If you have children, you’re well acquainted with mealtime messes. It seems the food and drink land everywhere but your child’s mouth.
When we began baby-led weaning with my son, disaster struck when we attempted raspberries. No sooner had he grabbed the spoon from my hand than the pureed raspberries landed in a sticky glob right on my once-clean floor.
What a sticky mess – on the baby and the floor!
For kids, juice stains are one of the most common – and most infuriating – stains to tackle.
Although juice stains can be a bright, stubborn, and sticky mess, they’re not impossible to treat.
If you’re wondering how to get juice out of carpet – whether it’s orange, grape, apple, cranberry, carrot, or another flavor – there are a number of stain removal options that can work quite well.
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Related: How to get more stains out of carpet
Blot the remaining liquid
Responding quickly to a juice stain is key. The longer it takes you to get to the stain, the more deeply the juice will absorb into your carpet fibers, making it more difficult to remove the stain.
As soon as you see a spill, grab a roll of paper towels. A clean, dry cloth or towel will also suffice, but paper towels are helpful because you can discard them after use, rather than having to worry about transferring the juice stain to your towel.
If you catch a juice spill early, you can absorb much of the liquid before it has a chance to set and making it easier for you to treat the stain.
As needed, place the paper towels on top of the remaining liquid. The juice will absorb quickly into the paper towel, and you’ll likely need to use several to catch all of the liquid.
After the majority of the standing liquid has been absorbed, gently blot the area of the stain using a clean paper towel to absorb additional liquid that has soaked into the fibers.
Continue this process until juice no longer appears on your paper towel.
As you blot, be careful not to use a rubbing or scrubbing motion, as this can actually cause the liquid to soak deeper into your carpet’s fibers. It may actually spread the stain, too.
It’s a good idea when blotting to start from the outermost edge of the stain and work your way inward, as it is though this may help to reduce spread.
This process will not remove your stain entirely, but it can certainly help to slow the spread and reduce the amount of liquid that sets into your carpet. This will make your job easier later on when you go to treat the stain.
How to remove a dried juice stain from carpet?
If you don’t discover a juice stain until it has already dried and set into your carpet, all hope is not lost. You can still treat a dried juice stain.
To start, however, you’re going to want to re-hydrate the stain. As counter-intuitive as this may sound given the work you did in the previous section to dry the stain as much as possible, moistening the dried stain will begin to loosen it from your carpet’s fibers and make it receptive to treatment.
Use a damp cloth with cold water and gently blot the stain until it is moist. Be careful not to soak the stain. It only needs to be damp to be effectively positioned for treatment.
You can then apply any one, or more, of the stain removal techniques suggested below to address your stain.
Absorb with baking soda
After you have absorbed as much of the moisture from your carpet as you can with a paper towel, it’s a good idea to try one more method in an attempt to draw as much moisture as possible from your carpet.
Because juice stains contain sugar, it’s important to ensure you have removed the entirety of the product from your carpet. Leaving any trace of sugary juice in your carpet can collect dirt, leaving your carpet looking drab and leading to additional stains.
Using baking soda, salt, or cornstarch can help to pull up moisture that would be difficult to remove with just cloth and blotting alone.
Pour baking soda on the entire area of the stain. Allow it to sit at least 15 minutes. You will likely see the white baking soda begin to change color as it absorbs the juice.
Once the baking soda is dry, you can then remove it using a vacuum cleaner.
Try lemon juice
Another good option and a quick fix can be to use lemon juice on your stain. Although lemon juice is itself juice, it actually serves to lighten the dark stains left by other juices and the citric acid may also prove helpful at breaking down the stain, as well.
You will want to be cautious when using lemon juice on your carpet, though. Although it helps with stain removal, it can discolor your carpet if you are not careful.
Do not use on your carpet if the area of the stain is in the sunlight. Draw your curtains closed before applying this solution to avoid sun exposure.
When lemon juice comes into contact with sunlight, it can have a bleaching effect. And while this is helpful for lightening your stain, it can actually over-expose your carpet, leaving it bleached.
However, if you have low light conditions and are looking to lighten a bright juice stain, such as that left by grape or cranberry juice, lemon juice can work great.
Drizzle lemon juice – either freshly squeezed or the bottled variety will work – on the area of the stain and allow it to sit for five minutes.
Then, blot the area with a clean, dry towel until the stain is gone or no bright color appears on your cloth.
Once you have completed this treatment, it’s important to rinse the area thoroughly to remove any lemon juice from your carpet. Do so using cold water and blotting with a damp cloth or towel.
