Category: Interior Design

DIY Farmhouse Bench

Building your own home accents is easier—and more affordable—than you ever thought possible.

DIY farmhouse bench

With a little help from Ana White and Shanty 2 Chic, Natalie at The Creative Mom crafted this stand out bench. What’s more, all in all it cost less than $20.

Using little more than a handful of 2 x 4 boards, screws, wood glue, filler, and stain, Natalie was able to transform some hardware store basics into a classic look for her foyer.

Entryway Bench DIY

One of the great things about this project is that you don’t even need to own a saw. Simply take your measurements to most any home improvement store, pick out your boards, and take it to an associate who will cut it to your specifications.

how to build farmhouse bench

After that, this project can be accomplish with some basic DIY skills and a free afternoon. You can read the full tutorial at The Home Depot blog.

Thanks, Natalie! For more DIY ideas, check out The Creative Mom.

How To: Make a Concrete Bowl Lamp

Add a playful, industrial note—and a little light—to your home with this simple DIY.

How to Make a Concrete Lamp


Everyone knows this about concrete: It’s one of the most durable building materials on earth. What’s not so widely recognized is how versatile concrete can be. Yes, it remains the go-to choice for large outdoor projects, such as driveways, walkways, and patios. But at the same time, do-it-yourselfers have been finding more and more creative new ways to use concrete for smaller, often decorative projects inside the house. Take, for example, this quirky concrete table lamp. Though it’s made from the same stuff as your neighbor’s pool deck, the lamp requires a dramatically more modest commitment of resources. In fact, the project takes only about eight dollars and can be completed in under an hour, even if you’ve never worked with concrete before. Besides the willingness to get your hands a little dirty, all you need is QUIKRETE® concrete mix and some basic tools and materials, most of which you probably have on hand. Ready to get started?



How to Make a Concrete Lamp - Partial Materials


- QUIKRETE® 5000 or QUIKRETE Countertop Mix
- Glass jar with metal lid
- 2 wood pieces of equal size
- Pen
- Electrical cord with light bulb socket
- 2 bowls
- Hot-glue gun
- Cordless drill
- Utility knife
- Hammer (optional)



How to Make a Concrete Lamp - Outlining


Gather your materials together and double-check that you’ve got the right components. Note that because there’s a risk that one or both bowls may be destroyed in the course of the project, you may not want to involve your favorite dishes. If you happen to own two matching plastic bowls, consider using those; their flexibility may come in handy for a later step. Also, while you can certainly use any type of metal-lidded glass jar, it must be tall enough to rise up above the lip of your chosen bowls. Before deciding to use this or that jar, confirm that its interior comfortably accommodates both a smaller-than-standard light bulb and its appropriate socket.



How to Make a Concrete Lamp - Insetting


Place the jar, with its lid facing down, into one of the two bowls. Trace the outline of the jar on the bottom of the bowl. Next, place a generous, quarter-inch-high bead of hot glue along the ring that you drew. Having done so, add another similarly generous bead of glue in a straight, three-quarter-inch line projecting out from the initial ring. This line creates a channel through which the electrical cord can eventually run out of the jar and away from the lamp. Now, press the jar firmly into the glue (lid side down), but not so firmly that it displaces the glue and makes contact with the bowl. In other words, the jar should sit on top of the glue, not on the bottom of the bowl.



How to Make a Concrete Lamp - Quikrete Mixes


It’s time to mix the concrete. Here, you can use either QUIKRETE® 5000 or QUIKRETE® Countertop Mix. Readily available at low cost, QUIKRETE® 5000 is specially formulated for high early strength; for that reason, it works well for any casting project. QUIKRETE® Countertop Mix is equally appropriate, though slightly more expensive. With no large pieces of stone or gravel, it’s particularly well suited to smaller and more intricate projects. Following the instructions for your chosen product, mix at least enough concrete to surround the jar and fill the bowl all the way up to its lip. Vibrate the bowl to release any air bubbles, then let the concrete cure.



