How to remove tea and coffee stains from carpet using stain removers
I am often asked ”is it possible to remove tea or coffee stains from a carpet?”. It all depends if the carpet is wool or a stain resistant synthetic carpet. Wool being a natural fiber will absorb the stain and in many cases can be permanent. Many synthetic carpets may not have absorbed the stain into the fibers. In the UK the many popular synthetic carpets are made from polypropylene fibers.Polypropylene carpets that have been guaranteed stain resistant will not absorb the stain and therefore the tea or coffee should come out.
More often than not, tea or coffee stains will have penetrated the fibers and will have permanently changed the colour of the carpet as the tannin will have dyed the fibers. However on some occasions, the stain can come out or sometimes be improved with stain removers.
Removing a fresh tea or coffee stain from the carpet.
If the the coffee or tea has recently been spilled on the carpet and it is still damp, use a non coloured towel or kitchen absorbent towel to blot the area.
Keep blotting the area until you see there is no longer any of the spillage coming out of the carpet. You will need to absorb as much of the spillage as possible so you can also place a heavy book or object on the toweling while you wait.
While waiting for the spillage to be absorbed, use a suitable spray bottle, mix a small amount of washing machine clothes detergent with some warm water and dissolve the mixture. Avoid adding too much detergent, only a little is required of the concentrate.
Treat the tea or coffee stain with a stain remover.
Spray the affected area lightly with the mixed water and detergent. Biological detergent will work better if you have some available to break down the enzymes from the stain. Avoid over wetting the area as this can and will cause a problems with the stain worsening and the carpet becoming damaged.
Leave the mixture for around 10 to 20 minutes for the detergent to do it’s work, then repeat blotting as much out as possible. If the stain is improving, keep repeating the process several times until it improves no more.
When you have removed as much as possible, clean out the sprayer and fill with clean warm water. Spray lightly with the clean water and once again blot the area. Keep repeating the spray and blotting to rinse out as much detergent as possible while avoiding to over wet the area. Use a towel on the area with a weight to keep drawing out as much moisture as possible.
Many ”off the shelf” tea and coffee stain removers are available online and from supermarkets which you can also use. Always follow the makers instructions and first test in an inconspicuous area. Some off the shelf stain removers can bleach the carpet so always pre test before use.
General tips and advice about carpet stain removal
Scrubbing and wetting:
Avoid wetting a carpet too much. Over wetting can cause the cellulose in the carpet backing to dissolve and wick up the fibers and turn the carpet brown, permanently damaging the carpet. Always use a suitable sprayer where the amount can be controlled and lightly apply dampen the carpet which will allow the stain remover to do it’s work.
Scrubbing or rubbing too much can also damage the carpet pile. If it was necessary to scrub the carpet to remove any dried or caked on dirt, carefully trim off any fluffed carpet pile with scissors or a sharp blade when dry.
Always pre-test ”off the shelf” stain removers in an inconspicuous area beforehand. Some types of stain removers can bleach or affect the colour of the carpet.
Using dish washing liquid to remove stains from carpet.
It is often a mistake to use dish washing liquid or detergent to try and remove stains from a carpet. Used in a very small amount and diluted sufficiently, it probably won’t cause much of a problem. Another problem is soaking the carpet which can often damage a carpet.
The problem occurs because the dish washing liquid is very difficult to remove from the carpet afterwards. The residue from the liquid is sticky and this residue will attract more dirt when dry. The washing liquid will stay sticky when dry and continue to attract dirt when the carpet is used. This is often the reason why many stains come back afterwards and the area gradually turns into a stain again. The washing liquid will also stay in the backing of the carpet and slowly wicks back up the fibers and continues to attract dirt.