If you’re still looking for a great way to treat a juice stain in carpet, white vinegar can actually work quite well, and it’s a good way to avoid exposing your carpet, and your household, to bleach.
White vinegar works to lift stains, but it’s also effective at lightening them. And if your stain has an odor, it can help to neutralize, despite having a pungent aroma itself.
Combine one part white vinegar with three parts warm water in a spray bottle, gently applying the solution to the juice stain.
Allow this mixture to sit for up to 15 minutes, giving the vinegar time to do its job.
Then, begin blotting the treated area with a dry towel, applying additional solution as needed, and repeating until the stain is gone.
For added stain fighting power, add a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent.
When you’re finished treating the stain, be sure to rinse the remaining vinegar solution using cold water.
Another potentially effective treatment for juice stains in carpet is the use of a non-bleach liquid dish detergent.
Think about it: These products are designed to tackle tough food messes on your dishes. Why wouldn’t they work well to break up a set-in juice stain on your carpet?
Combine one tablespoon of dish soap with two cups of warm water in a spray bottle and spritz onto the area of the stain. If possible, it’s best to use a clear dish detergent, as the dyes in some products may discolor your carpet.
If you must use a colored dish detergent, test the solution on a small, non-visible area of your carpet first to ensure it will not cause damage.
Allow the solution to sit for 5 minutes before blotting with a dry, white cloth. Reapply the treatment as needed and continue blotting until the stain is removed or your cloth no longer shows the pigment from the juice.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly when finished.
Although the products and solutions highlighted above can, indeed, work quite well on even the toughest of juice stains, sometimes a juice stain will require a more powerful solution.
Hydrogen peroxide can actually work well to lift and lighten carpet stains.
This approach may work particularly well if you have a bright red stain, such as from cranberry or grape juice.
However, despite its effectiveness at removing the stain, it can pose a risk to your carpet. Hydrogen peroxide acts as a bleaching agent and may result in carpet discoloration.
You should avoid using this product on dark carpets, and it is not appropriate for use on wool or silk carpets, either.
If you have a light colored carpet and are attempting to remove a stubborn juice stain, then test a small, non-visible area of your carpet first to ensure there will be no discoloration.
Once you have determined this product to be safe, mix one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with two cups of warm water and apply to the stain affected area.
Allow to sit for several minutes to begin working, but do not leave for too long, as it may discolor the carpet.
Then, use a dry cloth to blot the stain until it’s gone.
When you’re finished treating the stain, make sure to rinse all of the hydrogen peroxide from the carpet using cold water. Leaving it in can result in damage to your carpet and may expose pets and children to the substance, as well.
If you’re looking for an alternative to hydrogen peroxide, another option is ammonia. However, this product can pose risks to your carpet, as well as to yourself, and you should take safety precautions when using.
Never use this product with chlorine bleach, as it can cause a dangerous, even deadly, chemical reaction.
Ensure all pets and children are safely away from the stain while ammonia is in use and open windows to ensure proper ventilation.
Combine one tablespoon of ammonia with two cups of warm water and apply to the stain, blotting with a dry cloth until the stain has been removed.
Rinse thoroughly with cold water when finished.
Enzymatic Carpet Cleaner
If you’re still finding your stain to be stubborn, another option is to use a commercial carpet cleaner. Some folks will prefer to just jump straight to this step to begin with, as such options tend to be highly concentrated and designed for breaking up tough stains.
But if you’re looking to limit your chemical exposure and still break up a tough, bright stain, then the use of an enzymatic carpet cleaner may work well for you. These products are designed for use on tough, smelly stains, like those left by pets or babies.
As a result, it may work well to tackle a difficult juice stain.
One product that can work well is Hoover Paws & Claws Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo. It is safe for use around pets and children, if this is of concern to you.
Always make sure to thoroughly rinse any stain remover product once you are finished treating the stain. You can do so by applying cold water to the area and then blotting dry with a clean towel.
Leaving product in your carpet, even if it is a natural product, can damage your carpet, leave it looking dull, or expose those living in your home to a harmful substance.
Dry the area thoroughly, as well. Failure to do so can cause your carpet to grow mold or mildew, creating a health hazard.
Once finished, it’s a good idea to vacuum the area thoroughly, as it this helps to smooth your carpet, as well.
Regardless of which type of juice your carpet encounters, use of the above mentioned stain removal options can work well to restore your carpet to its usual self in no time.