mud stain on carpet

How to Get Mud Out of Carpet

Mud is essentially a soft, brown, squelchy mixture of earth and water. It looks great when it’s in the middle of a field or making up the backdrop of Glastonbury.

But it’s an entirely different story when it’s smeared all over your living room carpet!

So, whether you’ve been for a trek through the muddy fields around your home, or Rover has been busy digging up the back lawn, you need to remove the mud that’s been dragged into your home immediately!

Follow the steps below to find out how you get mud out of a carpet!


Tips to Consider When Removing Mud from a Carpet

carpet with mud from shoes

A few dos and don’ts to adhere to:

  • Don’t scrub the muddy patch because you’ll drive the mud deeper into the carpet’s fibres. And in the process, you’ll likely spread the earth around and create a bigger stain to clean.
  • Allow the mud to dry, and then treat it. This may sound odd because you’re used to hearing, ‘You’ve got to act fast when treating stains!!’. But believe it or not, dried mud is much easier to remove from a carpet than wet mud. So, leave it alone and then treat it.
  • Always test your chosen cleaning solution out on a discreet patch of carpet first.
  • Don’t saturate your carpet in water when you clean it. Use as little water as possible so the carpet dries quickly.
  • Don’t walk over the carpet when it is being treated or as it dries.
  • Use soft cleaning tools.
  • There’s no need to use harsh cleaning chemicals to treat mud stains on a carpet.

Note: You try the methods below at your own risk.


How to Get Mud Out of Carpet

cleaning materials on carpet

Tools you’ll need:

  • Kitchen roll (optional)
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Nit comb (optional)
  • Teaspoon (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Cup
  • Warm water
  • Neutral-coloured cloths
  • Fan (optional)

vacuum mud stain on carpet

Steps to follow:

  1. If you’ve got fresh, wet mud stains, grab some kitchen roll and blot the excess moisture off the carpet.
  2. Leave the muddy patch to dry.
  3. Hoover the muddy patch very slowly multiple times – it’s much easier if you use the vacuum cleaner’s hose to do this so you can target the muddy spot (hold the hose just off the ground).
  4. Continue to vacuum the mud off the carpet until you’re left with just muddy traces on the carpet.
  5. If you see some clumps that just won’t come away from the fibres, you can tease them out using a nit comb or a teaspoon.
  6. Mix one cup of warm water with a teaspoon of washing-up liquid in a bowl.
  7. Test the solution on a patch of carpet before you continue – dab a little soapy water on a hidden area.
  8. Grab a neutral-coloured cloth and dip it into the soapy mixture. It’s important to use a neutral-coloured cloth so you can see the mud coming off the carpet. Plus, you won’t transfer any dyes from the cloth onto the carpet either!
  9. Wring the cloth out so it’s just damp. Don’t soak the carpet because it will take a while to dry.
  10. Gently blot the muddy traces off the carpet using the cloth.
  11. Re-soak the cloth to remove the dirt from it and continue to blot the blemished area.
  12. Soak a second neutral-coloured cloth in some plain water (no soap!), wring it out and blot the area. This is to rinse any product residue off the carpeted surface.
  13. Repeat Step 12 until there’s no residue on the carpet, but don’t oversaturate the carpet in liquid!
  14. Grab a third neutral-coloured cloth and use it to blot the area dry.
  15. Open the windows in the room, set up a fan and allow the carpet to dry. Don’t step on the carpet during this time.
  16. Repeat the steps above for the other muddy patches on your carpet.
  17. As an additional step, you could clean your whole carpet to refresh it. You can choose an off-the-shelf carpet cleaner to carry out this task or make up a cleaning potion at home!


Alternative methods

The method outlined above is the most straightforward one. But if you need to use a different kind of cleaning solution or a stronger one, look into the alternative methods below.

Laundry detergent

clean carpet with liquid laundry detergent

It’s possible to use laundry detergent to clean mud stains off a carpet. Laundry detergent will replace the washing-up liquid in the steps above.

When you’re done treating the stains, make sure you rinse all of the detergent off the carpet – use a damp cloth to blot the area clean!

