As the winter months draw in, households everywhere brace themselves for the cold, wet weather. Winter coats come out of the wardrobe, umbrellas become the new must-have accessory, and boots keep your feet protected from the puddle-lined streets. However, if you have children or pets, you will quickly discover how challenging it can be to protect your home – and particularly your carpets – from the effects of the elements.

With children and animals running in to your home after playing outside it is highly likely that you will not escape the wet season without some form of mud stain on your carpet. However, rest assured that removing a stain like this by hand can be easier than you think. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you on your way:

  1. Ensure the mud is dry. If you try to remove the stain while the mud is still wet you risk spreading the dirt or pushing it deeper into the carpet.
  2. When the mud is dry, use a hand brush to loosen and remove as much of the dirt as possible and then vacuum the area.
  3. Once the dried mud is removed, you can begin work on the remaining stain. Ensure you have a white cloth or towel, mild washing up liquid, water and white vinegar to hand.
  4. Add a small amount of the washing up liquid into some warm water and put this in a water spray bottle.
  5. Spray the liquid onto the entire stain area and let it soak in for a few moments.
  6. Use the clean, white cloth or towel to blot the stain. As you see the mud transfer onto the cloth, use a new clean, dry section of it and continue. Repeat the process until there is no more mud transferring onto the cloth.
  7. 7. If there are still remnants of the stain on the carpet, then apply some white vinegar to the area. Allow to soak in for a minute and then begin the blotting sequence again with a clean, dry cloth.
  8. Once the stain has been removed completely, rinse the area thoroughly with plain water and then blot the area dry. If you want to be extra thorough, try drying the area lightly with a fan or hair-dryer (being careful not to hold it too close or it may burn!).

If the process is not successful, it is best to buy a specialist carpet cleaner or stain remover from your local supermarket. Accidents do happen, and it is best to be prepared with house insurance from the co-op. This covers you for any damage that happens to your house that cannot be rectified without cost and replacement of your personal property.