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How To Get Mud And Dirt Out Of Carpet [4 Easy Ways]

Whether it's due to a melting snowstorm in winter or a roll in the mud during summer, it's no secret that mud always poses a serious threat to your home. More specifically, the mud that people track in can pose a fairly high risk to your carpet's quality. Knowing how to get mud and dirt out of the carpet is crucial to keeping your carpet intact. We did a little research on this topic to find out what you can do.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

It may take more than one single method to get mud and dirt out of your carpet. Thankfully, there are several you can choose from, including:

  • Manually Removing The Mud
  • Blotting With Soapy Water
  • Using A Carpet Cleaning Solution
  • Professional Cleaning

Though mud can be found in every corner of the world, it remains one of the most pervasive stains to fight. Surprising as it may be, this guide will give you the full scoop on how to get rid of mud stains from your carpet.

Elevated view of person walking with muddy footprint on carpet, How To Get Mud And Dirt Out Of Carpet [4 Easy Ways]

Mud Removal Methods: An Overview

Cleaning high gain carpet by vacuum cleaner leaving a light patch

Even if you're a veteran at cleaning, mud can prove to be a frustrating thing to remove from carpeting. That's why it's so important to have several methods to choose from under your wing. Let's take a look at each popular option. 

Manually Removing The Mud

As soon as mud hits the carpet, the first thing you should do is try to pick up the mud manually. Here's how you can make the most of this:

  1. Use your hands to pick up any large chunks.
  2. Let the mud dry.
  3. If you have a vacuum, try to vacuum up any sediments around the area. Do not use an upright vacuum! Rather, use a hand vacuum, so you don't smear the mud or drag it. Take your time vacuuming, and do more passes than you normally would. Since slow vacuuming lifts more grime than a fast pass, going slow makes sense.

Blotting With Soapy Water

Whether you already tried to vacuum up the mud or just want to try using the blotting method doesn't matter. This is considered to be one of the gentlest methods for carpeting. To properly blot away the mud, follow the steps below:

  1. Mix a teaspoon of gentle dish soap to a cup of lukewarm (or warm) water in a cup. Stir gently. 
  2. Take a clean white rag and dip it in the cup. 
  3. Take the rag and blot the mud stain gently. You should start to see the mud lift into the rag. As the rag gets dirty, switch to a different cloth (or a different portion of the cloth) and continue. 
  4. Eventually, you should see the entire stain lift. 
  5. If you want to keep things extra fresh, grab a sponge, and blot it with cold water.
  6. Take yet another rag, and blot the area dry. 

Use A Carpet Cleaning Solution

Carpet cleaners are fairly handy, though the results you get might be a mixed bag. Using a carpet cleaning solution is simple: just follow the instructions on the bottle. As long as you follow the instructions and choose a good brand, you should see some results sooner rather than later.

If you're wondering which cleaning solutions offer the most bang for your buck, hang on. We have that information coming later in the article. 

Call A Professional

Carpets that have been severely stained with mud often have grime that has fully soaked into the fibers. While vacuuming and blotting can help, the truth is that there are moments where you won't be able to work out a stain on your own. Mud that is exceptionally watery, iron-rich, or rich in organic enzymes needs professional removal. 

On a similar note, you should consider calling a professional carpet cleaner if you have carpeting made from organic fibers like wool or if the carpet in question is antique. For example, antique Persian rugs often need professional care to retain their color and stay put together.

What Are The Best Carpet Cleaners For Mud And Dirt?

One of the more common ways people clean up mud from their carpet is using a commercially-made solution. It's easy, it's convenient, and it's reliable. The only thing is, you need to make sure that you choose good products. These below have been tried and true by both homeowners and professional cleaning crews alike. 

Folex Carpet Spot Remover

Folex is a brand name that's a mainstay among professional cleaning crews, and rightfully so. Several consumer groups note that it's one of the most reliable carpet stain removers money can buy. More impressively, it has no odor and does not require scrubbing at all. Fans of easy cleans will love this product!

