Mystery Solved! How to Remove Unknown Stains

Every carpet owner has at one time or another discovered the “mysterious” stain. It doesn’t matter how it got there or who did it, now the problem is cleaning this tough stain up.


Thankfully, many homeowners before us have had to deal with this exact same problem. So, before you go and pick up the phone to call a professional carpet cleaner, take a moment to read over a few of these suggestions. If you have the things on hand, give one or two of them a try before you spend all that money. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to get rid of unknown stains.


Removing Unknown “Mystery” Stains

There are a plethora of stain remover options, both homemade and commercial, so if you have any doubt that the product might work, it’s best to test it.  A piece of remnant carpet, swatch, or scrap piece of your carpet is perfect for this.


ridding off carpet stain

Identifying The Stain

When it comes to getting stains out of your carpet the first thing you need to do is identify the type of stain. If you’re able to figure out what kind of stain it is, it makes removing the stain far easier, saving you time, stress, and money. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to identify most stains once you know what to look for. Here are some examples:

  • Oil-based stains: These will have a shiny appearance to them and are most often paints, nail polish or glues.
  • Water-based stains: These types of stains will be brownish in color and often ring-shaped; if they are food stains they will appear lighter when scratched due to their starch content.

Once you know the type of stain you’re dealing with, it’s time to remove it! There are two excellent do-it-yourself carpet cleaning options. One is a waterless dry clean method, the other is a water-based method; the dry stain cleaner requires a vacuum, and the steamed method utilizes a clothes iron.

Dry Carpet Cleaning Method

This method works not only works very well, but is eco-friendly and leaves your carpet smelling fresh. To make your own dry carpet cleaner you’re going to need the following:

  • A blender
  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Borax
  • 1 tbsp of whole cloves
  • A container with holes in the top

Combine all the ingredients in your blender and pulse several times until thoroughly blended – you’re looking for a nice even consistency. Put the blended mixture into your container and generously spread this mixture around the stain. Let the cleaner sit for 2 to 24 hours. Vacuum up the mixture, and you’re stain should be gone! Keep remaining mixture around for any future stains you may discover.

Wet Carpet Cleaning Method

One of the most popular ways to get mystery stains out of your carpet is to use this homemade steam cleaning method. This easy-make homemade stain remover has been featured in numerous places and most people swear by it. If you need to remove a carpet stain, this is probably the first thing you’ll want to try. You will need:

  • A spray bottle
  • A clothes iron
  • Several towels
  • Ammonia
  • Hot water

Fill the spray bottle with equal parts water and ammonia, screw the top onto the spray bottle, and shake well. Thoroughly soak the stain with the spray bottle and cover with a towel. Take your warm clothes iron and place it on the towel, carefully moving your iron around to ensure you do not touch the carpet. Do this for several seconds, then look under the towel to check your results. If this method is working properly, the stain should begin to lift up and onto your towel. Repeat this process by spraying and steaming until the stain is completely lifted off of your carpet and onto the towel. With a larger stain this may take more than one towel, but with patience and repetition the stain should come completely out of your carpet.


What to Do With Known Stains

If you happen to know what the stain is and you catch it early, there are several interesting things you can use to get stains out quickly. Here are a few:

  • Coffee or Tea Stain? Pour beer on it, rub lightly and repeat as necessary.
  • Red Wine? As crazy as this sounds, pour white wine over the stain and blot it with a thick towel.
  • Gum? While technically not a stain, freezing gum with ice will allow you to peel it right off the carpet.


Your Flooring Needs

We hope you found this article useful! If you’re in need of new carpet, or have decided to scrap carpet altogether, contact us at Carpet To Go for all of your flooring needs – we’re more than happy to help!



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