Maybe your dog just couldn’t hold it any longer, or there’s a remnant of that green beer from St. Patrick’s Day decorating your living room carpet. Or, perhaps a splash of red wine escaped from your glass. Sound familiar? We’ll walk you through how to get stains out of carpet, since visible stains could prevent you from getting your full security deposit refund when you move out of your apartment. These carpet cleaning tips and tricks will help you get your carpet into great shape again—and get you that full security deposit back.
1. Make a DIY carpet spray.
Cleaning solutions you can make yourself will save you some cash, so try this first before you rush to the store. Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¾ cup of water, then add a splash of detergent or dish soap (just make sure it’s bleach-free!). Spray your mixture on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then give it a scrub with a towel or sponge. Soak up any excess liquid and let the carpet dry. This works well for pet stains and coffee stains.
2. Use baking soda and vinegar for tougher stains.
If your DIY spray isn’t doing the trick, take it up a notch with baking soda. Pour a layer of baking soda on top of the stain, then pour vinegar on top. The chemical reaction will help to lift the stain out of your carpet and the baking soda will absorb the stain. Vacuum up any remaining mixture and let your carpet dry. As an added bonus, baking soda helps to neutralize any odors that may have been left behind by the stain. Double duty!
3. Try rubbing alcohol for ink stains.
This one works best on ink stains from a pen or marker, but be careful that you don’t scrub the carpet when you use this trick. Simply pour some plain old rubbing alcohol onto the stain, then sop up the alcohol—and the ink stain—with a towel. No one will ever know about that busted pen that fell out of your work bag and left a mark on the carpet…
4. Head to the store.
If all else fails, head to your nearest home improvement store to browse their carpet cleaning solutions. They’ll likely have something strong enough to help, and the employees may even be able to offer some specific advice on how to get stains out of carpet.
Whatever you do, avoid anything with bleach or other chemicals that could remove dye from the carpet and cause further damage. With a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll have your apartment carpets looking good-as-new, and that can help you get more money from your security deposit refund.