How to Remove Stains from Your Floors: The Dreaded Mystery Stains

With a hectic life of family, pets, and guests coming in and out of your home, it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s being tracked into or spilled onto your floors. Enter: mystery stains.

With hundreds of suggestions out there on how to remove stains, it’s hard to understand exactly how you should care for your floors. At Empire Today®, we know a thing or two when it comes to flooring, including how to keep your floors in tip-top shape in the long run. Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind for those annoying flooring stains:

1. Use the Correct Cleaning Technique

how to remove stains from floors

Anyone who has needed to know how to get stains out of carpet knows how frustrating they can be. While it’s important to remove a stain as quickly as possible, make sure to follow the right technique and manufacturer recommendation for how to remove set in stains. Be careful not to scrub the area too hard—being overly aggressive can cause your carpet fibers to fuzz and stand out from the rest. It’s also important to start from the outside of the stain and work your way in (not the other way around). This helps prevent the stain from spreading further.

2. Be Careful with At-Home Chemistry Experiments

how to remove stains from floors

Many of the tips you hear in social media posts and blogs suggest how to get stains out of carpet, like mixing hydrogen peroxide and soap, but be careful—mixing chemicals incorrectly can damage your floors. If you’re considering trying one of these sorts of tips look at what the manufacturer recommends first, then use caution, and run a test on a small, discrete portion of the carpet before trying it out on the actual stain. If you’re not sure, call a professional for help or try a safer DIY option. We suggest a couple safer at-home DIY solutions below in #5.

3. Make Sure to Use the Right Tools for Your Floors

It may come as a surprise, but high-tech cleaning tools aren’t always a good idea for all flooring. For example, high temperatures generated from steam mops can cause irreparable damage to certain types of floors. Make sure you check the manufacturer to see if a steam mop is safe for your specific floors. And if you’re not sure, steer clear.

4. Choose Quality Cleaning Products and Follow Directions

When it comes to mystery stains on your floors, the best course of action is to use a quality, name-brand floor cleaner designed for the specific flooring type you have. Remember, when it comes to cleaners, stronger is not always better. Be sure to read the directions on the bottle of cleaner and follow them carefully, and use the applicator recommended for the cleaner being used.

5. Consider Using Supplies from Around Your House

how to remove stains from floors

A sticky stain like chewing gum can be a real pain. But did you know that an ice cube can do the trick to remove it on laminate flooring? Instead of reaching for a sponge and scrubbing it away, you can place an ice cube directly on the sticky spot. As it cools, the gummy substance will typically harden—making it a lot easier to remove in one go with a dull plastic scraper.

I know we said to be careful with DIY solutions (and that’s still true), but not all are created equal. There are some helpful at-home remedies that are generally regarded as safe. For example, for rust stains on your vinyl flooring, a simple tip is using lemon juice and cream of tartar to help remove the stain. Afterwards, clean up with simple rinse with water and you’re done. For more general cleaning tips and maintenance ideas for your specific type of floors, see our Product Care section.

6. To Extend the Life of Your Carpet, Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner

how to remove stains from floors

Hiring a professional carpet cleaner isn’t just about refreshing the look and feel of your carpet (though it’s helpful for this, too). Getting your carpet professionally cleaned using hot water extraction every six to 12 months can help remove set-in or fresh stains. The professional carpet cleaner can also re-apply soil and stain protectants to help avoid future carpet stains. This makes maintenance easier, as well as providing you with additional peace of mind about your carpet’s longevity.

7. Consider a Flooring that Resists Stains and Cleans Easily

how to remove stains from floors

What’s better than getting stains out of your flooring? Preventing them before they even happen! Flooring options from Empire that resist stains and clean effortlessly make it easy.

For a softer option, HOME Fresh is a one-of-a-kind carpet that’s not only comfy but also helps keep your home cleaner! How? Its one-of-a-kind construction with a built-in premium padding provides better airflow, allowing dirt and dust to be vacuumed up easier. HOME Fresh’s fibers don’t absorb moisture, helping prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and allergens (the most common sources of a bad carpet smell). Plus, HOME Fresh comes with Scotchguard™ Protector 3M with Advanced Repel Technology, providing long lasting stain protection that helps keep spills from seeping into the carpet.

For a hard surface option, look into vinyl plank flooring. Also known as luxury vinyl plank, some vinyl plank flooring options are 100% waterproof, so they can stand up to large spills, dampness, moisture, or flat-out wetness. With the look and feel of natural hardwood flooring, vinyl plank flooring will keep your mind at ease and your house looking great for years to come.

8. If It’s Time to Update Your Stained Flooring, Empire Can Help

If professional cleaning isn’t doing the trick anymore, or the old stains keep piling on, it might be time to replace your floors. Schedule a FREE In-Home Estimate with an Empire flooring professional to see all the beautiful options you can choose from. From carpet to hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile, Empire Today has hundreds of choices. You might be surprised by the types of flooring you can get that give you the look you want with the convenience you need to stand up to spills, messes, and stains.

Even those of us who do our very best to keep our flooring clean and without stains will likely end up with a spill or mystery spot on our floors from time to time. It happens! We hope these tips give you the confidence you need to remedy the situation when stains do show up on your floors—keeping them, and your home, looking beautiful!

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