I’m really excited to share this tip. In our house, we have lots of spills on our carpet. A few years ago, my husband was talking to a professional carpet-cleaner and getting advice on cleaning up these messes. And the gentleman gave us an awesome tip with a secret ingredient. This ingredient is the #1 thing that professional carpet-cleaners rely on. Are you ready?
The secret ingredient is:
The key to getting spills and stains out of carpet is to use just water, and lots of it. Over the years, my husband has refined his craft of getting spills out of carpet and this is the process that we use. It works just about every single time. We’ve used it on just about everything, blood, poop, vomit, punch—pretty much anything that kids spill and/or leak. Obviously this works better when the stain is fresh, but it can work to clean up (or lessen the noticeability) of some older stains as well.
Okay, here’s what we do:
Stain #1: Fresh blood. No, I didn’t purposely injure myself for the purpose of this post! It just happened to be well-timed.
Step #1: Douse the spill/stain in water. LOTS of water. It needs to completely saturate the spill and the carpet. If the stain is dry, you want to let it sit like this for a bit. The stain needs time to really absorb the water because the water is going to break it up.
Sometimes little hands will want to help!
Step 2: Use your finger (or something else if you’re dealing with something you don’t want to touch) to start diluting the stain. Just rub your finger over the stain until you can see that it is becoming diluted. This is part of why you need so much water—the idea is that it is going to dilute it enough that you’ll eventually be able to soak it back up with a towel.
Step 3: Use a towel to soak up the water. Really, really press down on the towel so that it draws out the water and the stain.
Sometimes this will do the trick, but most of the time you’ll need to repeat the process once, or even several times. I did the whole process twice with this stain.
I made a mistake with this spill—I didn’t take an after picture! But it worked, I promise! Obviously the blood on the carpet was fresh—I got to cleaning it up right after I noticed that it dripped on the carpet! But believe it or not, the hubster has used this on dried blood before and it worked like a charm. Our little doxie has an ear condition which causes the tips of her ears to “fray” and sometimes bleed. The last time this happened, there were spots all over the carpet but we didn’t get to cleaning it up right away because we were busy taking her to the vet and all that. By the time hubby got to it, it was dry but he got all the spots up!
While I was on a stain-cleaning kick, I decided to use this trick on a couple others that had been sitting on our carpet for a while.
First was a weird-purple stain on our stairs. I wasn’t sure what the stain was and I’m still not sure. But it still worked!
Because the stain was dried and crusty (it had been there at least a few weeks before I got to it), I had to put lots of water on it and really make sure it got soaked.
Voila! It looked pretty good when I was finished.
Last but not least: dried-up banana that had been smashed into the carpet by the kidlets.
This one wasn’t so much a stain or a spill, but the process worked great anyway.
So there you have it, my number one cleaning trick! Next time you have a spill on the carpet, don’t reach for carpet cleaner—just use water instead!