Ideally, you need to use a liquid laundry detergent that’s known for being good at lifting stains, like mud ones, for this alternative to work effectively.

Note: Do a patch test because the detergent may alter the colour of the carpet.


An off-the-shelf carpet cleaner/stain remover

carpet stain removers

If the stain is being a pain, you could purchase a specialised carpet cleaner or stain remover to treat your carpet.

Of course, these products tend to get mixed results. So don’t be disheartened if the blemish doesn’t disappear straight away. Sometimes you’ve got to apply a second treatment to the carpet to remove the marks properly!

There are several carpet cleaners and stain removers you could look into.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • HG Stain Remover Extra Strong is a sprayable cleaning solution that can be used on carpet and upholstery to treat a variety of stains, including mud ones. It’s an easy-to-use formula that uses active oxygen to break down stains, and in most cases, it gets to work in mere minutes. The robust solution yields great results!
  • 1001 Mousse Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner can lift mud stains in minutes, doesn’t leave a residue on carpets, and uses a bleach-free formula. It’s also easy to use. You just shake the can, spray the blemished zone, work the solution into the carpet using a cloth and then wait for the carpet to dry before hoovering it clean!

Tip: Make sure the carpet cleaner/stain remover you intend on using is suitable for the carpet you need to treat. And always test the solution on a small patch before you use it.


White vinegar and water

For tough mud stains, squirt them with some white vinegar and water.

Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a clean spray bottle, then spray the stained area with the solution. Leave the solution to rest on the muddy stains for 10 minutes before blotting the muddy areas with a damp, neutral-coloured cloth.

Continuously rinse the area clean by blotting it with a damp cloth! And open some windows to leave the vinegar smell out.

You can repeat the steps above if need be.

Note: Make sure you do a patch test, just in case the acidic nature of the vinegar reacts badly with the carpet.


Rent a carpet cleaner to remove the mud stains

If you’ve tried the steps above, but you need a little more power to remove the remaining blemishes, rent a carpet cleaner!

Carpet cleaners can be rented from various stores and can be used for a number of days at a time. So, you’ll have plenty of time to clean your other carpets too!


Professional carpet cleaning services

professional carpet cleaner

Sometimes mud stains are difficult to remove. So instead of worrying about them, call a carpet cleaner over to help you deal with them.

You can find a reputable carpet cleaner by doing a quick online search. When you do find a professional, make sure you ask them plenty of questions, find out what you’re going to be charged for and if there are any extra costs you can expect, and read plenty of reviews! Once you’ve done all of this, you can consider hiring them.

Tip: This method is particularly useful if you’ve got ancient mud stains on your carpet that won’t budge! And also, if you have a carpet that’s flooded with mud stains and the cleaning job is just too big for you to carry out by yourself.


Use some bicarbonate of soda to cure any foul smells

vacuum carpet powder stain

If your carpet is a little whiffy after it’s been tainted by mud, don’t panic, this does happen occasionally.

Just cover the treated area with bicarbonate of soda and allow it to rest on the surface overnight.

The following day, hoover the whole area to remove the powdery mixture, and you’ll notice that the repulsive stench will have disappeared!


How to Prevent Mud Stains on Carpets

shoe at the door, shoe rack and door mat

Mud stains are an eyesore on carpets. So, stop this earthy mixture from wreaking havoc in your home in the first place!

Follow these steps:

  • Make sure everyone takes their shoes off before entering the house.
  • Have a shoe rack or a welly stand near the front door so people can deposit their footwear there.
  • Don’t wear muddy clothes in the house. Try to remove muddy trousers and coats and hang them up in another room (like the utility room) so you don’t traipse mud into the property.
  • Put mats down by every door so that people can wipe their feet before they walk around your abode.
  • Have a dedicated muddy space where all your mud-filled gear can be dumped at the end of the day. This could be a little space in the garage, utility room or shed. By doing this, you can contain the mud in one area and stop people from bringing the earth into the house.
  • Wipe your pet’s paws before they enter the house. This is crucial if they’ve been playing in the garden on a wet day or digging.
  • If your garden is known for being muddy, you could block off the extra muddy parts. This would stop kids and pets from playing in the mud and getting too much muck on themselves.