Quick-Fix For Carpet Stains

Real Estate Technology with Rentec Direct

Let's face it, dirty carpet is not attractive and replacing carpeting can be cost prohibitive.  What if your carpet cleaning vendor isn't available when you need him?  

I am the queen of "ooopsy!" when it comes to walking, talking and carrying a beverage.  That could be why I might actually also be an expert on how to get spills and spots out of carpet.  I owe a lot of credit for this skill-set to my days of property management.  Tenants + Carpet = Stains.  But Stains + Budget ╪ Carpet Replacement and from there was born the need to find creative ways to deal with unsightly stains.  

Below are my tried and true tips for how you, your home-sellers and your renters can spiff up the look of stained carpet on a shoe-string budget.  (Be sure to document your efforts in your property's notes and history for future reference.)


FRESH SPILLS:  Salt:  If you've just dumped a glass of red wine, DO NOT GO SCRUBBING IT UP!  First blot excess off carpet and then pour a bunch of salt over the spill and gently press it in between the fibers.  After several hours, vacuum away.

GROUND IN DIRT:  Vinegar + Cornstarch:  Mix equal parts into a paste and work into stain thoroughly. After two days, vacuum up.

GREASE OR OIL:  Cornstarch:  Cover spots with a liberal amount, wait several hours and then vacuum up.

INK:  Milk + Cornstarch:  Make a  paste, work over the ink spot. After a few hours, brush it off and vacuum.

URINE:  Baking Soda:  When fresh (and wet), blot up excess with towel then cover in baking soda and work it into the carpet.  Vacuum up after several hours.  If dried, thoroughly wet carpet with vinegar and work it in well and then move to the baking soda step above.  Note:  pet urine can be very difficult to deal with if it is excessive and dried.  You might need to replace the carpet pad and seal the subfloor if spot cleaning doesn't work.

BLOOD, COFFEE AND TEA:  Club Soda:  Blot up excess spill and then pour liberal amount of soda on carpet, wait 10 minutes and blot up with clean towels.

GENERAL STAINS:  Iron + Vinegar:  Put 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle.  Grab a light-colored cotton towel and your iron.  Spray carpet stain generously with solution and wait several minutes.  Place towel over stain and iron over towel/stain with highest steam setting on your iron.  Repeat.  You'll see the stain lift onto the towel.

WAX:  Iron + Paper bag:  Heat Iron to medium setting, place paper over wax and iron it away.  Replace paper often so as to not transfer wax back to carpet.  If colored wax, you may need to use the vinegar method above once the wax has been removed.

NOT SURE?  Hydrogen Peroxide + Cream of Tartar:  Work solution gently into carpet with cloth and then rinse with clear water. Repeat if necessary.



Rentec Direct Property Management Software


Janell is a member of Rentec Direct, a web-based property management program designed to help streamline tenant screening and the day-to-day operations of landlords and property managers.

Comments (3)

Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Good evening Janell Kittleson ,  Thanks for the Carpet cleaning tips.  We are always running into clients that need some help in that department.

Mar 04, 2015 10:11 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I'll have to try a couple of these at some of our rentals !

Apr 08, 2015 03:20 AM
Janell Kittleson
Rentec Direct - Grants Pass, OR
Rentec Direct

 Do let me know what you have the best success with, Michael!  

Apr 09, 2015 04:22 AM