How to Make a Concrete Lamp - Second Half


Allow at least 20 hours for the concrete to cure. If the bowl being used isn’t flexible, allow up to 48 hours. Once sufficient time has passed, remove the concrete from the bowl. To do so, twist the jar and pull. If the concrete refuses to budge, it may be necessary to break the bowl with a hammer. When the concrete comes out, expect the jar to be lodged within a half globe of concrete. At this point, mix another batch of concrete and add it into the second bowl. Next, pick up the half globe with the jar embedded in it, turn it upside down, and position it so that the jar protrudes into the center of the second bowl, right into the wet concrete. Use two equal-size pieces of scrap wood to maintain separation between the halves.



How to Make a Concrete Lamp - Bulb


Again, wait long enough for the concrete to cure in the bowl. When the concrete has dried, proceed to remove it from the bowl. Once you’ve done so, your lamp is nearly complete. All that’s missing is the bulb. To fit the bulb and socket into the lamp, drill a series of holes around the perimeter of the metal jar lid. From there, use a utility knife to cut out the lid, creating access to the jar. Place the bulb and corded socket into the jar, guiding the cord out through the channel you created by adding that extra line of glue in Step 1. That leaves only the last step: Plug in the socket and turn on the bulb!


Watch the project come together in a step-by-step video, courtesy of QUIKRETE®!

For even more details on the concrete bowl lamp project, visit QUIKRETE®!

How to Make a Concrete Lamp - Complete Angle 2


This post has been brought to you by QUIKRETE®. Its facts and opinions are those of

How To: Make a $5 Stool with Concrete

Take a seat! With just a few materials and a little bit of time, you can make this stylish, industrial-chic stool that can come to the rescue whenever you need an extra perch.

How to Make a Concrete Stool


Do-it-yourselfers have a new favorite material: concrete. Inexpensive and versatile, it can be used in seemingly limitless ways, not only for large applications out in the yard, but also for smaller creations inside the house. Such projects require no special skills or prior experience. In fact, to make a straightforward stool like this one, all you really need are a few basic tools, a bucket, a wooden dowel, and some QUIKRETE® concrete mix. Easy to make and appealing in its pared-down look, the so-called bucket stool offers a wonderful introduction to the process of working with concrete. Perhaps best of all, it’s going to cost you only about $5!



How to Make a Concrete Stool - Materials Array


- QUIKRETE® 5000 Concrete Mix
- 1  1/4″-diameter wooden dowel, 48″ long
- 5-gallon bucket
- Copper pipe caps and washers (optional)



How to Make a Concrete Stool - Cutting Legs


Begin your concrete stool by preparing its three legs. Starting by cutting the 48-inch-long wooden dowel (available at your local hardware store or home center) into three equal 16-inch lengths. To make the cuts, use whatever type of saw you feel the most comfortable with; it doesn’t need to be a power tool like the circular saw shown in the photo. Be aware that the diameter of the dowel determines, to a large extent, the sturdiness of the stool. These instructions specify a dowel with a one-and-a quarter-inch diameter. While you can work with a dowel that’s wider, it’s best not to cut your legs from a dowel that’s any narrower than one inch. That said, if you find an old broomstick or rake handle whose diameter fits the bill, you may be able to save a little money and the hassle of a trip to the store.



How to Make a Concrete Stool - Mix


OK, so what role does the bucket play? Well, for wet concrete to take on the right shape, the material must be placed into, and allowed to dry within, a form whose hollow space corresponds to the desired design. In this project, the bucket serves as the form because its circular interior conforms to the shape and size needed for the seat of the stool. If possible, use a bucket that has a smooth bottom interior; that way, no indentations end up on the top of the seat. Typically, you would mix the concrete separately and only then deposit it into the form. Here, the bucket serves double duty as both the form and the concrete-mixing vessel. First clean and dry the bucket, then pour in three inches of QUIKRETE® 5000 concrete mix. Next, add some water and thoroughly combine the two. Be careful not to use too much water. Doing so may result in weak concrete with a tendency to crumble. Mix the wet concrete until it takes on the consistency of cookie dough.



