Drinking a fresh cup of tea can be so relaxing and energising, whether it’s early in the morning or when you’ve just come home after a long day. However, spilling it over your cosy, soft and clean carpet can quickly stress you out again. And, your plans for the relaxing part of the day turn into a search for ways to remove the tea stain from the carpet. Fortunately, you came to the right place.
In this article, we’ve gathered the most effective and easy ways to clean tea stains. And if you take action in time, you will be able to return to your chill-out plans in just a few minutes.
So, if you:
- Are facing a fresh tea spill or fighting an old tea stain on your carpet;
- Want to deal with them right away on your own but don’t know where to start;
- Are searching for a cleaning solution mainly using household products,
Then, read on!
But before we dive into the cleaning methods, let’s find out why tea stains our carpet in the first place.
Why does tea leave stains?
The main culprit is called tannin. It’s an astringent compound in various plant-based foods and beverages, such as tea, coffee, chocolate, wine, some fruits, and herbs. Tannins have many benefits to our health but are bad for our carpets, clothes and furniture. They colour the fibres as they bind readily with proteins, cellulose, starches, and minerals. Also, staining the carpet happens much easier when the tea is hot, since the high temperature makes it penetrate deeper into the fabric.
The damage also depends on the type of tea that was spilled, due to the different amounts of tannins. For example, you’ll clean peppermint tea off your rug much easier than green or black tea. The latter ones have a higher concentration of tannins in their structure compared to herbal tea. So, facing an old or darker tea stain may require more effort to remove, or even multiple cleaning methods.
How to remove a tea stain from a carpet
The ideal time for removing tea stains from your carpet is right away. The sooner you act, the easier it will be to reverse the damage. It’s important to blot the stain to remove as much tea as possible. Also, you’ll have the best result if you clean it before it dries.
How to remove tea stains from a carpet using salt and soda water
Salt is a good absorber and will blot the remaining liquid from the fibres. Adding some soda water will enhance the cleaning power, as the minerals and bubbles will lift the tannins from the fibres. Besides that, soda water is slightly acidic.
- a cup of salt;
- a dry cloth;
- a glass of soda water;
- cold water.
Steps to follow:
- Pour a generous amount of salt over the stained area to fully cover it.
- Add a bit of soda water directly to the spot.
- Rinse the entire area with cold water and repeat the process if necessary.
- Dry the treated sport with the clean cloth.
How to get tea stains out of a carpet using baking soda and white vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are both good enough to use by themselves. However, combining them can give you even better results. The vinegar will dissolve the stain, and the baking soda will lift it out of the fibres.
- ½ cup of white vinegar;
- 1 ½ cup of baking soda;
- a mixing bowl;
- a clean cloth;
- warm and cold water.
Steps to follow:
- Mix an equal amount of white vinegar and cold water in the bowl. Half a cup of vinegar will be enough for small stains.
- Depending on the material and colour of the carpet, some stains can be lifted with a white vinegar treatment alone, applying some of the vinegar/water mix and letting it work for about 20 min. If you are dealing with a light-coloured carpet or rug, though, proceed to add baking soda on top of the white vinegar as per the instructions below.
- Add baking soda diluted with water in a 3:1 ratio. Stir until you have a creamy paste.
- Apply the solution to the stain and wait for a while.
- Blot with a clean cloth and repeat the process until the stain disappears.
- Rinse with cold water and blot with the cloth.
- Clean the area with a vacuum cleaner when the carpet is completely dry.
How to remove tea stains off the carpet with dish soap and white vinegar
A combination of white vinegar and dish soap is another great option to use. The vinegar will help the dish soap soak deeper into the fabric and will boost the cleaning effect.
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar;
- 1 tablespoon of dish soap;
- a cloth;
- a sponge;
- a bowl;
- warm and cold water.
Steps to follow:
- Mix one tablespoon of dish soap and vinegar with 2 cups of lukewarm water in the bowl.
- Apply the mixture to the spot and gently scrub with the cloth until it’s clean.
- Repeat if it’s necessary.
- Rinse the cleaning solution with a cold, wet sponge.
- In the end, blot with a clean cloth and let it dry.
How to deal with stubborn tea stains
Sometimes it may seem as if the stain is gone, only for it to reappear again when the carpet dries completely after the cleaning. This may occur if the carpet’s fibres are long or the tea has penetrated to the backing of the carpet’s padding. When fighting such deep staining or struggling to remove a stubborn old tea spot, you’ll probably have to go an extra mile to get the tea out of the fabric.
Start by checking the padding underneath the carpet. Use the cleaning methods above to clean all visible marks in this area. However, lifting some old and stubborn stains may require the use of a commercial detergent made especially for carpet stain removal, along with a specialised steam cleaning machine.
Keep in mind that a professional service is the quickest and most promising solution when the liquid has penetrated too deep into the fibres or padding. A carpet cleaning service can cost you more, but your carpeting will be treated with professional hot water extraction machines capable of defeating most types of stains.
So, if you are not satisfied with the results of DIY cleaning, the safest way to act is to book a professional carpet cleaning service.
- Some types of tea stain the carpet more than others.
- Act quickly and blot as much tea from the carpet as possible.
- Always test the cleaning solution on a corner or a hidden part to avoid discolouration and the risk of damaging the fibres, whether you are using homemade or commercial carpet cleaners.
- If you are struggling with returning or old stains, better call a local carpet cleaner.
- Last update: August 19, 2021
Posted in All Articles, Cleaning Guides