How Do You Get Old Stains Out Of Carpet?

If you want to achieve success at removing stains from a carpet, the experts always say to act quickly when a spillage occurs.

But, sometimes this doesn’t, or can’t, happen, for whatever reason. Perhaps you forgot about a spillage, or it got covered up with a rug or furniture only to be revealed when you rearrange a room? Or, maybe you’ve recently moved into a new house with a stained carpet, and you’re not sure how long the stain has been there?

Although it’s much harder to remove old stains from a carpet compared to new ones, it’s not an impossible task. There are a range of different steps and solutions you can try, and if all else fails, you can speak to professional carpet cleaners about it.

1. Identify the stain

Knowing what the stain came from can make removing it easier, so take a good look at the stain to try to fathom out what caused it. Does it look or feel greasy or solid, or is it a water-based stain? Sometimes if a stain smells this could give a clue as to what caused it.

Identifying the stain can help you decide which cleaning method or solution to use, but even if you don’t know what caused it, you could try using a general, all-purpose cleaner. It may be a case of trial-and-error, and having a little bit of patience and persistence, until you find the right solution for the particular type of old stain.

2. Vacuum the area

The first step to removing old carpet stains is to vacuum the area. This can help to pick up loose bits of dry dirt and dust from the carpet, especially if the stain was hidden away under furniture or areas that don’t receive regular vacuuming.

3. Soap and water

The key to tackling old carpet stains is to rehydrate them. This means turning a dried stain into one that looks like it just occurred. Adding water to the stain can help to rehydrate it.

The easiest and safest way to begin working on old carpet stains, especially if you’re unsure of the source of origin, is to mix together water (at room temperature) with a few drops of soap.

Dab the mixture onto the stain with a cloth, without overwetting the carpet. Always work inwards rather than outwards when dabbing a stain, to prevent the mark from spreading further in the carpet.

After you’ve left the mixture to work into the stain for a few minutes, you can then use a cloth to blot the moisture. Hopefully, this might be all you need to do to remove the stain.

4. Vinegar solution

If water and soap doesn’t work to remove the old stain, you might need to use something a bit stronger. Try adding some white vinegar to the soap and water solution, instead, which may cut through more stubborn stains.

Apply and clean in the same way as with just using soap and water.

5. Removing greasy stains

If you have identified that the old stain is oil-based or greasy, baking soda and vinegar combined can be a useful remedy for these types of stains. Add some baking soda to the stained area, then spray a mixture of white vinegar, water and soap onto the stain. The spray solution and baking soda will create a foam that should help to break down the stain.

Allow the solution to work into the stain for a few hours. You’ll notice that it hardens, so simply break it up when it’s time to remove it, and use your vacuum cleaner to get rid of the remaining residues.

Whenever you use any kind of home-made cleaning solution, or shop-bought for that matter, it’s essential to check that it’s suitable for your particular type of carpet material. It may be worth testing the solution out on a hidden part of your carpet first to check the reaction.

6. Hydrogen peroxide

If you’ve not had much luck with any of the above remedies, you could spray a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the stain, after doing a test patch on the carpet. Hydrogen peroxide could bleach a carpet, so it’s important you use this carefully and with caution.

After you’ve allowed the solution to penetrate into the old stain for around 10 minutes, use a small brush to loosen the stain, and then rinse and use a damp cloth to blot the mixture away.

7. Ready-made cleaning solutions

There are lots of products in the shops that claim to be tough on stubborn carpet stains, but whether they live up to the hype may be debatable. Read the reviews and check the label to make sure any ready-made cleaning solutions are worth using. Always follow the instructions on the product, and check that you have the right type of carpet fabric for the particular cleaning solution.

After you’ve used any home remedies to erase any old carpet stains, make sure to vacuum up any residues and allow the carpet to fully dry.

8. Call the professionals

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to remove an old, stubborn carpet stain, it simply won’t shift. This is the time to call in the professionals.

A professional carpet cleaning company will have the knowledge, skills and experience to remove old stains from carpets. They’ll have a better understanding of what type of stain it’s from, and which are the best methods and treatments to use to remove it.

If you’re looking for carpet cleaning Chelmsford services or elsewhere for removing old carpet stains, it’s worth knowing that, at Carpet Bright UK, we use industrial carpet cleaning equipment that’s geared up for removing old or deep-seated stains in your carpets or rugs.

We use much more effective stain removal solutions compared to shop-bought products, and you don’t need to worry about any residues or remnants of the stain being left behind.

Old stains can also cause odours in a carpet, so when you get your carpets professionally cleaned, we’ll also deodorise them, so bad smells are eliminated.

We can also offer effective stain protection for your carpets, so you won’t need to worry about new or old stains again. Give our helpful team a call to discuss the stains in your carpets.