquid as you can. Dab the stain – don't scrub (it can damage
the carpet pile and leave matted fibres). Next, dilute the stain with
cold water and continue blotting until the stain fades. Don't
saturate the carpet – if the backing becomes wet it can create new
stains or even grow mould.
Ideally test the product on an inconspicuous patch of carpet first to
check that it’ won’t affect the colour.
Follow the products’ application guidelines and don’t scrub as this
can damage carpet.
Large or stubborn stains may need professional carpet cleaning. Some
stains permanently change the carpet's colour and are untreatable.
These include some types of dye (such as hair dye), chlorine bleach,
mustard with turmeric, acid or alkaline cleaners, and plant
fertilisers. You may need to get the stained section replaced.
Important: If the stain isn't liquid and looks serious – for example, oily footprints – don't touch it until you've called your insurance company. You may find that repairing the damage is covered by your contents policy.