The carpet in your home puts up with a lot during its lifetime. With good maintenance, it can handle general wear and tear throughout the years, however, there comes a time when it’ll face substances that can’t be banished with a quick vacuum.

While none of us can avoid accidental spills and stains forever, you can lessen the effect they have on your residential carpet – if you know what to do!

To avoid a carpet cleaning nightmare, here are the most common mistakes to avoid when cleaning carpets.

Waiting too long to clean up a spill

This seems like common sense, but sometimes it’s easy to put off cleaning up a spill, especially if you are entertaining guests when it takes place. However, often the speed at which you react to spills on your carpet can make a significant difference in the end result.

By acting straightaway, you’ll have a better chance of fully removing both the stain and the odour from your carpet. Never let a hot spill cool, or a cool spill dry!

Rubbing the carpet


When addressing a spill or spot on your carpet, it might be first instinct to grab a damp tea towel and start frantically rubbing or scrubbing the area.

Rubbing a stain is one of the top carpet cleaning crimes, as it can actually force the substance deeper into the fibres, as well spreading the discoloration. It can also damage the carpet fibres themselves, causing them to fray. Never use scrubbing tools or brushes.

Not doing a test with carpet cleaning products

This is especially important when using stronger cleaning chemicals. Always read the label carefully, as some products are not suitable for all carpets, and other DIY carpet cleaning techniques can be overly harsh.

The last thing you want to do is cause even further damage to your carpet, so pick an inconspicuous area and do a small spot test before addressing the main stain.

Using a coloured cloth to clean your carpet


While you might grab the first towel or rag you see lying around to attack that spilled tomato sauce, think twice before you use it to clean your carpet. This is because you may run the risk of the dye from a coloured cloth bleeding into the carpet as you clean, meaning double the mess!

Over dampening the area

You don’t need to drown a stain to remove it. In fact, applying too much moisture can actually be detrimental to your carpet, resulting in issues from discolouration and damp odours to carpet lifting.

When cleaning, avoid soaking the area with water or cleaning product, and ensure that you absorb any remaining moisture with a white bath towel or a wad of paper towel. Press firmly into the carpet, or stand on the towel for extra pressure.

What is the best way to remove stains from my carpet?

Many of our carpets are treated with water resistant products to minimise the risk of spills sinking deeper into the fibres or the pile, but it’s still important to know how to quickly and effectively address stains.

First, remove excess matter either by first dabbing or scraping it away – a plastic scraper, spoon or blunt knife will do. Next, blot the spill with a white paper towel or cloth to absorb excess moisture before using a (pre-tested) carpet cleaner.

When using a cleaning product, work your way gently from the outside of the stain inwards – blotting, not scrubbing – and rinse your cloth frequently. Remove any cleaning product residue with a damp towel before using a white cloth or paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Apply pressure, or weigh the towel down to ensure the area dries properly.

Already too late to save your carpet?

If you’ve committed one of the DIY carpet stain removal mistakes above, or your carpet is past its best, it may be time to replace your home’s carpet. You can browse our range of carpet online, or use our carpet room visualiser to get a feel of what we have to offer.

We also offer our Shop at Home service, which includes a free in-home measure and quote! To find out more, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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