How to Get Food and Beverage Stains Out of Carpet
On July 4th, people often celebrate the birth of American independence by gathering with friends and family for fun, fireworks, and food. When the weather is nice, you spread a red and white checkered tablecloth over the picnic table, open a few folding chairs, and dust off the bocce ball set.
Sometimes, however, the weather is not so nice (after all, Mother Nature can be unpredictable) and you need to bring the party inside. If your first thought is, “Oh no, my carpet is going to be ruined,” don’t let the fear of ketchup, mustard, and barbeque sauce stains spoil your party plans for Independence Day.
America’s Floor Source knows that all the delicious summertime foods and beverages come with the potential risk for unwanted spills. If you’re celebrating indoors this year, make sure you’re prepared or your carpet could be in big trouble.
There are many quality stain removal products on the market, but you can also remove carpet stains using items you already have in your home like vinegar, dish soap, and water.
Tips on how to get food and beverage stains out of carpet
Don’t rub . . . blot! If you start scrubbing right away, you’ll just push the mustard deeper into the carpet fibers. If there’s a lot of mustard, use a butter knife to scrape it up. Then, grab a white cloth and blot the area, removing as much mustard as possible. Pour club soda directly on the stain and blot some more. If the stain is still there, make a solution of 1 T. dish soap and 2 C. warm water and apply to the stain. Loosen the stain with steam by holding an iron or clothing steamer above it for 30 seconds, keeping the temp on a low setting. (Don’t make direct contact with the carpet.) Then, blot with a white cloth, moistened with cold water, until the stain has lifted.
Avoid rubbing. Using a butter knife or spatula, scrape the excess ketchup off the carpet. Mix 1 T. dish soap with 2 C. warm water. Dip a white cloth in the mixture, wring out slightly, and blot the stain. Keep repeating these steps until the stain is gone. Apply cold water to the area to remove excess soap and blot with a clean white cloth.
Some ketchup stains won’t go away without a fight. Prepare your battle weapon by mixing 2 T. white vinegar with 4 C. warm water. Dip a clean white cloth or sponge into the mixture and apply to the stained area. Working from the outside in, keep blotting until the stain has lifted.
Barbecue sauce stains
Remove excess BBQ sauce with a butter knife, and blot the stain with a paper towel until you can’t get any more of the sauce up. Mix 1 T. dish soap with 2 C. warm water and apply with a clean white cloth, sponge, or soft bristle brush. Always work from the outer edges of the stain towards the middle to prevent the stain from spreading. After you work in the solution, blot with a clean white cloth until the stain has lifted. Finish by blotting with a white cloth dipped in water to remove excess soap residue.
If the barbeque stain won’t budge with homemade solutions, it may be time to try a store-bought carpet cleaner. Spot check first to make sure your carpet won’t be discolored, then follow the instructions on the bottle. (Note: Only use stain removal products that are approved by your flooring’s manufacturer. Use of unapproved products can result in a voided warranty.)
Red wine stains
Whether on its own or mixed into a refreshing berry sangria, red wine stains can be tough to get out of the carpet if you don’t act fast. After you refill your clumsy guest’s glass (after all, you are the host of this shindig) use a white cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible from the carpet fibers. Don’t rush it; keep blotting. Then, pour cold water on the stain and continue blotting, getting a new white cloth when you run out of clean sections.
Mix 3 T. baking soda with 1 T. water to form a paste and apply it directly to the red wine stain. Let the paste dry and then vacuum it up. Viola!
How to get stains off hardwood floors
Just like with carpet, you need to act fast when something spills on your hardwood floors. Why? Even though most hardwood finishes are resistant to liquids, some foods and beverages may stain your floor if left untreated.
If you can’t clean up a spill ASAP (because your naughty children spilled red Kool-Aid in the kitchen and didn’t tell you), here are four ways to remove stains from hardwoods:
- Start by rubbing the stain with a water-dampened white cloth.
- To take it to the next level, scrub some more using white vinegar instead of water.
- If the stain remains, there are professional hardwood cleaning products you can try. (Note: Only use stain removal products that are approved by your flooring’s manufacturer. Use of unapproved products can result in a voided warranty.)
- The last resort in removing stains from hardwoods involves sanding, bleaching, and refinishing the stained section of your floor. In this case, consulting a professional makes sense to keep your floor looking its best.
Whether you're looking for carpet, hardwood, laminate, and tile, America’s Floor Source is committed to providing homeowners and commercial customers with the best flooring products and installation in Columbus, Ohio.
Flooring on sale! Celebrate our birthday with a gift for you!
Celebrate America’s freedom with us! From Friday, July 7th through Monday, July 31st, America’s Floor Source is having our first annual Birthday Sale. This is our biggest sales event of the year - get incredible deals on all our quality flooring products.
Whether you shop in-store at one of our convenient showroom locations or at home with the Mobile Floor Source, now is the perfect time to purchase new floors for your home. Get more details about our annual flooring sale and find out how to win one of our great prizes.