Rug Stain Removal Solutions
This is your guide to rug stain removal. The best way to keep a rug looking fresh is to keep it from getting dirty in the first place. Remove your outdoor shoes when entering the house and you’ll cut down on 80 percent of the dirt tracked in. Keep a basket of clean socks and fresh slippers by the door for guests. This alone can make rug stain removal a thing of the past.
Give rugs a good, regular shake outside. Vacuum them often, front and back, against the nap to pick up ground-in dirt. Rugs in high-traffic areas need a more thorough cleaning at least once a year; those in out of the way places, less often.
For general cleaning and minor rug stain removal, follow these steps to shampoo a small rug:
1. Vacuum the rug.
2. Mix ½ cup mild dishwashing liquid or carpet shampoo with 1.75 liters of cool water in a clean bucket. (Don’t use harsh detergents, cloudy ammonia, or regular ammonia on your rugs.) Aerosol carpet sprays also work well on smaller rugs or small areas of carpeting. There are a number of products on the supermarket shelves. Test the cleaner you’re using on a hidden spot to make sure the rug is colorfast.
3. With a long-bristled, soft brush or a firm, non-shedding sponge, brush the solution on the pile in the direction of the nap. Don’t scrub. Wet thoroughly.
4. Wash the rug’s fringe, if any. If the floor is wood or otherwise easily damaged by water, place a plastic or rubber drop cloth or sheet under the fringe. Then put a clean white towel on top of that (still beneath the fringe). Using a brush or sponge moistened (not sopping) with the cleaning solution, brush the fringe from the knots out to the end. To rinse, replace the first towel under the fringe with a dry towel and blot the fringe with yet another towel dampened with warm water. Allow the fringe to dry on a third dry towel.
5. To rinse the main part of the rug, wet clean rags with warm water and press them against the rug.
6. Squeeze out excess. (A window squeegee works well.) Squeegee the pile in the direction of the nap until no more water comes out. Use more towels to mop up any excess.
7. If you have plastic underneath the rug and it’s now wet, replace it with dry plastic. Lay down dry towels and lay the rug flat on the towels to dry thoroughly on one side. Then flip it over to dry the other, replacing the towels again if need be. Another technique: dry the rug on a picnic table in the shade outside.
8. If the pile feels stiff, vacuum or brush it gently.
For rug stain removal, several rules of thumb apply. Attack problems in this order:
Blot rug stains, using clean rags or absorbent white towels.
Scrape up whatever solids you can, using a kitchen knife, spatula or putty knife.
Work from the stain’s outer edges to its center, rather than from the inside out, which could spread the stain.
If the stain has penetrated the entire rug, place a clean rag underneath the rug to absorb what seeped through.
Dilute rug stains by blotting with a cloth dampened with water or plain soda water (no flavors).
For cleaning rug stains, first try a dab of rug cleaner, such as Johnson Carpet Science Spot and Stain Remover or Afta Dry Cleaning Solvent and Stain Remover, according to package directions. (Test first on a hidden area). See Commercial Stain Removers A-Z for more stain removal products.
If this doesn’t work, mix 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of warm water. Blot with a white towel dampened with clear water. Don’t saturate.
Shaving cream can also work wonders for rug stain removal. Moisten the spot with water, work in the shaving cream and rinse with a clean rag dampened with cool water.
Mix 1 tablespoon of household ammonia with ½ cup of water. Dab the solution on with a clean rag. Then mix ½ cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Blot this mix on to curb the ammonia’s action. Rinse with a clean rag dampened with cool water.
Mix enough powdered enzyme laundry detergent with water to make a paste. Be sure the detergent has no bluing or whitening agents. Let the paste stand for 10 minutes and then remove any residue with a wooden spoon. Blot with a clean towel and rinse with another towel wrung out in warm water.
I hope these tips lead you to rug stain removal success!
Carpet Stain Removal A-Z
Carpet Stain Removal Tips
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