Carpet stains are an inevitable part of life, but simple household cleaners, including non-bleach liquid dish detergent, work well for cleaning and removing water-soluble stains.
Water-soluble stains are perhaps the most frequently found types of carpet stains. Some common water-soluble stains include food dye, gravy, washable ink, latex paint, ice cream and mud, according to "This Old House" magazine. You can remove these stains using a simple homemade cleaning solution of water and liquid detergent. You can also remove pet urine using a liquid-detergent-based cleaner.
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To make a carpet stain cleaning solution, add 1/2 tsp. liquid dish soap to 32 oz. water. For tougher stains like chocolate, blood, coffee and wine, add 1/4 cup ammonia or white vinegar to the solution. When using a steam cleaning carpet machine, liquid dish soap solutions are not appropriate. For a homemade steam cleaning solution, fill the machine's reservoir with hot water. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the tank before operating.
Spray the solution directly onto the stain and allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes. Use a clean rag to gently blot the stain, working from the outside towards the center. Avoid using a scrubbing method, as scrubbing the stain may set it in place.
Using homemade cleaning solutions allows homeowners to use products they already have around their home for simple, effective cleaning. Moreover, a solution of liquid detergent, water and vinegar does not contain many harsh chemicals.
Before using a liquid dish soap cleaning solution, test it in a small, unseen area of the carpet to ensure it does not damage the carpet's dye.