How to Remove Water Stains From Carpet

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Unfortunately, carpets stain. Wine, cola, blood and makeup can all leave hard to remove stains on a carpet. However, who would have thought plain old water could actually stain a carpet? Well, it can. Small amounts of sediment dissolved in the water can be left behind when a water spot dries, leaving a tell tale stain. Happily, in most cases, a water stain is easy to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean dry terry towel
  • Clean water
  • White vinegar

Synthetic Fibers (Nylon, Polypropylene)

  • Mix a solution of half water and half white vinegar. The vinegar is acidic and will neutralize the alkalinity of the sediment that is making the water stain.

  • Moisten a clean white terry towel with the water/vinegar solution.

  • Rub the towel gently over the water spot. The objective is to get the tips of the carpet fibers wet, not to soak the carpet itself.

  • Allow the carpet fibers to dry. Hopefully the stain is gone or at least minimized. If the stain is reduced but still noticeable, repeat the water/vinegar process until the stain is gone. Allow the fibers to dry between each application.

Natural Fibers

  • Water stains on natural fibers may produce what is know as "cellulosic browning," a stain that can only be removed by a trained carpet cleaning technician.

Tips & Warnings

  • The most important thing you can do to stop your carpet from staining is react quickly to any spills. Blot up liquids with white paper towels or a clean absorbent cloth. Blot (don't rub) the spill and work from the outside in to the middle. Rubbing will just spread the stain over a larger area.
  • Products that clean clothes will often clean carpets as well. A laundry pretreating product on a fresh spill will often prevent it from permanently staining.
  • Whenever you are trying to remove any stains from your carpet, always first test in an inconspicuous spot first.
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