How to Make a Concrete Stool - Set Dowels


Once you’ve mixed the concrete to the appropriate consistency, it’s important to dislodge the air bubbles suspended within the material. There’s an easy way to do this: Simply shake the bucket from side to side and repeatedly tap the exterior with either your hands or a hammer. When the concrete, now free of air bubbles, has settled, you’re ready to set in the stool legs. Stick each leg about an inch and a half into the concrete, letting its opposite end rest against the bucket. Pay attention to placement. Don’t place the legs close together; instead, try to place them equidistant apart. Once the legs are in position, wait about a full day for the concrete to dry.



How to Make a Concrete Stool - Caps


When the concrete has cured, you can move on to the “unveiling”—that is, taking the virtually complete stool out of the bucket. To do so, bend the sides of the bucket outward in all directions, gently detaching the concrete from the form. Next, pull the stool out by the legs—it should come out easily, but if you run into trouble, you can always cut away the plastic. Inspect the concrete seat and, if desired, smooth any rough edges with 120-grit sandpaper (at this point, the concrete still ought to be easily workable). Finally, address the legs. If your stool came out a bit wobbly, or if you’d simply like to add some decorative flair, then go ahead and attach washers and copper pipe caps to the ends of the legs. To keep those caps from moving, you may opt to secure them in place with construction adhesive, but it’s not strictly necessary. Before capping the legs, you may also consider painting, staining, or dip-dyeing the legs with semi-gloss house paint in your favorite color.


Watch the project come together in a step-by-step video, courtesy of QUIKRETE®!

For even more details on the concrete stool project, visit QUIKRETE®!

DIY Concrete Stool - Complete


This post has been brought to you by QUIKRETE®. Its facts and opinions are those of

Timeless Handmade Furniture with Midwestern Roots

A Minnesota woodworker unites artistry, skill, and regional materials to stunning effect.

Photo: Robert Rausch

For home design enthusiasts, wood furniture built by true craftsmen is coveted for its uniqueness, its durability, and its timeless design. But there’s yet more to love about handcrafted furniture—it’s all within its essence. A single chair, for instance, reflects more than the maker’s structural intentions; it tells the story of a region.

To sustainable maker Scott McGlasson of St. Paul-based Woodsport, community is part and parcel of his furniture. He sources his materials from the “urban forest” of the Upper Midwest and partners with local foundries to make metal bases for his work. Then, when the work is done, he gives back to the region that keeps him abundantly supplied, sending wood chips from his shop floor to local chicken coops and the like. All this thought, care, and sense of place can be seen in McGlasson’s sleek and elegant designs. We caught up with him to discover more about his work and motivation.



How did you get into this line of work?
I’ve always had an interest in design: architectural, interior, furniture. Years ago, I figured I could learn how to make some furniture pieces that I wanted but couldn’t afford, and I took an evening cabinetmaking class at a local technical college. The classes were offered as a fringe benefit of my job with the Minneapolis Public Schools—I was on track to become a teacher at the time.

Have you always been interested in woodworking?
Not at all. I was about 30, so I came to it pretty late. I sometimes compare that with one of my teenage sons who has been following me around my shop, putting things together, since he was 3.


Do you have a favorite tool?
I love Lie-Nielsen planes, Starrett squares, good chisels—pretty typical woodworking accoutrements. But my fave would be a machine: my Powermatic lathe. It has opened up so much for me by way of design.

Where do you source your materials?
It’s quite simple. Someone calls me about a tree that they are removing or has fallen, and I go check it out. I’m specific in what I want: It has to be a big walnut or cherry tree and accessible. I have a sawyer that I work with, and we mill it to my specifications, usually on-site, and he dries it for me. It’s usually slabbed up for my Peasant Benches or tabletops.

