How to Remove Garden Soil, Clay, or Mud Stain from Carpet or a Rug

Dirt, Soil, Clay, or Mud Stain Removal

Cleaning Tools and Agents that May Be Needed.

  • Vacuum Cleaner: A wet/dry vacuum cleaner is ideal for stain removal work. Use a clean, dry white towel as an alternative. If your vacuum cleaner is designed for dry carpet only, do not vacuum the stained area until the removal procedure is finished and the carpet is dry.
  • Spoon: A large spoon usually works best.
  • Towels: The towels should be clean and colorfast. Paper towels can be used as an alternative.
  • Detergent: Mix 1 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent with 2 cups of warm water -- not hot water. The dish detergent should be clear in color without bleaching properties.
  • Warm Water: Clean water will be used for the rinsing.
  • Club Soda: Club soda works wonders on a variety of water soluble stains. We suggest you always keep a can of club soda on hand at room temperature. Club soda is carbonated water; thus, club soda will not cause any damage to the carpet backing. You can slowly drizzle a small amount directly on the spill, but we caution you to not soak the carpet. Club soda does not leave a residue and therefore does not need to be rinsed out. In fact, club soda can be used as the rinsing agent for other cleaners.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons of warm water -- not hot water. The hydrogen peroxide should contain 3% H2O2 and is available at your local grocery store or drug store. WARNING: This product has a bleaching affect and is best used on very light colors.

Step-by-Step Procedure.

  1. Allow soil to complete dry.
  2. Use a spool to gently scrape and scoop up the excess starting on the edge and working towards the center.
  3. Vacuum or blot up the excess. Clean out as much as possible with the carpet still dry.
  4. Apply detergent water to the stained area without soaking the carpet and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Blot or gently stroke the carpet pile.
  6. Rinse the carpet by applying warm water without soaking the carpet.
  7. Vacuum or blot up the excess. (If the stain was removed, do not proceed to the next step.)
  8. Apply hydrogen peroxide mix and let it stand for 30 minutes. After applying hydrogen peroxide, cover the stain with a thick towel to block the light. Light transforms the chemical properties of hydrogen peroxide. Check the stain periodically. Watch for loss of color.
  9. Rinse the carpet by applying warm water without soaking the carpet.
  10. Vacuum or blot up the excess.
  11. Finally, vacuum the carpet after its dry to reset the carpet pile.

Many spots come out very slowly requiring multiple attempts with the same procedures. We strongly recommend that you do the rinsing step as suggested. Rinsing removes residues that can re-attract dirt later and also assists in returning the carpet to a neutral pH. Sometimes, stains will wick back to the surface of the carpet nap requiring you to do the same procedure again.

Not all spots can be successfully removed, but we have solutions for those problems as well. Light spots in carpet are likely the result of color loss and therefore cannot be correct by spot removal. Wolfe Flooring provides spot dying and bonded inserts to deal with these otherwise permanent problems. The focus of these directions is to remove visual problems, not odor problems. Wolfe Flooring offers an odor removal product and a great spot removal product that may be just what you're needing. We encourage our customers to keep such products on hand. We also provide Teflon Advance™ by DuPont® to add protection to your carpet from future accidents.