How to Remove Carpet Stains

Whether it be grape juice, or finger-paint artwork from your kids, it seems whatever is not supposed to get on the carpet always does. Here are a few tips on how to clean your carpets using products you can find around the house.

Before you start

To remove a stain, simply blot the spot and dry, working from the outside in, rinse thoroughly with clean water, then blot again. Never scrub the carpet, or you risk ruining the fibers or letting the spill soak through to the carpet pad.

Water-Soluble Stains

  • Alcoholic Beverageshow to clean stains from my rug or carpet
  • Berries
  • Sodas
  • Excrement
  • Food Dyes
  • Ice cream
  • Jelly
  • Milk
  • Mud
  • Washable Ink
  • Wet or Latex Paint

Use a simple cleaning solution made of

  • Non-bleach detergent – ¼ teaspoon (or white vinegar)
  • Water – 32 ounces

Difficult Water-Soluble Stains

  • Blood
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Mustard
  • Tea
  • Vomit
  • Wine


  • Ammonia – 1 Tablespoon
  • Water – 1 cup

If this does not work for you, try one part chlorine bleach to five parts water (only on solution-dyed carpets i.e. polypropylene) Bleach will harm other types of carpets; check with the manufacturer if you are unsure what type of carpet you have.


Moisten a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and press it on the affected area. Once the glue residue is thoroughly moistened, gently wipe it off and repeat until the carpet is clean.

Wax and Gum

Use ice to freeze the wax or gum, then shatter it with a blunt object, such as a spoon. Vacuum before the pieces soften, and blot the carpet with a white towel.

Nail Polish

Blot the area with a rag dipped in nail polish remover.


Absorb as much as possible with white towels, then blot with a damp, cool cloth. Next, spray or blot with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Finally, apply a solution of ½ teaspoon of clear, mild, non-bleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, rinse, and blot dry. If the urine was the result of a dog’s accident, you may also want to try a housebreaking aid such as No-Go.

Ongoing Maintenance

Even if you don’t have any mishaps, you should always have your carpet cleaned thoroughly every 12 to 18 months.  (See your carpet warranty.)

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