Soil and mud stains are one of the most common household carpet stains and as such are the ones with an abundance of solutions and methods of removal. This cleaning guide will show the how the simplest ways of cleaning may also be the safest. Results may vary according to soil type, fibers of the carpet and age of the stain so always make sure to act as fast as possible. Soil from potted plants differs in consistency from dirt carried in by foot and thus requires a bit more attention and patience.
Using tap water to clean a soil stain from a carpet
- Start with a vacuum cleaner – hoover the affected area, even if the spot is wet and is still muddy the suction will remove at least some parts of the solid. Use quick periodical dabs with the hoover and not long strokes as those might help spread and set the stain further. Do as much as you can, this will help you out immensely in the long run and remove any solids that might in the way.
A good rule of thumb when cleaning is to always begin with the least invasive method, if you are consistent and patient enough you might be able to get the stain off with just some water and a wet towel.
- Get a dry, white cotton towel – natural fiber cotton will absorb quite a lot of moisture which makes for a great extraction method, it does not disturb the yarn of the carpet making it a safe for cleaning even natural materials.
- Get a cup of water, after hoovering the spot as much as possible
- Work with the towel – soak one of the towel’s edges, fold the edge of the towel inward to the center of the towel and transfer the water from the saturated tip. With two fingers apply pressure on the dirt stain with the towel between your fingers and the stain acting as a barrier. Dab and blot out the stain with the water, after each press check to see how much of the stain is transferring to the white cloth. Be careful to not over saturate the spot or you will set the stain in and make it harder to remove, repeat the process no more 3-4 just to be sure.
- Let it dry – At this point the spot should be almost invisible, but just in case there is still some leftover, let it dry for a couple of hours naturally. Don’t worry, it won’t set.
- Hoover the spot and try the blotting method with ice cold water once again – see if the stain is transferring to the cloth. If it’s not, but it’s still present, you have an excuse to call a specialist, who will have a easier clean-up job because you didn’t use any harsh chemicals.
Using a detergent
If you are insistent on getting the stain out yourself, you can use a spot remover or a specialised dirt stain remover, which won’t take that long to react as you’ve already done most of the work with the water technique. Be sure to choose a 7pH detergent or shampoo as this is the pH level of water and it won’t hurt the fibers of the carpet. Take 1 part of detergent to 30 parts water in a water bottle and spray on the stain, blot out using a towel. Make sure to rinse or you’ll get a residue that will attract dirt faster than the surrounding carpeting and will look odd.