How To Get Stains Out Of Carpet

How To Get Stains Out Of Carpet

Most of us have carpets in our home, it’s easy, it’s usually the cheapest and quite frankly, it’s comfortable. But if you’ve done any sort of living in your home, you know they stain. So in this article, I’m going to cover all the most common ways to get rid of stains on your carpet.

There are so many staining removal tips, but first, you have to consider the type of carpet you have. This is important since some hacks may work for some materials and be damaging to others. As a general rule, it is always more comfortable and better to tackle stains as soon as they happen. This means that if you pour some coffee on your carpet, it will be easier to remove with everyday household products than if you waited. The following is all the information that you may need to know about carpet stain removal and some simple ways to remove them.

How to Maintain a Stain Free Carpet

Carpets tend to be more high maintenance than most flooring options, so you need to be on top of things. One of the best things you can do is try and manage stains since some may never come off if they stay on too long. 

In case you get professional carpet cleaning, some companies may charge you extra to deal with stubborn marks. This can quickly become an expensive affair unless you make an effort to maintain your rugs before the expert service. There are some things that you can do to have a better handle on the state of your floors as follows.

Get a Multifunctional Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuuming is an essential part of maintaining your carpet, so you must do it as often as possible. While any decent machine will give you excellent results, if you want to keep your floors cleaner and stain-free, you should splurge a bit on quality equipment. Most in the market are multifunctional, and you won’t have to spend too much.

Check for features such as cleaning modes, brushes, and accessories. All of these will make a difference when you vacuum since some also come with stain removal settings. While you may still need expert cleaning a few times a year, the machine will make a significant difference. If you have pets, there are special cleaners that give you more options for removing marks.

Handle stains immediately

Whether it is mud, pee from pets, wine, or coffee, all these are best handled when they happen. This is to ensure that they don’t dry up into the fiber of the carpet, making it difficult to clean later. There are so many hacks to take care of marks before they set, as you will see later in this article. 

Take time to understand what tips work for which types of stain. In some cases, you may not fully eradicate the spot; however, fading it a little makes all the difference. 

Some stains it’s easier to clean after it has dried, for example mud. But letting wine soak in is a bad idea. So when you can, you should sort it right away.


Use carpet protectant

After getting your carpets cleaned professionally, you should always apply carpet protectant. Some companies have this in the after cleaning service, but in most cases, you have to do it yourself. You can use Scotchgard or Teflon for your floors, as they are useful in reducing the chances of soiling. While these products do a good job, you still have to work on vacuuming often and cleaning spills immediately. 

The protectant reduces the chances of getting stains and maintains your mats, so they remain clean. You may reapply the protectant, but be careful with some products since they may destroy the fiber of your flooring.

Test products before use

For those that are not confident about using DIY stain removal hacks, there are some pretty great products that you can buy. However, you should not trust the product until you test it on a piece of carpet. 

If you still have the samples of the floor, then this would be ideal, otherwise, choose a hidden corner and try it out. This will ensure that in case the products react with the material, you won’t have a massive problem on your hand. This tip also needs to be used when using any hacks as well just in case.

Always test whatever you’re going to use on your carpet in a spot that it doesn’t matter if it gets marked. Not all carpets are the same and some will react to different cleaners.


Vacuum often

If you are not particular about removing stains, the least you can do is to vacuum your floors as often as possible. When the fibers are agitated, any dirt particles become loose, which reduces the appearance of the stains. You should focus on high traffic areas such as the living room, kitchen, staircase, and corridors. 

This is why you need to pay close attention when shopping for this vital machine. However, you need to be careful about how you vacuum since this may damage the material, which can lead to different losses. 

Clean your bag and change filters

Some of the stains that your carpet may have are not from spilling or coming into contact with muddy shoes. In some cases, your equipment may be staining your carpet without you realizing it. If you vacuum with the bag full and dirty, some of the dirt may flow back on to your carpet. This is quite common with cleaners that use bags or even a canister. 

Sometimes your filter may be the cause of marks on your floor, which is why you should change them as required. To ensure no stains, you can also try vacuuming after pouring some baking soda on the fabric. This is an excellent way of dealing with soiling and odors.

Types of Stains

Many of the tips for cleaning stains at home are excellent for particular spots. Having a good understanding of the type of marks that you have will give you a better idea of what to use on the carpet. The following are categories of stains and how you may go about removing them.

Synthetic Stains

These are caused by colors or dyes in manufactured products, for example, fruit drinks or something such as Kool-Aid. These stains hold on to the fibers quite firmly, and it may be quite challenging to remove if you let it set more. They require a product that can act as a reducing agent. This is important to remove the colors; you may also need to introduce heat or steam to draw out all the colors. 

Water-soluble Stain

These are regular stains that can be removed by the use of water. They are some of the more natural marks to clean, and they include mud and water-based ink. For such stains, you need some water as well as a cleaning agent and a cloth for wiping it down.

Petroleum Stains

These are oil-like stains from things such as petroleum jelly, grease, and lotions. These stains cannot be removed using water only, and some cleaning agents may take time to remove them. Depending on the type of carpet, you should use organic products that will draw out any oils. Make sure to clean thoroughly since any leftover grease will attract dirt to the area.