I don’t spend that much time sourcing urban lumber; I’ll get one or two logs a year, and that keeps me supplied. I also have relationships with some other small sawmills that get me slabs too. I go to the lumberyard for everything else—we have some great hardwood suppliers in the Upper Midwest.



It sounds like you’re really connected to the community. Are there other ways those connections play out?
You bet; I source out all my metalwork. A friend does my bronze fabrication, I use a couple of foundries for iron and bronze, and a metal fabricator makes my steel bases. I used to do some metalwork, but now I concentrate on the woodworking.

I also source the pelts for my Finny stools from a farm just west of Minneapolis that has the largest herd of pasture-raised Icelandic sheep in the country.



How much time do you typically spend designing a single piece?
It depends. Some designs come quickly, and I nail them right away. Others need to rest, be put out of mind for a while. Challenging pieces like chairs need a long time, even years. I go through a process where I draw it up in full scale, then mock it up, then actually build a usable prototype. The prototype might sit around for a while—my house is littered with them. I’ll make adjustments, and, if the piece seems viable, it will go into my line. I used to do a lot of one-off pieces for people, but because the design process can be onerous, I don’t anymore.



What’s the response been like to your work? Any surprises?
When I first started selling pieces on a retail basis, I was amazed at the positive response. These days I sell the majority of my work all over the country, often via email, and I never actually meet the person. It’s fun doing shows—like the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York—and seeing the response. Sometimes people are blown away by the work; they can’t believe that I actually design and make everything. And nothing is more gratifying than when someone whom you’ve never met comes along and pays a good chunk of money for a piece.


What’s your favorite part of the process of furniture making?
I enjoy the entire process, but it would have to be finishing up a piece. For about five seconds, I’ll step back and admire it… and then it’s on to the next one. It’s especially satisfying when new designs work—where once this was just an idea, and now it’s an actual thing that is part of the world. My goal is that the magic and excitement that I felt when it was only an idea gets manifested in the actual piece. It’s not always there, but nothing is better than when it is. I’m addicted to it.



What would you say is the most challenging part of what you do?
Maybe some of the business aspects of it. I’ve always let things develop pretty organically, and I’ve been at a good spot for the past few years. Direct demand for my pieces has been good, and we can keep up with orders. Everyone is happy. But I’m always turning away wholesale requests, and I sometimes wonder if Woodsport could be bigger and better. But then I just shrug my shoulders and get back to work.

To see more of Scott’s collection, visit Woodsport’s website.

Quick Tip: Removing Coffee Stains from Carpet

Spilling coffee on the carpet doesn't have to mean the hassle of a patch job or the expense of a new floor covering. You can remove the stain using items from your pantry. For best results, though, you've got to act fast.

How to Remove Coffee Stains from Carpet


It’s not what you feared. Spilling coffee on the carpet doesn’t have to mean living with an eyesore until you replace the floor covering. Besides the branded cleaners readily available in stores, you can remove coffee stains from carpet using a combination of only a few common household items you likely have on hand already.

Time is of the essence—the faster you treat the stain, the better your chances of restoring the carpet to pristine condition. As soon as you discover the accident, jump into action by moistening, not soaking, a clean cotton cloth. Next, use the cloth to blot around the sides of the stain, gradually working toward the center. Do not press down hard on any portion of the affected area. Rather, continue blotting, dampening fresh sections of the cloth as needed, until the stain becomes faint.

If blotting alone isn’t doing the trick, follow the steps outlined below to remove coffee stains from carpet, whether the mark has been there five minutes or five days.

How to Remove Coffee Stains from Carpet - Spill Detail


Mix one tablespoon of liquid dishwasher detergent with one tablespoon vinegar and two cups of water. While the detergent works to dissolve the stain, the vinegar dislodges the coffee from the carpet fibers.

