How to Clean Carpet Stains

How to Clean Carpet Stains

Being underfoot all the time, a carpet is a prime area for stains.

And there are many, many different kinds of stains that a carpet is subjected to. Mrs. Clean is here to share her cleaning tips to remove stains and keep your carpet looking new.

Some stains come up easier than others. Fresh stains come up easier than older stains that have been allowed to sit. We will start with general cleaning tips, then progress into methods for removing specific types of stains.

Most of the stains can be removed using cleaning solutions that you probably have around your house. Remember to pay attention to any instructions or warnings that might have come with your carpet. Not every carpet should be treated the same way.

In all cases it’s best to remove all stains as soon as the spill or mark happens.

Removing Water Based Stains

  • Blot up as much of the liquid as you can without pushing it down into the carpet.
  • If the spot is dry, wet the spot (Don’t soak it!) and let it sit for a minute or two and then blot.
  • If the spot seems to be disappearing, continue until the spot is gone.
  • Put a few layers of paper towels over the spot and weight them down with something heavy to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  • Allow to air dry.
  • Repeat as necessary.

Removing Heavy Duty Stains

  • Moisten the area with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
  • Cover the area with a towel to keep the solution dark for 60 minutes or so. (sunlight converts hydrogen peroxide to water.)
  • If the solution seems to be helping, repeat as necessary.
  • Allow to air dry.

Removing Non-Water Based Stains

  • Remove as much of the substance as possible with a paper towel or a plastic spoon or knife.
  • Use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or on a white cloth to dab at the stain.
  • Dab until the stain is gone.
  • Try not to get the alcohol on the backing of the rug.
  • Dab and do not rub so as to not fray the carpet fibers.

Removing Specific Stains


  • Blood carries disease. Wear rubber gloves and discard with the other items you used to remove the blood.
  • Act fast. If the blood coagulates it will be more difficult to remove.
  • Using cold water (never hot) add a little water to the stain and blot it up.
  • Use only a little water at a time so as not to spread the stain.
  • Pour some cold club soda or hydrogen peroxide over any stain that remains. Its bubbling action may move the blood to the top of the carpet where you can remove it.
  • If there’s still a stain, try spraying with 1/2 cup of cool water mixed with 1 tablespoon of clear ammonia.
  • Blot it up.


  • Spray the stain with an ammonia and water solution (1/2 ammonia, 1/2 water).
  • Blot it up right away.
  • Repeat until the stain is gone.

Nail Polish

  • Use clear non-acetone nail polish remover.
  • Dip a paper towel in the remover and test the nail polish remover on a hidden part of the carpet.
  • If no color transfers from the carpet to the towel, apply the remover to the polish.
  • Blot.
  • Keep it up until the stain is gone.


  • Put a spoonful of peanut butter on the gum that’s adhered to your carpet.
  • Use the spoon gently to work the peanut butter into the gum and let sit for a few minutes.
  • Pick the gum pieces up with a paper towel. Clean up the rest with the grease stain removal tip above.


  • Spray WD40 on a paper towel.
  • Blot at the tar until its gone (keep using clean parts of the paper towel.)

Pet Stains

  • Blot up or remove as much of the stain as you can.
  • Sprinkle white vinegar on the stain.
  • Blot up from the edges of the stain inward, so as not to spread the stain.
  • Repeat if necessary.