How To Clean Old Stained Carpet

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However much you try to keep your home clean, an old-carpet will still accumulate stains and these can actually make it look awkward or dingy. So, regular cleaning of the carpet will help to remove any old-stains and even brighten-up your carpet. However, most carpet-cleaning solutions and stain-removers contain harsh-chemicals and even emit strong-odors but they will help to keep your carpet clean. On the other hand, some household products can also effectively clean your carpets effectively and you can even make homemade cleaners odorless in case you have sensitivities to strong-scents or try adding a natural-scent in order to achieve a extra-clean smell. So, I have decided to list for you all the methods you can use to clean-up old-stains from your carpet and its upon you to select a method that will works best for your carpet-cleaning needs.

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  1. Find the old-stain: you may actually know where the old-stains might be from odor. But if you just think that there might be old-stains in an area then try exploring them using a sweeping-motion while gradually moving farther away from the general smell location. In fact, if the old-stain was caused by pet-urine then it should show-up in a yellowish and greenish color.
  2. Try using an ultraviolet-light to explore more stains: in case you want to make a thorough search for old-stains on the carpet, then buy a UV or fluorescent-black light of a portable-size. Look for a long-bulb so that you can be able to cover more ground preferably longer than 12-inches (30cm). In fact, cheap ultraviolet-bulbs with a housing included can be found at most hardware stores, pet-stores and online.
  3. Mark each spot that you may find: in case you are on a stain-finding warpath, then ensure that you don’t get ahead of yourself and forget where all the stains are located. So, keep a roll of blue-painter tape in your hands as you’re looking around and try to mark each spot that needs to be cleaned with a small-strip of blue-tape. After you have found all the stains on the carpet, then you can go back with your cleaning-tools and then clean these stains easily and quickly.
  4. Apply an enzymatic cleaner over the stained-areas: wet the stained-area with cool distilled-water while pouring a small-amount around the perimeter of the stain but as you move from the outside of the stain towards the center. Afterwards, spray an enzymatic-cleaner on the stained wet-spot and then allow it to sit overnight. However, in case your carpet is made of wool then make sure that you’re using a wool-safe enzyme cleaner.
  5. Wet paper or cloth-towels with cool-water and apply them over the wet-spot: apply a heavy-object over the wet-towels and then leave them overnight. When you remove the wet-towel in the morning, you will be able to assess whether you need to take more extreme measures or not.
  6. Steam-clean the old-stains: a rented carpet-cleaning-machine can actually produce steam that is hot-enough to sanitize the carpet after which the water will be vacuumed-up again. On the other hand, incase the stained-spot is large then you may hire a professional cleaner to manage it.
  7. Try cleaning the stained-area without detergent at first: if you notice that you’re not pulling-up the stain, then try using as little detergent as possible for cleaning or you may ask representatives at the rental-center on what is recommended to clean the carpets well. Additionally, wool-carpets can be damaged by steam-cleaners and this means that if you have a stained wool-carpet and you don’t wish to damage it then consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to do the job for you.
  8. Use oxidation if it’s necessary: another alternative to using a steam cleaner on an old-stain is by oxidizing it. This is because products/substances that release oxygen are effective odor removers and you can also easily make the oxidation-solution yourself at home. So, mix-up ½-teaspoon (2.5-grams) of bleach with 1-quart (32-ounces/950ml) of distilled-water. Saturate the solution over the stained-area and then allow it to soak into the carpet for at least 10-minutes. Use a shop-vacuum or apply a wet-towel over the area in order to remove the stain and then leave the carpet to completely dry between treatments. However, oxidizing-products should not be used over wool or silk carpets but they can be used over synthetic-fibers.




  1. Sweep the carpet in order to lift-up dirt and stains: begin by sweeping your carpet with a broom in order to lift-up the fibers and remove any loose-dirt from it. Afterwards, vacuum the entire carpet in order to remove any remaining dust.


  1. Mix-up the carpet-cleaning powder/solution: mix-up one part of borax with 2-parts of cornmeal in order to create carpet-powder that can remove stains, prevent mold-growth and even deodorize your carpet. On the other hand, for carpets with heavy-odors try using baking-soda in order to achieve the best cleaning-results.


  1. Sprinkle the mixture over the carpet: sprinkle the cleaning-mixture all-over the carpet and then wait for about an hour and then vacuum-clean your carpet. This will help to remove bad-odor, light-stains and dirt that normal vacuuming can miss.


  1. Apply a mixture of vinegar and water: pre-treat any remaining stains on your carpet with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. However, for tough-stains on light colored carpets, try using a mixture of lemon-juice and salt.


  1. Scrub the stains off the carpet: scrub the stains while using the stain-removal mixture and then allow it to sit for about 15-minutes. After, use an old-towel to dab up as much moisture from the carpet.


  1. Rent a carpet-cleaning machine if you don’t own one: in case you don’t own a carpet-cleaning-machine, then you may have to rent a carpet-cleaner from any store or carpet-cleaning-company in order to clean-up your carpet but remember to use very hot-water within this cleaning-machine in order to remove dirt and stains more effectively.


  1. Fill the soap reservoir/tank with a natural carpet-cleaning-solution: in case you are using your own carpet-cleaner and it doesn’t void the warranty, then you may use a natural laundry-detergent instead of a carpet-cleaning-formula. Additionally, if you don’t use any detergent, then hot-water alone will remove a lot of the accumulated grime.


  1. Use the carpet-cleaner as recommended by the manufacturer: try cleaning the whole carpet once with cleaning-machine while following the manufacturers’ instructions. Run the carpet-cleaner over the carpet again with just hot-water in order rinse-out any detergent residue and then make a third-pass without spraying any water or detergent over the carpet in order to suck-up as much moisture as possible from the carpet.


  1. Give your carpet time to dry-up: stay off your carpet until it’s completely dry and then vacuum the carpet again in order to fluff the nap and remove any remaining soap-residue.

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