4 ways to clean mud out of carpet

How to clean mud out of carpet?

Who hasn’t, at one point or another, found mud on their favorite carpet? Tracking mud in the home is something that happens to even the tidiest people. More common in the winter, but entirely possible all throughout the year, mud on the carpet is almost unavoidable – especially if you have pets.

Muddy prints, once they appear, have a tendency to magically spread throughout the house. They’re unpleasant, and not only because they stain the carpet. If you have little children that are just starting to crawl, you definitely want your carpets to be as clean as possible. 

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to clean mud out of your carpet using items commonly found in every home. Read on to choose the best method for you.

Before you begin

Prior to cleaning, make sure you read our tips & tricks to ensure success and safety throughout the process.

  1. When you are using any type of detergent, keep it out of the reach of children and pets
  2. Air out the room properly afterward – keep the window open during the process.
  3. Some of our methods involve the use of various substances. Before you work on cleaning the mud, perform a test on a hidden patch of carpet. If it doesn’t stain, you’re good to go.
  4. If the method calls for rubbing alcohol, please dilute it before use: 1 part alcohol to 2 parts water.
  5. Never scrub a carpet forcefully. You risk damaging the fibers. Be patient and gentle.
  6. When vacuuming, it’s recommended that you use the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Easy and accessible ways for cleaning mud out of your carpet

When you discover a stain of any kind, the initial response is usually to act quickly. It’s true that the vast majority of stains are much easier to clean when still wet. However, with mud, you may be surprised to know that the first thing to do is to simply wait.

When the mud dries, it will be much easier to remove. If you treat it when it’s still wet, you risk it sinking further into the fibers. For that reason, begin by keeping your kids and pets away from the carpet, and wait until the mud is dry. Then proceed to our methods.

Hint: If the mud is very wet, you can blot it gently with a towel to stop the moisture from soaking into the carpet pad. In most cases, we recommend simply waiting for it to dry.

Method #1: Using a vacuum & liquid dish soap

Time: 20 minutes

Required items: a vacuum cleaner, liquid dish soap, lukewarm water, a clean white cloth, paper towels.

This method is simple and has a high success rate

  1. Once the mud is dry, begin by slowly vacuuming the affected areas. Be gentle and do not rub the vacuum into the carpet.
  2. You should be vacuuming for around three times longer than you normally would, making upwards of 15 passes over the affected area.
  3. Afterward, mix one teaspoon of liquid dish soap to one cup of lukewarm water.
  4. Using your white cloth, blot the solution onto the carpet.
  5. You should see the stain lifting through your white cloth. 
  6. Keep blotting and switch out the cloth as necessary until the stain is completely gone.
  7. Using paper towels or other clean cloth, gently blot the carpet until it’s dry.
  8. If there is still mud in your carpet, allow it to dry again and repeat the procedure.

Method #2: Using vinegar

Time: 15 minutes

Required items: vinegar, liquid dish soap, a soft bristle brush, a clean cloth, cold water, paper towels.

This method does not require the use of a vacuum cleaner. However, if you have one, feel free to use it before you begin (as described in method #1.)

  1. Mix half a cup of vinegar with a teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
  2. Using your soft bristle brush, rub the solution into the mud stain. 
  3. Keep rubbing for a while. Be thorough, but gentle.
  4. Rinse the area using a clean cloth and cold water.
  5. If the stain remains, repeat the process.
  6. When you’re done, dry the affected area with a paper towel.
  7. If this method didn’t help, proceed to the next one.

Method #3: Using a vacuum cleaner & rubbing alcohol

Time: >20 minutes

Required items: a vacuum cleaner, rubbing (isopropyl based) alcohol, a clean cloth, paper towels.

Rubbing alcohol is great for removing all sorts of stains. Before you begin, remember to perform a test to see if there is no reaction such as discoloration or carpet damage.

  1. Start by vacuuming the affected area gently, but thoroughly.
  2. Vacuum over the stain for upwards of 15 times.
  3. Next, using your rubbing alcohol solution, blot the stain.
  4. Be patient and keep blotting for several minutes if needed.
  5. When the stain is gone, rinse the area with cold water.
  6. Blot dry using paper towels.

Method #4: Using a vacuum cleaner

Time: 30 minutes

Required items: a vacuum cleaner, a spoon or a blunt kitchen knife.

This method is ideal if you want to entirely avoid the use of detergents.

  1. Vacuum very thoroughly. You want to remove as much of the mud as possible. Remember to be gentle, and don’t press down on the carpet.
  2. Next, using a spoon or a knife, gently scrape the remaining mud.
  3. Continue scraping for several minutes.
  4. Once you’ve loosened more soil, start vacuuming again.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until the mud is gone. If not successful, please attempt our other methods.

What’s next?

Mud stains, while annoying, are fortunately easily removed. The above methods all have a high success rate.

Mud becomes a serious issue if you have a lightly-colored carpet. In that case, it’s possible that some discoloration may remain even after using our methods. However, even that can be fixed.

If you find that your carpet is permanently stained, mix some simple laundry detergent (preferably with a built-in stain remover) with warm water. Perform the safety test on a hidden patch of carpet. If it doesn’t stain, gently rub it into the carpet and then rinse it with warm water.

As a last resort, remember to consult a professional carpet cleaner. We don’t advise using severe detergents on your own, as you may accidentally damage the fibers.

Using our methods, with enough patience and persistence, you will be able to clean the mud off your carpet and enjoy a tidy home.