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How to Remove Stains from Carpet

Carpet stains are inevitable, but knowing how to remove stains from carpet can turn stains into a thing of the past.

The number one rule for stain removal is to clean the stain as soon as possible. For solids, remove as much of the spill as possible. For liquids, blot up as much of the spill as possible, working from the outside in. To do this, gently press a white towel or clean paper towel into the area. Do not scrub; scrubbing not only damages the carpet fibers, but it can also push the stain deeper into the carpet. Continue blotting until the stain no longer transfers to your cleaning cloth.

Once you are done blotting the spill, you can now tackle the stain using a variety of cleaning solution. The type of spill will determine which type of solution you should use.


Before using a new solution on your carpet, check for colorfastness. To check for colorfastness, clean an inconspicuous part of your carpet. Then, dampen a cloth with the cleaning solution and leave the damp cloth on your carpet for an hour. Blot the damp area with a clean white cloth or towel. If you notice carpet dyes on the cloth, you will need to use a different cleaning solution.

Detergent Solution

One of the most common stain removers is a detergent solution. To make the solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon of dishwashing solution with one cup of warm water.

The detergent solution can be used to clean a number of water-soluble stains, including alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, coffee, tea, dirt or mud, berries, milk, jelly, etc.

When using the detergent solution, leave the solution on the stain for 10 minutes. Then, blot with a clean, dry white towel or cloth. Repeat this process until the stain no longer transfers to the cloth. You may need to do this several times.

Once the spill is cleaned, rinse the area with cold water and blot dry with a clean towel.

Ammonia Solution

An ammonia solution can also be used on water-soluble stains, such as blood, vomit, wine, chocolate, mustard, coffee, or tea. To make this solution, mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of water. Follow the same method outlined for the detergent solution. Ammonia should not be used on wool carpets.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes can be used on coffee or tea stains. The wipes will remove the liquid and the stain.

Oxygen Cleaners

These cleaners can be purchased at most hardware stores, drugstores, or grocery stores. Oxygen cleaners can be used to remove organic stains, such as coffee, tea, mustard, ketchup, or wine.

Protein Digesters

Protein digesters work on protein based stains, including vomit, feces, and blood. These are also known as enzyme cleaners. You will often find these cleaners at pet stores, as they are an effective cleaner for cleaning up pet messes.

Club Soda

Club soda can be used as the primary cleaning solution or to rinse stains after you have cleaned them with another solution. It is effective on urine and bloodstains. Club soda can also be used to clean wine stains.

Baking Soda and Cornstarch

Baking soda and cornstarch are cleaners for grease or oil stains. To remove the stain, sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch over the area and allow it to sit for at least six hours. Vacuum the baking soda. Then, apply a dry-solvent spot cleaner. Dry-solvent spot cleaner can be found at most hardware stores or in the laundry section at your grocery store. Follow the instructions on the label.

Baking soda can also be used to clean vomit. After removing the solids, coat the area with baking soda. Once the baking soda has dried, vacuum it up. Repeat as necessary. Finish cleaning the stain by pouring club soda on the area and blotting it with a clean towel or cloth. If a stain persists, you can apply an oxygen cleaner.


Once you feel your stain has been successfully removed, wait for the area to dry completely. You can blot with a towel or leave a towel weighted down with a heavy object, such as a glass, on the area overnight.

Once the area is completely dry, vacuum the carpet. If you can still see a stain, repeat the cleaning and drying process.

Now you know how to remove stains from carpet.