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How to Remove Dirt Stains


Plain dirt is perhaps the most common thing to get in our carpet, and fortunately removing it is usually not that difficult. If large areas of carpeting are dirty and stained, just call a professional cleaner. But if there are just some isolated spots, you can take the following steps.

It is better to prevent than lament, so you might want to do a few things to keep that dirt out of your carpeting in the first place. Having rugs at all the entrances to your home is a good idea, as is regular vacuuming. The surest way to prevent dirt from staining the floors is to have a policy of removing shoes in the house.

Now, if the dirty spot consists of mud it is usually better to let it dry before cleaning. An exception to this is colorful soils like red clay, which might create a more permanent stain the longer they are in the fibers. But regular mud, when dry, can be broken up by pinching it or gently scraping it with a spoon, and you can vacuum up the pieces as you do this.

If the instructions here are not enough to get those dirt stains out of the carpeting, check out this video to see what a good steam cleaning professional can do:

Removing Dirt Stains

To do this on your own follow the steps here...

1. Use water to start. A spray bottle gives you more control, so you can apply water carefully without spreading the stain. Spray, let it soak in for a moment or two, and blot it up with a clean white cotton cloth or plain white paper towels. Repeat this process until you no longer see dirt transferring to the cloth.

2. Continue this process until you no longer see the dirt coming out on the cotton cloth. In many cases this will be enough to get the stain out, in which case you can skip ahead to step six. If some or all of the stain is still there, move on to the next step.

3. Mix about 1/8 teaspoon of Dawn or Joy dish washing detergent into two cups of warm water. Apply this (that spray bottle works well, otherwise be careful and use your fingertips) to the spot and work it in very gently (no heavy rubbing or you might damage the fibers). Blot the spot with a clean cloth or paper towels and repeat the process until you see no more stain transfer on the cloth.

4. If that was still not sufficient to get out all of the dirt, you can try hydrogen peroxide. Use the 3% variety that you can buy (usually in brown plastic bottles) in any supermarket or drug store. Apply it to the stained fibers with cotton swabs and let it sit for an hour. Then blot it up, rinse the area as specified in step two, and continue with the last step below.

5. Rinse the area repeatedly with plain water, removing it between applications using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner or by blotting it up with a cloth.

6. Dry the spot quickly; blot up most moisture using plain white paper towels. Keep pressing on the spot with them, and replacing them, until you get little dampness transferring to the towels. Then place a fan where it will blow on the spot. Fast drying prevents any dirt that is lower down in the fibers from migrating up to the top where it would be visible.

It the stains appear to be permanent, see the following page for options: Permanent Stains

Remove Carpet Stains Homepage | Removing Dirt Stains