Dampen a clean cotton cloth in the solution, then apply it to the stain with frequent blotting. First, blot the perimeter of the mark, then work gradually towards the center, re-moistening the cloth as you go along.

To absorb the detergent and vinegar, sponge the affected area with cold water, then blot it dry with paper towels. Before finishing up, consider going over the once-stained carpet with a hair dryer or hand vacuum.

In the grand scheme of cleaning solutions, homemade or store-bought, liquid detergent and vinegar are quite mild. Even so, before applying the mixture to your carpet, it may be wise to test it somewhere inconspicuous. In the case of wall-to-wall carpeting, experiment on the floor of a seldom-used closet. Otherwise, focus on the carpeting located beneath a large piece of furniture. When testing, be sure to wait a few minutes before assessing the results. If the mixture seems to have hurt rather than helped, try to remove it right away with cold water and a sponge. Even if the attempt fails miserably, you will have jeopardized only a small patch of carpet in an out-of-the-way place, while learning to look for a new strategy.

Of course, the right approach to cleaning a coffee-stained carpet can return the textile to its unblemished state, so long as you are prepared to be patient and persistent in your efforts.

Meet the Kansas City Artist Modernizing a Centuries-Old Craft

What's behind the art you hang on your living room wall? If it's a Hammerpress print, then it's history, design, and solid craftsmanship.

Hammerpress - Brady Vest

Photo: Chris Mullins

Brady Vest, founder of Kansas City-based Hammerpress, has his pulse on a letterpress renaissance. Even if you haven’t heard of letterpress, you’ve certainly benefitted from its invention. Until the middle of the last century, letterpress printers were responsible for creating books, pamphlets, and newspapers. To some, these movable type machines are considered junk in our digital age. But letterpress prints, cards, and posters are making a big comeback—as offbeat decor for your home. This vintage tool is leaving its mark on our walls and throughout our houses today.

Now, the letterpress isn’t your dad’s power tool. (For one, it’s probably too large for most home workshops.) But take a look at Hammerpress designs and you’ll find that the vintage machinery is far more versatile than you might think. We had to know more about what motivates Hammerpress makers so we caught up with Brady as he was in the midst of opening his new, expanded Kansas City storefront.

Hammerpress Kansas City

Photo: Hammerpress

The reason I started Hammerpress is…
I suppose my initial attraction to letterpress printing was the machinery and the objects involved in the process. The type, the cabinets, the old machinery. Also, I think the fact that it was sort of a hybrid of art and design seemed intriguing.

Once I got a little more involved, the commerce aspect of it intrigued me—as did the fact that you could mass produce artful products in a way you could not do in the fine art world. Plus, the process seemed to lend itself to collaboration.

Hammerpress print happiness will find you


The thing I love most about working with letterpress is…
There’s always an excitement when you start working on a design, pulling all of the pieces out of the drawers. I go into a project with a fairly good vision of what it will look like—the ways the inks, patterns, type—will lay over each other, but it always changes. I suppose, in that way, the thing I love is also sometimes the thing I hate. The machinery sometimes dictates what happens more than you can. I love that, but it’s also a little scary.

Hammerpress - Lucinda Williams poster


My main source of inspiration is…
I look at a lot of things that are outside of my experience. Lately, a lot of textiles—older and newer—a lot of vintage ephemera, photo collage, architecture and space design, children’s books from the past, etc. I try to not just look at things that are similar to what we do.

I’d describe the Hammerpress aesthetic as…
Hard to nail down. I feel like we are constantly trying to keep some continuity while also trying to push ourselves to do things we aren’t totally comfortable with. I think the main thing we always try to maintain in each design is a sense of handwork. Although we do work digitally a lot now, our goal is to always keep handwork involved and not allow it to get too clean or refined.

Hammerpress calendar


The most challenging thing about this work is…
Trying to maintain consistency and keep it fresh. It’s always a challenge.

My favorite part of the design process is…
Seeing it go to press. Usually—not always, but usually—it’s like the clouds opening up and the sun shining through once you see the actual ink on paper.

