Clean carpets and rugs using homemade and natural cleaners. Remove ink, coffee, wine and rust stains using soap, vinegar, salt, and lemon juice. This can be used on both modern and traditional rugs in all colours.

Carpets and rugs are soft, cushy, and lovely to walk on. However, when they get a stain, they can also be expensive to clean. Avoid expensive and chemical-intensive carpet cleaning and focus on natural and nontoxic solutions to remove stains from a carpet before they set.

How to Treat a Stain on a Carpet

The first rule of carpet-cleaning is to get to the stain as early as possible. The less time the stain has to set, the better. Even difficult stains can be removed if they are dealt with early enough. Let’s use the example of a coffee stain.

It’s morning, and in the rush out of the house, a big cup of coffee spills on the carpet. What to do? Well, since it is a large cup of coffee, the liquid has likely moved through the carpet to pool at the base of the fibres. Place a damp rag under something heavy and leave it for a while. Change the rag as required until it no longer becomes stained when it is pressed into the carpet. Then treat the stain with a natural cleaner such as water, mild soap, or vinegar.

When cleaning, blot the stain. Although it is tempting, do not pour water over the area and scrub. This will cause the stain to dissipate through the carpet and spread. It will be less colourful, but the stain will spread over a larger area. Instead, apply a gentle downward pressure on the stained area of the carpet and move the rag up and down.

A Homemade Carpet Cleaning Toolkit for Ink, Coffee, Wine and Rust Stains

Have the following tools on hand to clean a carpet. It’s much better than running to the store in a panic! Check all products on a small fibre of the carpet before using them on the stain, to make sure that they do not discolour the carpet. You will need:

  • Rags to blot at the stain
  • Baking soda and salt. These are used to absorb liquids and are good when a cup of wine or coffee drops on the carpet.
  • Mild dishwashing soap for removing small, new stains.
  • Club soda. Soda is especially good for wine stains.
  • Vinegar is a multi-purpose stain remover, deodorizer, and cleaner. Vinegar and lemon juice are both good to use on stubborn stains that refuse to come out with water, soap, and soda. Lemon juice mixed with salt is a good way to remove rust stains.
  • Cream of tartar. A paste of cream of tartar can remove rust.
  • Rubbing alcohol. As a last resort for ink stains, place rubbing alcohol on a cloth and dab at the stain.

When treating a stain, it’s important to get to the scene early. Try to avoid spraying large quantities of liquid on the carpet and avoid the temptation to scrub. Instead, blot the carpet gently with the appropriate homemade stain remover. Keeping these stain removers on hand can keep carpets looking great with a minimum of cost and fuss.