Nothing looks worse than a dark stain on a light carpet, how you choose to treat them as soon as they occur can determine whether the stain becomes a permanent reminder or disappears completely. This method can be used to remove stains such as red wine, spaghetti sauce, coffee, and more.
Suck Don’t Scrub
This is the perfect time to make use of that wet/dry vac sitting in the garage. Use the hose to suck up the mess, just suck with the hose, don’t scrub with it. If you scrub with it, you are going to grind the stain into the nap of the carpet. You need to suck up the liquid as quickly as possible using your vac in wet mode.
Hit It with Your Choice of Cleaning Product
Once you have sucked the carpet as dry as possible, you might be tempted to grab a heavy duty cleaner and go to work. This can be more problematic than you might think as something like a mix of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide is more likely to set the stain and may even cause discoloration. Reserve this type of cleaner for stubborn stains as a last resort.
You will be much better off using a store-bought carpet cleaner or a mixture 1/4 tsp of clear dish soap (clear Dawn works best) and a cup of water into a spray bottle. Without saturating the carpet, spray a decent amount of the mixture on the stain. Let the cleaning solution soak in for a few minutes.
Time to Blot
Take a clean white towel or cloth and start dabbing the stained area of the carpet, beginning with the outer edge. Keep folding the cloth so that you are constantly working with a clean edge. Be gentle, the idea here is to gently part the fibers and soak up the cleaner and along with it the stain. If you blot too aggressively you will only drive the stain further into the carpet. Once you have blotted as much as you can, finish the job with your wet/dry vac.
Final Rinse Cycle
You can either lightly spray the area with clean water or use a wet cloth and dab the area to remove all traces of your cleaning compound. You should never leave the cleaning solution in the carpet as it will become sticky over time and attract dirt.
What About That Red Kool-Aide?
Everyone says red Kool-Aide can’t be removed from carpet at home, you have to call in the pros. In reality, there is one method you can try that has been found to be very successful. Start with a wet towel or washcloth and a steam iron set to cotton and steam. Place the cloth over the stain and then lightly iron the cloth, letting the steam do the work. Don’t keep the iron in one place for too long or you will burn the carpet.
With a few applications, you should see the red stain lift out and away from the carpet and into damp cloth. While this is not guaranteed to be 100% successful, it is certainly worth a try and could save considerable expense.