Cleaning and Removing Carpet Stains

Cleaning and Removing Carpet Stains

Spills happen!

Messes just seem to make their way to your family room floor, or even worse to the brand new carpeting you installed in your dining room.

When stains happen, we all get worried and a bit upset. After all, it does cost quite a bit to have our carpets professionally cleaned. To top it off, it is also a large investment and directly effects the cost of the home. The goal is to find the right method for cleaning carpet stains to keep the stains from ruining your investment.

Cleaning Tools and Supplies

You do need to keep on hand several things that will help you throughout your cleaning projects. If you place these items under your kitchen sink, all together, you can easily grab them and go to handle the carpet stain as soon as it happens.

One of the most important things to remember about cleaning any type of stain from your carpet is that time is the enemy. The longer a stain sits, the more permanent it will be.

  • Clean, white terry cloths
  • White paper towels
  • An absorbent sponge
  • Vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • A dull knife
  • Ammonia

How to Clean Carpet Stains

The way that you react when something hits the floor is what is going to make the most difference in the outcome of the stain removal. Here are some steps to follow for all stain removal from carpets.

  1. For most food stains, cover the area with table salt. This will prevent the stain from setting while you get your things together.
  2. Remove any type of debris from the stain. Do not leave it there or rub it in further.
  3. Use terry cloth or white paper towels to blot up any and all of the liquid that is on the carpeting. Blotting is not rubbing, but applying a small amount of pressure to the area to cause the stain to absorb into the cloth.
  4. If this does not remove all of the carpet stain, then you will want to move on to the most appropriate form of cleaning which you will find below.
  5. After the stain is cleaned properly, place a thick stack of white paper towels on the wet area and apply something heavy such as a brick to the area and allow it to sit overnight. This will dry the carpet by further removing the stain.

Below you will find a bit more help for specific carpet stain removal techniques for your specific type of stain.

Specific Carpet Cleaning Help

Here are some of the solutions to use to remove stains.  Go easy on the amount of cleaning solution you use and try to remove all of the cleaner completely as the residue will attract more dirt if it is left in the carpet fibers.


You can use ammonia in several ways. It can be quite helpful in the removal of things like blood, soft drinks, chocolate stains and even glue stains. Ammonia is also helpful in the removal of urine and fecal matter stains as well. To use this product, do the following.

  • Mix one tablespoon of household ammonia with one cup of water. Place it into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution onto the area.
  • Allow the area to be saturated.
  • Use white dry paper towels to blot up solution. Do not rub.
  • You should not need to rinse but use drying method mentioned above.

Isopropyl Alcohol

In this type of cleaning method, you will be able to remove a variety of stains from your carpet. This includes things like grease, messy ink, gravy, hand lotion, play doh, tar, ice cream and crayon. To use this method, follow these steps:

  • Remove all debris that you can with a dull knife. Blot with a paper towel to remove more liquid types.
  • Use a clean dry terry cloth to apply isopropyl alcohol to the area. Spot alcohol onto the stain.
  • Color and stain will transfer from the carpet pile to the terry cloth.
  • Continue method until no further color is moving from carpet to the terry cloth.
  • Only use a blotting motion, not a circular or scrubbing motion.

Vinegar Solution

A vinegar solution is an ideal type of cleaning method as it is natural and leaves no lasting odors or stains behind. It can be quite effective on stains such as coffee, tea, even red wine! You can also use it to help clean carpet stains from perfume and beer. Here’s what to do.

  • Mix solution of 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water.
  • Store in a spray bottle.
  • Remove as much liquid as possible through blotting method and clean dry paper towels.
  • Apply vinegar solution to the carpet in a blotting manner by applying the vinegar solution to the terry cloth first. You can spray solution onto carpet as needed as well.
  • Blot off as much as possible and continue until no more stain is moving from carpet to the paper towels.