Hammerpress - Stay Strong Badge


I think the biggest mark of Hammerpress design is…
We tend to use a lot of large floods of color and try to work with the layering of colors and textures a lot. That seems to be what most people are attracted to in our work.

The story behind our name is…
I had a friend in college with whom I collaborated a lot. He would put the name “one ton press” on his work, with an anvil as a logo. When we started working together, I wanted something that would look and sound good on collaborations between us. The anvil and the hammer seemed to make sense. And I continued to use the hammer from there on out.

Hammerpress Kansas City store front

Photo: Hammerpress

The new Hammerpress shop is now open in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, but no matter where you live, you can also find their letterpress designs at the click of a button right here.

In a New Short Film, BoConcept Steals the Show

Contemporary furniture from BoConcept stars alongside international sensation Mads Mikkelsen in an amusing—and revealing—new short film.

BoConcept Storage Bed

Photo: BoConcept

BoConcept furniture returns to the screen in a new short film starring Mads Mikkelsen—the suave Danish actor famous for his role in the NBC series Hannibal. Like an earlier BoConcept film with Mikkelsen, “The Guest” centers on the actor, playing himself, at home in a luxurious villa in Spain. And once more, sleek and modern furniture from the European-based retailer absolutely steals the show—though numerous cameos compete for viewers’ attention.

In its five minute duration, the film sets its sights on answering a lofty question: “What exactly is comfort?” As the plot unfolds with Mikkelsen showing off his new place to an old friend, we see the functionality and versatility of BoConcept living, dining, and bedroom furniture. Although the visiting friend’s interests lie elsewhere, Mikkelsen cannot get over the fact that, while elegant and eye-catching, BoConcept pieces are much more than mere showpieces. As BoConcept designer Mortgen Georgsen says, “Beauty and function must go hand in hand. What’s the point of beautiful design if you cannot use it?”

This just in: BoConcept is giving fans a chance to win an interior makeover worth up to $5,000! Visit BoConcept today for all the details on entering.

Bob Vila Radio: Restoring Rattan

With care and attention—and in some cases, the help of a professional—you can bring back the beauty of rattan furniture. The next time you go flea market shopping, keep these hints in mind.

Vintage rattan furniture is getting harder to come by, so if you happen to run across a nice piece at a garage sale, you might want to snap it up and take it home for restoration.

How to Clean Rattan


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON RESTORING RATTAN or read the text below:

If the rattan has been neglected, mix some gentle cleaner in water, then apply the suds to the dingy spots using either a soft cloth or a toothbrush. Avoid getting the rattan excessively wet, as that can damage the material as well as the cane wrapping that holds it together. Also avoid stripping the rattan, as you would do with wood; that, too, would likely cause damage. Instead, if some of the finish has been worn bare, you can work with an experienced restorer to create a custom stain that’ll return the piece to its original warm hue. Periodic application of lemon oil will also help protect the finish.

Once the restoration is done, position your vintage prize where it won’t get too much sun or moisture, as the elements can quickly undo even the finest restoration.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free.

How To: Patch Carpet

If a section of your carpet has seen better days, why not patch it rather than replace the entire thing? Here's how.

How to Patch Carpet


Carpeting inevitably undergoes wear and tear, whether from foot traffic or the accidents of everyday life. If those fraying, discoloring factors have concentrated in one particular section of your carpet, you can patch the installation rather than replace the entire thing. Properly planned and executed, a new carpet patch blends seamlessly into the original floor covering while enabling you to side-step the considerable cost of starting from scratch. To learn how to patch carpet, read on.

