When it comes to weather, the UK is like a constant pool party – it’s wet all the time. So essentially a day not spent skipping in the mud is a day spent abroad. And of course, the inevitable consequences are that sooner or later, mud gets on your carpets.
How do you get mud stains out?
People with children and pets know what I mean when I say my carpets often look like I had a roof leak during the rain. It’s a bit out of hand trying to manage all those small feet and paws and stop them from trotting through the lounge. Oftentimes, the kids simply forget to take their shoes off before running inside, and pets are hit or miss depending on how you train them. Even if you have hard flooring at home, you still have a car, and those carpets get muddy faster than any home carpets.
The question is, how do you clean up all the brought in muck?
For those of you who are following our blog, you know we love telling you what not to do when faced with any issue. In the case of mud, what you shouldn’t do is clean it while it’s damp. I know this flies in the face of stain removal advice for any other stains, but wet mud is harder to remove. It might be unnerving to let it sit there, but it doesn’t have to be – grab a cup of tea, put on a film, or go to work. When you’re done, the mud will be dry and ready for you to deal with it without spreading it deeper or all over the carpet fibres.
Once the mud is dry, it’s time to get to work. The first thing you should do is grab your hoover, with all appropriate attachments (brush and crevice are needed). Do note that if there are big chunks of mud, you can take a spoon and break them into smaller bits by lightly smacking them. If you remember, that’s one of the tricks we gave you on removing wax from carpet.
We’ve noticed a lot of our frenemies advise using a dull knife to scrape it up – please don’t do that, as even a dull knife can cause small tears in the fibres. These will accelerate how it gets worn out with time and use, and with carpet replacement costing an arm and a leg, you really should avoid that. Arguably, this is even worse than trying to scoop up the mud while it’s wet and spreading it over a huge area!
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How to clean mud stains from a carpet?
Okay, so you either went outside, saw a film, or stared menacingly at the mud until it dried. Whatever you did, it’s time to hoover it right out. Of course, the amount of hoovering will be much more compared to your usual however many minutes per room. In fact, the average is at least two to three times more than you normally spend hoovering the carpets, but that may vary.
To elaborate further, it depends on the carpet type and pile length. Short fibred synthetics, particularly nylon (the office favourite) is very easy to maintain, as often times it barely holds the dry mud together and you can hoover it out without that much effort. Now, if your dog/child/spouse walked over the shaggy wool carpets and rugs, feel free to scream in frustration. For the not particularly headstrong, this may push you to replace your high piles with low piles, but don’t despair. At the end of the day, this is mud, and it will come off… later rather than sooner in this case.
Speaking of hoovering, you need to make sure that when you do it, you do it right. I’m sure you know that the best kind of hoovering is not the quick one and done, but slowly going front to back and then side to side. In this case, you should make multiple passes in all directions, and take your time doing so. You want all this mud gone, but I’m afraid it can’t happen quickly.
How to remove pet mud marks on carpets?
Let’s go back to pets for a minute, shall we? As some of you may know, they sweat through paws – and that gets pretty smelly pretty quickly. Now, the obvious downside is that when your Labrador runs through the hall all muddied up, you’re looking at stains and smells to be rid of. A great way to deal with this is as follows:
First, go about your hoovering as mentioned above – as long as it needs to be properly cleaned of all mud and dirt. After that, mix a soapy water solution, in a ratio of 4:1 water to soap, which is totally acceptable, or you can go 3:1 if your soap is really mild. Apply it to the carpet, let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse it out with cold water, then let it air dry.
And then, grab your trusty bicarbonate of soda packs, and start sprinkling it where the paw prints were. Of course, if you feel like pouring it over the carpet in the whole room, I can’t stop you, but you may need a lot of baking soda. Let this sit for a few hours, then hoover it out, and if you still smell sweaty stompers – sprinkle some more.
What is the best way to remove mud stains from carpet?
Otherwise, for normal (however normal a mud stain is to you) mud stains, there are a few options. Your basic safe go-to option is soapy water, done as described above – 3 or 4 to 1 ratio of water to soap. Apply it, let it sit for a few minutes, then blot it out with colour fast cotton or paper towels, rinse the carpet with cold water and let it dry. White cloths are best, since you can easily see the dirt being lifted, and they’re least likely to bleed colour on the carpet. This is suitable for all types of carpet, except the plant woven natural fibred carpets, which don’t handle water all that well.
Another option is a solution containing vinegar, which is a great home remedy for cleaning many types of carpet stains. Grab a bowl (cereal bowl could work, but salad bowl might be better) and pour roughly around half a pint of vinegar in, then mix in about a tablespoon of dish soap and give it a stir. Using a soft bristled brush, or a clean towel, apply the solution to the mud stains and allow up to 10 minutes of sitting. Grab a sponge and cold water, and start rinsing the mixture out, making sure to have windows open (as vinegar has an acidic smell).
The third most common way of dealing with mud stains can also be used to clean nail polish from carpet – that’s right, it’s rubbing alcohol. Known among the chemistry majors as isopropyl, it is an effective mud stain remover, provided your carpets can withstand it. Always perform a patch test in a small, hard to see area of your carpet fibres, to confirm if any cleaning product is suitable for use. Otherwise, the method of application is by far the simplest, just dampen a cloth with it and apply it onto the mud stains, then blot and rinse it out.
Read also: How to clean wool carpets
How to clean a grass stain from carpet?
For those of you living in flats, you’re a bit blessed considering you don’t deal with these as often as house owners. But if you’re both a house owner and your kids play football, you probably see grass is growing on your carpet at this point. And the worst part is, 9/10 times it comes with mud as bonus muck on your flooring.
I told you a few minutes and a lot of scrolling ago not to do anything to mud while it’s wet, right? Well, when there’s mud and grass, that advice flies right out the window, because grass is a heck of an issue. Did you know that chlorophyll (the chemical element that makes plants green) is used to make green paint, and that it also seeps through the fibres as opposed to just sitting on the surface? This is especially true for natural fibred carpets, so when there’s grass on the carpet field, don’t play ball – play carpet cleaner.
Start by hoovering it right out, using the crevice tool and going slowly over the grass leaves to pick them all up. Then, grab a clean white cloth and dampen it with cold water, and ever so gently blot the stain. Keep changing cloths and blotting until you don’t see any more coming off the fibres. Then, grab your mildest (not wildest!) dish soap and mix it with cold water at a ratio of 1 to 5. Dampen a new cloth with this solution and keep blotting till it’s gone. If it’s not gone, it might be time to break out the rubbing alcohol and do the same thing – I’m sure your arm gets bored at one point, but you have to go through with this.
Alright, so that’s about it for dealing with everyone’s least favourite marks on bright carpet. If you’ve heard of other useful information on dealing with these issues, why not give us a shout? We’re always happy to write exactly what you’d like to read about!