These foolproof tips will keep your rugs looking as good as new.
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Before you followed Martha on Instagram, you looked forward to learning from her on the air—and you still can. The Best of the Martha Show takes you right back into our founder's studio to rediscover her most timeless homekeeping tips and Good Things, galore.

New carpeting and rugs can be a big investment for a homeowner. That's why it's important to know how to remove dirt and stains from your fabric floor coverings. Fortunately, Martha has a few tried-and-true tricks for getting rid of an array of carpet blemishes. In the above clip from a vintage on-air episode, Martha sits down with a professional carpet cleaner to get the scoop on handling everything from juice puddles to burn marks.

Soak up liquid stains stat.

When tackling tough liquid stains, such as cranberry juice or red wine, the key is to soak up as much of the spill as possible before it settles into your carpet. Since rubbing a liquid spill will cause it to move deeper into the pile, Martha recommends using a cloth or paper towel to gently blot and dab instead. If it's too late to soak up the fresh stain, or if you have rubbed it into the carpet, you will likely need to call a professional cleaner for help.

Power up your vacuum for dirt marks.

As with liquid marks, Martha says it's crucial to clean up dirt as quickly as possible before it gets ground into the pile. With the help of a reliable vacuum with a good beater bar, you should be able to loosen up and remove the soil before it leaves a permanent spot. The trick is to run over the debris at least five or six times—not just once or twice—to ensure you are removing all of the mess, and not just what's settled on top of the pile.

Tackle the stain from every direction.

Along with vacuuming over dirt stains at least five times, it's also important to go over the soiled area in different directions. Since vacuuming the pile in one direction can cause it to lay a certain way, going over it several more times from different angles will help ensure that you remove the bulk of the debris. To bypass pesky dirt spots in the first place, Martha recommends keeping several mats outside your home to remove debris before it enters your home. Doormats composed of durable weatherproof materials, such as coconut husk fibers and jute, will help wipe the soles of your shoes clean without too much effort.

Call a professional for a true carpet disaster.

If you have a real carpet disaster, like a burn or an equally stubborn stain that won't budge, Martha says there's still hope to be had. In some cases, a professional carpet installer or cleaner can cut a small portion of the covering that's hidden from plain sight, such as in a closet, to patch and repair the damaged area. When searching for an in-home professional cleaner to handle a difficult-to-remove mark, Martha says to hire an expert with a truck-mounted system to properly steam and chemically treat your carpet. And if you're dealing with stains on an area or accent rug? Our founder says to roll it up and take it to a professional for a deep, thorough cleaning.

Comments (1)

Martha Stewart Member
April 18, 2021
These are superficial stains, the real stains are pet stains. It would wonderful if you could address this issue, as many of us have pets and run into this problem regularly.