Natural stains – Get Coffee Stains Out Of Your Carpet!

These may be caused by liquids such as wine, fruit juice, coffee, and even tea. They are one of the significant causes of stained carpets since they bond very well to the fiber, especially the natural ones. This is why they should be addressed immediately by a product that breaks down the color, so it doesn’t spread. If you find a tannin mark after cleaning, you may need more specialized products.

Protein stains

These are mainly from bodily fluids such as vomit and blood. The most significant concern about these marks is that they tend to leave a foul smell if not appropriately addressed. They also take quite some time to clear since they are thick and bond quickly to the fibers. You need deodorizing products, and you may need to buy over the counter cleaners for this one.

How To Get Stains Out Of Carpet 1

How to remove stains from carpets

You don’t have to buy expensive products from shops to take care of stains at home. All you need is a few everyday items that you likely already have and a bit of hard work in some cases. Remember that for DIY stain removal to work, it is always better to do it as fast as possible. However, don’t panic if you forget about a stain or you don’t see it on time. Many of these tips work for stains that have settled, although it may not be as easy to remove.


This is one of the most versatile products that you may have in your kitchen since it is used in cooking as well as cleaning. Many people use vinegar as antibacterial, especially white vinegar, but it also has stain removal properties that work in many cases. It works for juice, coffee, tea, and mud. Vinegar has bleaching properties, so you can be sure that it won’t leave any unsightly marks.

Depending on the stain, you will need:

  • White vinegar
  • Detergent
  • Water
  • A cloth/sponge

For dry stains such as mud, you will need to make a paste using powder detergent and vinegar; you may also add salt to this. Apply the paste on the carpet, allow it to dry, then you can vacuum it. This works for light marks that are unlikely to remain in the fabric.

For other cases such as coffee or juice, you will make a mixture of vinegar, detergent, and water in equal parts then use a dry cloth or sponge to clean. You shouldn’t wipe away the stain as this is an easy way of spreading it. Instead, use a dubbing motion to wet the carpet and draw out the dirt. 

You will need to repeat this for a while so you can get everything out. If the mixture you are using becomes discolored, make another and repeat till the floor is clean. You may use a vacuum to finish off the process.


It is unlikely that you won’t have any salt in your home, which is why it makes another useful cleaning agent. Salt works beautifully for spillages since it can suck in the moisture leaving your carpet dry. It makes a valuable hack, especially if you are having a party and you don’t have time to attend to such accidents. While it may not altogether remove the stain, it prevents it from spreading further and setting into the fiber. 

When using salt for cleaning, you will need the following:

  • Salt
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar/white wine

If you get some grease on your carpet and you don’t want it to set in leaving an ugly stain, you can make use of rubbing alcohol and salt. You can use three parts of alcohol and one part salt. Rub this into the carpet where it is oily until you can no longer feel the oil when you touch by hand. Vacuum and leave it to dry.

In the case of red wine spillage, you should pour in some white vinegar or white wine if it is available. This helps dilute the color, so it doesn’t hold into the material of the carpet. You can then use some vinegar and water to drain out the excess. Once you draw out as much liquid as possible, pour some salt on the spot and let it rest for at least ten minutes, then vacuum. The salt will suck in any remaining wine and liquid, leaving the carpet good as new.

Hydrogen peroxide

This is used in many homes as a disinfectant, but it is also a very capable stain remover if you use it correctly. It is excellent for protein stains but also anything else you may want to remove. It doesn’t react with most materials, so you know it is safe for your carpets. To clean using this ingredient, you will need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Lemon juice
  • A cloth

Hydrogen peroxide is pretty potent on its own, and it will clean anything and everything. However, if the stain is a couple of days old, you may need some extra help using lemon juice. This also makes it excellent for cleaning oil since the acidity cuts the grease leaving your carpet clean. Hydrogen peroxide may react with some types of rugs, so ensure that you do a test before applying it to a large area of your floor.

If you intend to clean something such as dried blood from an accident, first, you should remove any chunks that solidified on the material. Next, you can either mix the peroxide with lemon juice or use it alone by pouring it on the mark directly. Allow it to rest for a minute or two, so it drenches the material then the foam stops forming. You can then use a dry cloth to blot the stain out slowly until you are satisfied with the results.

Baking Soda

Other than as an ingredient in baking, bicarbonate soda is a great cleaning agent, and it is commonly used to remove stains on stainless steel pots. It is a great ingredient, especially when dealing with smells since it deodorizes the area. If you had a party and someone vomited on your carpet, then baking soda may come to your rescue. You will need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Cloth 

If you want to clean pee or vomit from your carpet and leave it completely fresh, then you will need one part of baking soda and two parts vinegar. This mixture will foam and create a paste, which is what you will spread all over the stain. You should leave it for two minutes to get into the fiber; then, you have the choice of bolting using a piece of cloth or vacuuming. 

You can use baking soda for a greasy spot by mixing salt and baking soda then brushing it into the carpet. You should leave this to settle for up to six hours then vacuum it away. If you want a quicker solution, you may use the vinegar and bicarbonate mixture to dub it into the floor.

