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Recently a cup of coffee was spilled on the carpeting of our home. We tried to get the stain out with a chemical solvent to no avail, and called in the experts. Unfortunately due to our preprocessing, the professional carpet cleaners made little headway in removing the stain.

The carpet is off-white, and now we have a light-brown spot about 1ft x 2ft at the base of a staircase. The whole house is carpeted with the same material and we'd really like to avoid replacing all of it.

What options are out there in terms of minimizing the stain?

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You could always brew up a big pot of coffee and make the whole carpet the same light-brown colour. –  Chris Cudmore Apr 25 '12 at 16:35
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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If the pros couldn't do much, It sounds like the stain is there for good. Some suggestions:

  • small throw rug/welcome mat. Just cover it up!
  • bring in a pro to swap that bit of carpet with maybe something in a closet, or just a far corner. A good carpet pro should be able to seam it all back together.
  • dye the entire carpet a shade or two darker. I know such services exist, though I have not used them and can't vouch for them.
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Having a patch installed might be the best way to go, however, you'll probably want a professional carpet installer to do the work. This is the reason you always keep the remnants when you have carpet installed. –  Tester101 Apr 25 '12 at 11:24
    
Unfortunately such a patch will be visible in a high-traffic area that's been beaten down. If this is going to be the case it might be time to replace the carpet in the whole room. –  KeithS Apr 25 '12 at 15:33
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It sounds like the chemical you used to "clean" the carpet actually set the stain more permanently. This can happen depending on the chemistry involved and for this reason I have heard that one should avoid using chemical cleaners (unless you really understand the chemistry).

The best way to get out stains from food/coffee/etc is to quickly apply water and blot the area, to lift the staining material. The goal is to soak it out using water before it sets. This also applies to clothing stains.

For stubborn stains you can spray on a mix of water and a small amount of laundry detergent from a spray bottle, and put some dry white towels over the wet stain with a heavy weight on top. Leave for a few days and let the towels wick up the water and hopefully the stain along with it.

For organic stains like coffee and red wine, I have also heard the following tip (although I have not had chance to use it yet). If you have an organic stain, and synthetic carpet fibers (ie, NOT wool or cotton), then supposedly you can mist on some hydrogen peroxide via a spray bottle nozzle, wait a few minutes, and blot dry with a white towel. Note that since I cannot personally vouch for this method you may wish to try it out in inconspicuous area first.

These tips may not work on stains that have already set or been chemically treated, but hopefully they will help someone.

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