How to remove carpet stains using an iron

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How to remove carpet stains using an iron
Image Credit: Mike Timmermann
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All year long, Clark.com‘s Michael Timmermann is sharing quick and easy ways to save money as part of our Michael Saves series. Check in every Monday as he puts new and familiar savings strategies to the test. Sign up for our newsletter to have these stories delivered to your inbox! 

When I walked into my new condo for the first time, the unmistakable smell of cat urine nearly made me gag.

It didn’t take long to determine where the odor was coming from. The smell was especially bad in the two carpeted bedrooms, but there was another problem: stains!

RELATED: Follow this one simple rule to tidy up your entire home

How to remove carpet stains without hiring a pro

I immediately began to think about my options to fix the problem ASAP:

  • Replace the carpet and padding
  • Hire a professional to steam clean
  • Rent a carpet cleaner

Replacing the two rooms of carpet would cost between $1,000 and $2,000, so I considered bringing in a professional to clean it. The estimate was about $250, including a special treatment for the pet stains.

But before I booked an appointment, my colleague Charis from ClarkDeals.com suggested that I buy a steam cleaner.

I always assumed that those carpet cleaners were out of my price range, but I was wrong. Charis found the Hoover Carpet Cleaner SteamVac with Clean Surge Carpet Cleaner Machine (F5914900) on sale for $69.99 at Amazon.com.

Before and after photos from my first time using the carpet cleaner:

Before using the carpet cleaner
Before using the carpet cleaner
After using the carpet cleaner
After using the carpet cleaner

For a $70 carpet cleaner, I was pretty impressed with the results on both carpet and upholstery.

To tackle some of the remaining spots throughout the room, I tested out a cleaning tip I learned about on YouTube that only requires an iron and a few items that you probably have around the house.

Step-by-step guide: How to remove carpet stains using an iron

Step 1: Add 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to 1 cup of hot water. Saturate the stain.

Step 1: Add 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to 1 cup of hot water. Saturate the stain.

Step 2: Soak an old towel or rag in hot water and lay it on top of the stain.

Step 2: Soak an old towel or rag in hot water and lay it on top of the stain.

Step 3: Set iron to medium heat and apply it to the towel, moving the iron over the stain for about 15 seconds. Using high heat may burn the carpet! 

Step 3: Set iron to medium heat and apply it to the towel, moving the iron over the stain for about 15 seconds. Using high heat may burn the carpet! 

Step 4: Repeat the previous step until the stain has fully transferred from the carpet to the towel.

Step 4: Repeat the previous step until the stain has fully transferred from the carpet to the towel.

Step 5: Blot the carpet with dry paper towels to remove excess moisture and soap.

Step 5: Blot the carpet with dry paper towels to remove excess moisture and soap.

Step 6: Use a hair dryer on medium heat to speed up the drying process.

Step 6: Use a hair dryer on medium heat to speed up the drying process.

Before and after

Before and after 

I made the short video below to give you a closer look at the process. Thanks to Bob Schmidt of the Home Remodel Workshop YouTube channel for his great tutorial on this method. It really works! 

Check out more from our Michael Saves series:

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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