The more important thing to keep in mind is that this gentle (but effective) cleaner doesn't just work on mud. It works on wine stains, pet stains, food stains, and so much more. 

Click here to get Folex from Amazon.

Zep All-Purpose Carpet Shampoo

Do you have a rug shampooer that you can use? Do you want to just give your carpet a full cleaning while also getting that annoying mud stain out of the fiber? Zep is a great pick for this purpose. In fact, it's one of the only carpet shampoos to get a five-star rating on both Amazon and consumer panels. 

If you hired cleaners recently, you might recognize this name from your local cleaning company. 

Click here to get some Zep shampoo from Amazon.

The Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Extractor

If you're a fan of car upkeep, you might already recognize this brand. The Chemical Guys make a slew of top-shelf car upkeep cleaning products, and their home cleaning products aren't shabby, either. They make a mean carpet cleaner, and it lives up to its "lightning-fast" name. 

It's heavily concentrated, so you will need to dilute it. However, the payoff is huge. It's child-safe, can work with almost any stain (including mud), and doesn't discolor your carpeting. 

Click here to get Lightning Fast from Amazon.

How Do You Make A Natural Carpet Cleaner?

Natural carpet cleaners are easy to make and often are capable of cleaning cowhide rugs and other difficult materials. To make your own natural carpet, mix the following in a spray bottle:

  • 6 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tablespoons Castille soap
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 6 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Click here to get lavender-scented Castille soap from Amazon.

Do Carpets Get Dirty Faster After Cleaning?

This actually has a lot to do with the cleaning process as well as the cleaning agent. Detergents that are heavily applied and poorly rinsed can leave a sticky residue on the carpet. This, in turn, means that your carpet can attract dust faster...and that dust might cling to it more. That's why you might notice your carpet dirtying up more after a cleaning session. 

There's a quick fix to this that works: steam clean your carpet instead or finish it up with a steam clean. There's no sticky residue with steam, and the water often helps lift out the residue, too. 

How Do You Prevent Your Carpet From Mud Stains?

Prevention is always easier and better than having to pick up the pieces. If you're worried about having to shell out money for your carpet to be cleaned, follow these maintenance tips. They'll prevent stains from taking hold.

  • Make sure that you take off your shoes in a mudroom or designated entryway. There's a reason one of the most important things to have in an entryway is a shoe rack. If you remove your shoes as soon as you get inside, the chances of tracking mud on your carpet decrease.
  • Own a doormat, and use it. This will get rid of most mud on your shoes. To make sure that you get the most use out of your doormats, have one inside and outside. It's old school, but it works. 
  • Spray your carpet with a protectant like Scotchgard. This will prevent the mud from sinking into your carpet fibers and permanently staining it. 
  • Avoid buying cream carpets in high traffic areas. They tend to be far too difficult to maintain, even if you're fastidious about keeping shoes off.
  • Vacuum and steam clean your carpeting regularly. A properly cleaned carpet is far less likely to get permanently stained. 

Click here to get a doormat from Amazon.

What Color Carpet Hides Dirt Best?

While you should never make your carpeting choices entirely on what stains it could hide, it's good to know which are the most forgiving. Sandy colors like tan, beige, and browns are often the best bets. Grey carpeting and black carpeting, too, can be remarkably useful at hiding stains. 

Conclusion

No matter where you live, there will always be a chance that your shoes will get covered in mud. And if they get covered in mud, there's a good chance that the mud will get tracked on your carpet. It's a fact of life, and that's why it pays to know how to clean mud off a rug. Most mud can be scraped and vacuumed off. 

Of course, some mud can be more difficult. You might need to use a cleaning agent or blot away with some dish soap. In rare cases, professional care may be required. That's why preventing mud stains and avoiding circumstances that can involve tracking mud on your floor matters. With a little care, you might not need to clean mud splatters up at all.