It’s been a long day, and you can’t wait to get home. You make yourself a hot cup of tea and sit down with your favorite book or tv show. Then it happens. Your fingers fumble and your tea goes all over your carpet.
We love tea just as much as the next person, but the first time you spill it on your carpet may have you renouncing it forever. You aren’t stuck with that unsightly stain forever. There’s hope.
Tannins can cause some serious staining, but there are some methods for getting the stain out. Let’s refresh your poor carpet and get you back to relaxing with your favorite mug and favorite tea.
Before You Start
The key to getting a tea stain out is acting quickly. Blotting the stain with a clean cloth (don’t rub) can get out a lot of the discoloration caused by the tannins. If you can’t get to the stain right away, however, you aren’t lost.
If you’ve let the stain dry, gently dabbing it with water can help loosen the stain up and give you a better chance of removing it completely.
You should also test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous part of your carpet to test for colorfastness. Once you determine it’s safe to use, you can start on the stain itself.
Basic Cleaning – Just Spilled Tea
For newer stains or still damp stains.
- a dry cloth
- Dilute the stain with water. Be sure to use lukewarm water so that you don’t accidentally set the stain further.
- Dab, don’t rub, the stain to bring up the coloring.
- Repeat the steps until the stain is removed to your liking or you can’t bring up any more of the color.
Basic Cleaning – Dried Stain
When you can’t get to your stain right away, follow these steps.
- white vinegar
- regular dish soap (We like blue Dawn)
- cloth or rag
- Mix a few drops of dish soap into the white vinegar.
- Soak the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
- Begin to blot the area to help remove color.
- Repeat these steps until the stain is gone.
Set In Stains
- white vinegar
- Dilute the stain with the vinegar and sprinkle the area with salt. Salt acts as a sponge for the color of the tea and can help it come up more easily.
- Allow the vinegar solution to sit for at least an hour, possibly more.
- Use your cloth and begin to blot the area to bring up the stain. Vacuum over the area to help remove any salt that hasn’t dissolved in the blotting process.
If you still can’t get your stain out, try this.
- baking soda
- damp cloth
- Wet the stain with your cloth and then pour a generous amount of baking soda onto the stain.
- Allow the baking soda to soak up the moisture and vacuum the area thoroughly.
- Repeat until the color is gone or the stain is less noticeable to your satisfaction.
Nuclear Option – The Carpet Cleaner
If nothing else works, renting a carpet cleaner or shampooer from your local hardware store may be your only option. If you’ve got a spot cleaning tool in your home, you may have to drag it out.
The carpet tool can get up deep set stains that won’t budget for any other method we’ve listed, but we’d resort to that last. If you’ve gotten to a stain immediately, there’s probably no need to pull out the big guns.
Maintaining Your Carpet
You can’t always protect your carpet from spills, but treating a stain immediately can go a long way to helping you get the stain up.
The first line of defense is drinking your tea at the table, but we get it. THat’s a major buzzkill to your comfort. The table is kind of the opposite of what we imagine a comforting cup of hot tea to be.
If you must drink your tea on the couch or in your favorite chair, treating a stain right away can help prevent having to go through all these steps. Dilute the stain with plain, lukewarm water and dab it up with a clean, dry cloth. You could also step on the cloth to use your weight to draw the liquid out of the carpet.
Don’t let tea ruin your carpet. A considerable stain is the opposite of relaxation but resist the urge to deal with it later. The sooner you get to it, the more likely you are to be successful getting up all the color. Luckily, tea isn’t usually a serious stain maker unless you don’t address it immediately. You’ll be back in your spot with your nice, hot cup of tea in no time with not a care in the world.
Now that your carpet is clean again, will you consider drinking your tea only at the table or are you an armchair tea drinker for life? Tell us all about it (and what your tea of choice is) in the comments below.