(WKOW) -- Have you ever tried to clean coffee out of your carpet? How about wine… or even blood? It's no easy task. Is it possible to get it out it yourself or do you need a pro? And what about all those home remedies - do they really work? The answer varies depending on the spill, but one thing is constant: there's no time to waste if you want to avoid a carpet stain.
"If you discover a stain on your carpet, you want to act quickly, but don't be too hasty. You want to make sure you're using the right tools. Use a dry, clean cloth and blot - don't rub - the stain, otherwise, it might lead to a lasting stain," advises Angie's List founder Angie Hicks.
Mike Swinson, a professional carpet cleaner, says blood can be one of the trickiest things to get out.
"If the blood has coagulated and started to clump, you'll want to take a spoon or a very dull-type instrument - a butter knife, something of that nature - and remove it first, and then start to blot it out with a soap-and-water solution," he said.
Use cold water for blood stains, but Swinson recommends a cup of warm water mixed with a quarter-cup of dishwashing liquid for just about everything else.
Angie has another trick to take care of a spilled glass of red wine.
"Red wine can be one of the toughest stains, but it can be solved. So what you need to do is first, blot the spot where the red wine has been spilled, and then, if you actually sprinkle some white wine on top of the red wine, you'll improve your chances of getting that spot out, she said."
For deep stains that seep through to the padding, especially pet urine, blotting and cleaning will only do so much, Swinson says.
"Obviously, you won't be able to get all of it that way. The best way to do it is to use an extractor of some sort. A little, small hand extractor can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars in carpet cleaning."
You can find a small, portable spot lifter for less than $100. A more powerful extractor could run several hundred depending on the suction power and recovery tank capacity.
Still, Angie recommends leaving it to the pros when it comes to ink, bleach or Kool-aid. Those all make the "tough stain" list and you can damage your carpet if you aren't careful. Also, try any home remedies in an inconspicuous spot before attempting to clean something in a highly visible area.