Club soda

It is yet another excellent cleaner but a bit unusual, so it all depends on whether it suits you. It is excellent for cleaning alcohol stains so it can either be beer, wine, and to some extent, juice. The bubbles in the soda are great since they agitate any dirt and help in making the cleaning process a bit easier. For this you require:

  • Club soda
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Cloth

There are several ways you can use club soda with the simplest being pouring it directly on to the stain and leaving it to dilute it. You can use a cloth to blot and check whether it is any lighter if it is but isn’t entirely out you may add some more soda then use the cloth or paper towels to suck the liquid. This method is best for stains that are not too old.

If the stain has lasted a while, you may need the help of vinegar, which is more potent for handing that. Make a solution in a one to one ratio then pour it on the marks; you may also use a spray bottle if you have it. Leave this to soak for up to 15 minutes then bolt it dry using a piece of cloth. If the stain isn’t coming out ultimately, you may spray on a little more of the solution then wipe with the fabric and vacuum to finish.


Some more solid stains may not come off using the mixtures and solutions discussed above, but that doesn’t mean you give up on them. Ice is an excellent agent to remove stains that stick to the fiber of the carpet. It is unique since it doesn’t create a mess and does a clean job, but it requires some patience, so do not be in a rush.

If you have some gum that has stuck on to the carpet, then the only solution you need is ice. You may try melting, but here you risk damaging your floor as well as making a mess that will double your workload. Take some water ice cubes and place them on the stains for at least thirty seconds. 

To prevent it from melting or freezing your fingers, use a cup or plate to apply pressure. This will freeze the gum that you can then break and pull off by hand or using a butter knife. Ensure that you do this fast since once they start warming up, they may not be as easy to remove. If they don’t come off quickly, you may use some scissors to cut close to the gum.


This is an excellent cleaner for small stains that you want to get rid of quickly. It can either be juice, coffee, grease, or even blood. Toothpaste works fast on the fiber, and with the help of an old toothbrush, you can get just about anything off your carpet. You require:

  • Warm water
  • Toothpaste
  • Old toothbrush
  • Cloth

This is easy to do by making the area damp with some warm water. Put some toothpaste on a toothbrush, then get into the stain and start brushing in a circular motion. You may continue dampening the area using the water as the stain comes off so that it doesn’t concentrate the floor. Use a damp piece of cloth to remove the excess toothpaste and the stain. You may then vacuum to complete.

Hair spray

It is mostly used to remove ballpoint ink stains on clothes, but it works for carpets as well. If you have a toddler that may have drawn on your carpet, you can fix this quickly by squirting some hairspray on the stain. The grease will soften the ink, and you may use some paper towel to rub off the ink. If you don’t like the greasiness, you can use some dishwashing soap on the area. The soap should instantly remove the oil from your carpet, leaving it clean, and you may vacuum to complete.

Benefits of removing carpet stains

Other than it may not look the best on light-colored carpets, most people aren’t too bothered about stains until cleaning day. However, this may have undesirable effects on the mat, so by making an effort, you have everything to gain.

Helps elongate the life of your carpet

Most stains serve as a trap to attract more and more dirt on the same spot, and this is damaging to your carpet. It may cause the material to be worn out, and in some cases, it leads to shedding. With time, this will continue to increase, and your carpet will age faster than it should. Things such as gum may come off over time, but it may do so with some strands of your carpet, and this will prove harmful to your floors. Try to remove stains, and even though it may not be perfect, at least it won’t attract more.

It is cost-effective

Some professional carpet cleaners will charge you extra if stains don’t come out during the regular cleaning, depending on the type you chose. It also forces you to select the kind of cleaning that works for tough stains, which is more expensive than standard services. This may have you seeking the experts only once a year, yet with some stain removal, you could manage better.

Some stains may never come off

Many people that don’t feel the need to remove stains believe that once the professionals do the cleaning, everything will be perfect. However, some stains don’t come out when left for too long. It depends on the type of carpet you have and pile. Some rugs made of natural materials stain easily and are the most difficult to fix. 

Some of these marks include blood and wine stains, so if you leave it long enough, you may have to live with the spots until you change your flooring. While it may not be horrible to have some dirt on the rug for a while, over time, it may bother you. This may mean you have to get another carpet, which would be expensive.

The subject of carpet stain removal is vast and there are so many products that you can use within the comfort of your home. Sometimes it all comes down to your understanding of the marks and how creative you can get to remove them. However, what remains constant is the need to address the issue while it is still fresh. It is not only easier on you but also better for your carpet, which won’t have to be cleaned frequently to get rid of the stain. Always research the effects of products on certain materials before using them. This mostly goes for any store-bought spot removers that you may intend to use. Some may have a disclaimer while others don’t, so it is up to you to find out.

Jenny Carlow

I’m the owner and probably who’s writing you will mostly read here (sorry in advance!), after testing over 100 vacuums, I’ve got the knack of pretty much within the first 5 minutes being able to tell you how good a vacuum is. Some say it’s a super power…

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