- Utility knife and carpet patch adhesive (or carpet patch kit)
- Carpet patch
- Tape measure
- Heavy-duty tape
- Scissors
- Carpet seam roller

Gather your supplies. If it’s your first time patching a carpet, consider opting for a carpet patch kit. Available at hardware stores and home centers, these contain all you need to complete the project, including an adhesive and some cookie cutter-like tools that facilitate removing the stained or damaged area. Of course, carpet patch kits are not a must. You really only need a utility knife and an adhesive (the glue that’s going to hold the patch in place). Above and beyond tools and materials, the critical prerequisite here is an extra section of carpet that matches what’s already on the floor. If you don’t have any remnants left over from the original installation (and the style has been discontinued), you can, in a pinch, remove a section from an unnoticeable area, be it the closet or beneath a bed.

How to Patch Carpet - Floorcovering Texture


Look closely at both the existing carpet and the patch. Is the pile biased in a certain direction? If so, you take care to orient the patch so that its pile direction correctly corresponds to the surrounding carpet. As a helpful reminder to yourself, draw an arrow on a piece of tape and stick it to the patch.

Measure the carpet area in need of replacement. If using a carpet patch kit, the included tools make it easy to cut a precise size and shape out of both the existing carpet and the remnant piece. Skipping the patch kit? Simply tape off a square or rectangular section of the stained or damaged carpet.

Using the kit tools or a utility knife, carefully carve out the carpet section you wish to patch, then immediately proceed to prepare the replacement. After measuring and double-checking your measurements, cut the carpet remnant to fit precisely within the now-empty area. For easier and more precise cutting, be sure to lay the patch face down and to cut along its underside.

It’s time to get gluing. Apply the carpet patch adhesive directly to the empty space, followed by the patch itself. (Again, remember to align the carpet fibers so that they lie in the same direction.) Work swiftly, if possible, as the adhesive is likely only to take approximately 15 minutes to dry completely.

With the patch in place, finish with a couple tweaks to make it look as though there’s been no repair. First, use a pair of scissors to trim any long, shaggy carpet fibers that might draw attention. Then, as a last step, go over the area with a carpet seam roller to blend the fibers and hide any visible seams.

Quick Tip: Clean Carpet Stains with a Clothes Iron

Take a cue from professional carpet cleaners and harness the power of steam to remove even months-old stains that have firmly set in.

How to Clean Carpet Stains with a Clothes Iron - Texture


You know and loathe the traditional way to clean a carpet. But however laborious it may be, there’s no doubt that blotting the stain can be effective—so long as you act immediately, before the stain has the chance to set in. What happens, though, if you fail to notice the stain right away? How do you remove it days, weeks, or even months after the fact? One option is to shell out for professional cleaning. Another, less-discussed method involves less hassle and costs nothing at all. The key? Your clothes iron.

How to Clean Carpet Stains with a Clothes Iron - Isolated Appliance


In a spray bottle, mix together a solution of vinegar (1 part) and water (3 parts). Alternatively, if you’re convinced of the need for extra firepower, combine 1 part clear ammonia with 3 parts hot water. Once ready, liberally spritz the entire stained area and leave it to sit for several minutes.

Now lay an old, light-colored towel over the stain. Since the iron is going to transfer the stain to the fabric of the towel, don’t use one of your favorites! Meanwhile, a light color makes it easy to discern whether or not the method has worked for you. The dirtier your towel, the cleaner your carpet.

With your iron to its highest steam setting, apply it directly to the towel, moving it back and forth over the stained area briefly, for about ten seconds. As you do so, expect the iron to hiss and release steam. Place the iron aside, lift up the towel, and look: You should now see the stain on the towel.

If a mark remains on the carpet, lay the towel back down, being careful to place a clean section of the fabric over the stain. Again, apply the iron directly to the carpet for about ten seconds. With additional attempts, the stain ought to transfer, gradually and completely, from the carpet to the towel. Once you’re satisfied, let the carpet air-dry. Finish by vacuuming the carpet to restore its fluff.

As you work, take pains not to allow the iron to come into contact with the carpet (as opposed to the towel). The heat of the appliance can singe or melt the carpet fibers, whether natural or synthetic.