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How to get mud out of carpet

Muddy footprints on the carpet are often inevitable during the wetter months, or after going to a firework display on Bonfire Night! Read on for handy tips on how to get mud out of carpet.

Updated Reading Time: 5 minutesBy Cleanipedia Team

Muddy footprints on a blue carpet
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The great British weather isn’t always particularly pleasant. However, a bit of rain never puts us off, and each winter we put on our boots, wrap up warmly and head out. It’s great fun, but there is one part that’s not quite so good – the muddy footprints that your family leave on your carpets as they come in from the damp grass. Never fear – these tips will help you clean your floors in no time.

When cleaning up mud stains, you’ll want to make sure that the mud has dried first – if it is still wet, it may be more difficult to remove.

You will need:

  • Vacuum
  • Spray bottle
  • Spoon
  • Warm water
  • Laundry detergent
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How to clean muddy footprints and get mud out of carpet

  1. Allow the mud to completely dry

    For muddy footprints, you actually want the mud to dry. If you try to clean wet mud, you’ll find that it spreads and dirties even more of your floor. By allowing it to dry, you prevent spreading the stain

  2. Vacuum the dry mud

    Once the mud is completely dry (you can speed up the process by placing a portable fan in front of the area), you can start to remove the mud. The best way to do this is by using a vacuum cleaner, preferably with the hose attachment so you can really focus upon the muddy area.

  3. Use a spoon to gentle scrape any soil stuck in the fibres

    Some bits of soil will probably still be stuck to the fibres of your carpet after vacuuming, so you’ll need to scrape away the mud to loosen it. To do this, use an object such as a spoon and gently scrape the carpet, being careful not to cause any damage. Once you’ve loosened more soil, vacuum once more. Continue scraping and vacuuming until all of the dried mud has been removed

  4. Create a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent

    Discolouration may occur, so use a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent – preferably one with a built-in stain remover. If using powdered detergent, mix the solution well to ensure all the grains has dissolved. 

    Make sure to test any product in a small area first.

  5. Dip a sponge into the mixture and dab on the area, then allow to dry naturally

    Dip a sponge into the soapy water, and gently dab the area until the stain has faded. Allow to dry naturally

  6. Use a specialist carpet cleaning product if needed

    You can also use a specialist carpet cleaning product – just read the directions on the label and test any new product on a small, inconspicuous area first.

How to clean muddy pawprints

If your cat or dog has been digging in the damp garden all day, this means you’ll have yet another set of muddy footprints (or pawprints in this case) to deal with.

  1. Follow the above steps

    You can clean muddy pawprints in much the same way as you do for your family’s footprints – by leaving the mud to dry and vacuuming it up, adding cleaning products if some discolouration remains.

  2. Mix a white vinegar and water solution

    Mix up equal parts white vinegar and water and add to a spray bottle. 

  3. Spray the solution onto the carpet and allow to dry

    Once the area has been cleaned, spray this solution onto the carpet, and allow to dry. The vinegar will help remove any traces of animal smell. Your carpet might smell strongly of vinegar at first, but this will fade to nothing once the solution has dried.

  4. If there is a still a smell, add baking soda then vacuum

    If the smell is still lingering, sprinkle baking soda generously over the area before you go to bed. In the morning, simply vacuum it up. Baking soda is very absorbent and should draw out any odours in your carpets leaving them clean and fresh.

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Don’t let the terrible British weather deter you from donning your raincoats and your wellies and getting out into the garden to partake in one of the most colourful events in the British calendar. Worried about the clean up afterwards? Don’t be. By following these helpful hints, cleaning up muddy footprints – and pawprints – should be quick, easy, and stress-free. Plus you can also find out how to clean muddy wellies here.

Originally published