What Causes Carpet Stains and Odors and How to Get Rid of Them

If you have a carpet in your home/apartment, you know the struggles of keeping it clean. Carpets are really comfortable and might match the look of the place you’re staying but it is a whole job to keep them clean. Since they’re so absorbent, they attract dirt really easily. And if that wasn’t bad enough, if not cleaned regularly, they leave a pungent smell behind. Are you also tired of scrubbing your carpets every day just so you won’t have to deal with the smell and the dirt? So am I! 

One thing that you need to know is that if you own a carpet, it’s going to get dirty. However, there are a few things that can be done so your carpets can stay cleaner for longer. Before we get into that discussion, do you want to know what causes carpet stains and odors? Listed below are some of the most common reasons for carpet stains: 

  1. Fabric: The important thing to remember here is that carpet is fabric and fabric gets dirty particularly when it’s being walked on constantly for months. Imagine how your bed sheets would look if they were not cleaned for six months? 
  2. Dirt: Everytime you walk inside the house with your shoes that have literally been everywhere from the supermarket to your driveway and your lawn, EVERYWHERE. When they are stepped on the carpet, it’s only natural for your carpet to capture the dirt.
  3. Oils: When you’re cooking oils get airborne and eventually land on your carpet. 

Now that we’re clear on the reasons why the carpet can easily stain, let’s move forward and discuss how to get rid of the stains. We’re already familiar with the fact that carpet stains stay for longer since you can’t clean your carpet every day, which causes the dirt to stick for a longer period of time. While this is exhausting, you can use some preventive measures to clean your carpets in a way that they stay clean for longer:

Odor Removal: 

The first thing you need to identify is what kind of odor does your carpet have? There are two kinds: Surface Odor and Deep Odor. As the name represents, Surface odor is when something spills on your carpet (commonly a solid) that the carpet does not absorb. Such as your pet’s feces. Deep Odor are liquids that the carpets absorb and are harder to clean. 

For Surface Odors, we can simply use some baking soda. Take some soda mixed in a little water and spill it over the damaged area. Leave it there for about 20-30 minutes and once dry, you can either use your vacuum cleaner to remove it. That would help with the smell and the stain (if any).

For Deep Odors, we would need some vinegar mixed with any carpet cleaning solution such as a carpet cleaning shampoo or isopropyl alcohol. Another thing you will need is a carpet steamer. You would have to pour the solution in the steamer and follow the instructions given on it. That would help get rid of any deep odors. 

Water-Soluble stains: 

Water soluble stains are easier to remove because they are vulnerable to effects of water. These stains are caused by any liquids such as sodas, milk or alcoholic beverages. What you need to do is to simply warm some water and dip a piece of cloth in it. Along with this, prepare a solution of non-bleach detergent in about 32 ounces of water. Dab the same cloth in this solution and smoothly rub it against the stained area of the carpet. Once done, dry that area with either vacuum cleaner or by taking a dry cloth or simply just turning the fan on and waiting for a while until it dries. 

Coffee Stains: 

The stains left by coffee are much harder to remove because they are not just absorbed by the carpets but are also sticky. Which is why it’s better to remove them as soon as possible. For this, mix one tablespoon of ammonia in one cup of water. Wet a cloth in that solution and slowly dab it on the damaged areas. Avoid rubbing this solution as it might spread the stain and ruin your carpet. It’s better if you use a sponge for this since it’s easier to dab. Keep repeating the process until the stain comes off. 

Blood/Urine Stains: 

To get rid of these, it’s the easiest if you clean them immediately. All you need is dish water and soap solution to clean this stain off. Use a cloth or a sponge, whichever you find easier. If you’re having trouble removing the stain completely, you may also add some ammonia to the soap solution and then remove the stain. 

Apart from this, if you feel like you want professional help in removing stains from your carpet, you can always call carpet cleaning services. They would get the job done for you and you can just sit back and relax. Carpet cleaning can be a little hectic but once done, your carpet would look nice and fresh! 

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.