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How to remove really old carpet stains

Found an ancient stain under the coffee table? No worries! Here are three methods for how to remove old stains from carpet fibres using household ingredients.

Updated

Old coffee stain on a carpet

Key steps

  1. Choose your cleaning solution: try water first, and then washing up liquid, vinegar, and baking soda.
  2. Blot the stain from the outer edges inwards, alternating between a damp cloth and a dry cloth.
  3. Let the carpet air-dry naturally.

Acting fast is a good idea when a spilled cup of coffee stains the carpet, but sometimes stains sit for ages before we attempt to clean them. Or we don’t even know they’re there until we move the sofa — argh! The good news is you can still refresh your carpet with a bit of know-how. Here’s how to remove old coffee stains from carpet surfaces.

Whichever method you use to remove old coffee stains from carpet fibres, wait until the cleaned area is completely dry before walking on it again.

Advice on wool carpet stain removal

When considering how to remove old coffee stains from wool carpet or other natural fibres, it’s important to note that some stain removers, and ammonia, can cause damage. So, it’s best to stick to gentler cleaning solutions.

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How to remove old stains from carpet: first steps

We’re going to show you three ways to try to remove old coffee stains from carpet fibres, each using a different household ingredient. But before we move onto showing you how to get old coffee stains out of carpet with these special solutions, there’s a first step to take. And that involves simple water. You may find this easy method is all it takes:

  1. Use warm water on a clean sponge to lightly wet and loosen the dried stain.
  2. Blot with a dry white cloth — start at the edge and work your way inwards.
  3. Alternate between blotting with water and blotting with a dry cloth.
  4. Keep going until you don’t get any coffee transferring from the carpet to the cloth.
  5. Let the carpet dry fully, after a final blot with a dry towel.

If that hasn’t entirely lifted the stain, then you’ll want to know how to remove old coffee stains from carpet fibres with a homemade cleaning solution. Here are three to try.

How to get old stains out of carpet fibres with washing-up liquid

A simple solution of water and a mild washing up liquid is a gentle approach, but often it’s all you need. Here’s how:

  1. Combine one cup of water with three drops of mild washing-up liquid.
  2. Sponge the stain with the solution, working from the outer edges inwards.
  3. Leave it for a few minutes.
  4. Carry out the method above, alternating blotting with water and a dry cloth.

No luck? Let’s move onto how to get old stains out of carpet fibres by adding in vinegar.

How to remove old stains from carpet with vinegar

You can also add vinegar to a washing-up liquid solution, to help get rid of really stubborn stains. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to remove old stains from carpet with vinegar:   

  1. Combine two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of washing-up liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar.    
  2. Use a clean cloth to apply this solution to the stain, from the edges inward.
  3. Blot with a clean, dry towel to help lift more of the stain.
  4. Repeat as needed.
  5. Use cool water to dab at the stain in order to rinse away the cleaning solution.
  6. Blot with a dry towel and let the carpet air-dry.

That’s how to remove really old carpet stains using vinegar, but are you still seeing some stains? It’s time to try baking soda.

How to remove really old carpet stains with baking soda

Our final tip on how to get old coffee stains out of carpet fibres is to use the cleaning power of baking soda:

  1. Sprinkle baking soda over the stained area and leave it to absorb.
  2. You can either vacuum up the baking soda and try the vinegar solution method, or leave the powder there and move onto the next step.
  3. Combine white vinegar with water in a spray bottle.
  4. Spray the stained area and leave for a few hours.
  5. Scrub the baking soda and vinegar paste to loosen it.
  6. Vacuum it all up.
 

Cleaning carpets when a stain has set in might take a few attempts, but keep going and you should find that the stain lightens — and you’ll soon have your clean carpet back! Just remember to check any new cleaning method on an inconspicuous area first.

Originally published