Carpet Cleaners - The Best and Worst Methods

Carpet cleaning methods for the festive season

It’s getting to that time of year. The time of year when mulled wine abounds, mince pies smothered in icing sugar are in every hand, and the statement colour is red. Needless to say, carpet cleaning may well be on your agenda the morning after the party. We’re here to give some advice (and try to clear up some of the old wives’ tales surrounding stains), so you can live for the moment and not worry too much about the merry makers!

Useful store cupboard ingredients for stains:

white vinegar

artificial sweetener

soda water

washing up liquid

mineral spirits

rubbing alcohol

The basic techniques:




How to clean up a red wine stain:

Rubbing your stain is the biggest mistake you could make. Rubbing allows the colour to penetrate into deeper and deeper layers of your carpet.


As soon as possible, get blotting. Gently dab at your stain to try to lift it. If you can’t get to it immediately (for example you’re mid party and kicking everyone out whilst you attend to the floor doesn’t appeal) cover the stain generously with salt. Though this won’t solve the problem, it should keep the stain at surface level ready to be dealt with later (hoover it up before dealing with the stain).

  1. Blot up the wine with a slightly damp kitchen towel
  2. Mix one tbsp. of washing up liquid with one tbsp. of white vinegar and two cups (16oz) of warm water. Sponge the stain a little at a time, following each blot with a blot from a clean, dry cloth, until the stain lifts.
  3. Then blot with cool water (again, following with a blot from a dry cloth) to get rid of any residue from the detergent liquid.

Myth 1: white wine cleans up red wine

This does actually work. White wine, like water, will dilute the terrifying red stain you’re faced with. It’s particular chemical make up seems to help neutralise that red stain too. But why waste good wine?! The hydrogen peroxide method below works just as well.

So, if your stain is so bad that the above method didn’t work, you could trial this. Trial this mix first in an inconspicuous place to make sure the carpet’s colour doesn’t alter, for example in a dark corner or under a rug!

  1. mix one part of washing up liquid with two parts hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Using a clean cloth, sponge this on, and blot off with a dry cloth. Rinse this well.

Wine on clothing:

Try to get the item off, if possible. Dab the item with a cloth and a little soda water until the stain lifts.

How to get rid of stains from sticky sauces

For stains such as tomato sauce, pasta sauce or BBQ sauce, dab the spillage with a cloth lathered with washing up liquid, then rinse it with white vinegar.

For stains from coffee, tea and mustard, use a combination of white vinegar and cool water, preferably getting the table cloth or piece of clothing immersed in the water.

Candle wax dripped on your cloth

Strip your linens and if you notice any stubborn fallen wax, put your cloths into the freezer to help the wax set, and then crack. Remove any leftover wax by scraping off, and then get rid of that lingering wax stain by rubbing mineral spirits into the wax. Remove excess wax, and get rid of the remaining residue by rubbing mineral spirits into the wax. Rinse the tablecloth with rubbing alcohol, let dry completely, then wash it using biological clothes detergent.

If you need to shampoo your carpets for an all-over clean, whether before or after the party, you should always vacuum first – it’s surprising how much dirt and dust ( as well as loose pile) you will lift this way. See our How To video below for tips on how to use a carpet cleaner for a really deep clean.

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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