6 Odd Household Items That Will Remove Carpet Stains

Posted on: 28 August 2014

Renting a carpet cleaner or paying hundreds of dollars to have your carpets shampooed isn't something everyone has the time or money for when carpets become discolored or stained. However, you don't have to turn your entire Saturday afternoon into a carpet cleaning session every time someone spills wine or steps on a rogue cheese puff and grinds it into the floor. These six odd household items can be used to quickly and easily remove carpet stains, leaving you with a bright, clean carpet sans shampooing.

1. Borax & Cornmeal

If you have a dingy carpet or numerous light stains, a carpet dusting using borax and cornmeal may be exactly what you need to refresh your flooring and get it looking like new again. After thoroughly vacuuming your carpet, mix together two parts cornmeal to one part borax and brush it deep into the fibers with a broom. Allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour, or overnight if you like. Vacuum the carpet again, going over the same areas more than once in order to remove the maximum amount of cornmeal and borax from the floor. This technique can remove light staining or refresh worn-looking areas, and will remove even the toughest odors.

2. Baking Soda & Distilled White Vinegar

Using baking soda and distilled white vinegar is an excellent way to remove specific "spot" stains, such as pet stains. Baking soda is also very helpful for removing pet stain odors, and is safe for both pets and children. Begin by soaking the stain thoroughly with distilled white vinegar, and sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the top of the vinegar. Allow the vinegar to dry completely before vacuuming up. 

3. Lemon Juice & Salt

Tough stains can be challenging to remove, even with commercial carpet cleaners and spot removers. However, a lemon juice and salt mixture may be all you need to get difficult stains like ink out of your carpet. Although this method may be effective on older stains, it is best to attack fresh stains as quickly as possible.

First, blot up any remaining liquid using a dry cloth or paper towel. A fresh lemon cut in half works well, but bottled lemon juice will also do. Soak the stain thoroughly and rub a generous amount of salt into the soaked stain with your fingers or a cloth. A scrub brush can be used for exceptionally hard to remove stains, or spots that have soaked deep into the carpet fibers. Finish by rinsing the area with a clean rag and cool water.

5. Nail Polish Remover 

Stains that are oil-based, such as those caused by makeup or oily foods, need a solvent in order to break up the oil particles embedded in the carpet fibers. While you can buy an oil solvent from your local hardware store, nail polish remover works just as well. Blot the stain with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover, and rinse thoroughly with cool water and a clean cloth.

6. Hair Dryer

For some carpet problems, liquid cleaning solutions won't work. For example, gum or candle wax needs an alternative approach. To get gum out of your carpet, heat the area with a hair dryer and use a dry cloth or plastic bag to pull the gum out of the fibers. Candle wax can be heated the same way, while a dry cloth, on the other hand, should be used to blot the warm wax up and out of the flooring. 

Although you should consider having your carpets professionally cleaned once per year to reduce allergens and keep your carpets looking and smelling fresh, these simple household items can help you keep your carpets clean and stain free instead of renting a carpet cleaner or in between professional shampoos.