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Cleaning Carpet Stains

Spraying Carpet Stain

While a very durable floor covering, carpets get stains on them from time to time. This is a guide about cleaning carpet stains.



Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Club Soda for Carpet Stains

I recently had my carpets professionally cleaned and I asked what is the best thing to use to clean spots without leaving a residue that actually attracts more dirt (such as Resolve and Oxiclean). He told me the best thing to use was plain old club soda. He said to pour it on let it sit a few minutes and then use a shop vac or wet dry vac of some sort to suck up the excess liquid. He said for most stains you shouldn't even have to rub at all. He said this will work on pet stains also.

By D.Bulanda

Tip: Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

Alcohol rubbed on carpet using white paper towels (no colors) has removed rust stains, coffee stains, and pet stains containing multi-colors from food. My husband dropped a glass of purple grape juice on a light gray carpet. I immediately blotted it up with white paper towels to remove liquid. I applied pressure to get up the rest, then I used alcohol and white paper towels. It completely disappeared!

Source: I saw a carpet cleaner remove rust stains from a light grey carpet using this method

By Lucy C. from Marathon, FL

Tip: Dove Liquid Soap For Carpet Stains

I have used Dove soap on carpets to remove all kinds of stains. Plus, it leaves the room with a beautiful clean scent. You only need a small amount of Dove liquid soap and water in a spray bottle.

Spray and clean carpets with a hand held scrubbing broom brush. Remember, just a few drops of Dove in the spray bottle.

By fefehubby

Tip: Window Cleaner for Red Carpet Stains

To take fresh red stains out of a carpet: My grandson spilled over half a glass of red punch onto my beige carpet. I immediately sprayed window cleaner over the stop and started blotting. I repeated the process until there was no stain left.

By Marty from Tell City, IN

Tip: Removing Carpet Stains and Burns

When I have carpet issues, I first use some Dawn detergent on a microfiber cleaning cloth. When that does not work, I get out my acrylic craft paint, some Q-tips and dot the paint over the stain until it matches the carpet. Use minimal paint and work slowly. With carpet burns, you may have to take manicuring scissors and cut out some of the burned/frayed fibers; then paint. Use blow dryer to dry.

By Jeanne from Elysian Fields, TX

Tip: Removing Drink Stains on Carpet

To my horror, my strawberry margarita slipped off the end table and disaster struck on my light beige apartment carpet. Being a typical male I begin rubbing not blotting the stain and after a while of scrubbing gave up and went to bed. The next morning it looked worse.

The Home Depot trip purchase did not solve the problem, so I found a tip on this website that I thought I would try and after a little contemplating (since I am an Engineer) I perfected it. Here are the steps to remove a set red stain such as the above mentioned (koolaid, red juices, etc.):

  1. 1. Make a small container mix of hot water with an ample amount of blue Dawn dish washing liquid.

  2. Pour the solution on the stained area and wait about a minute or so to let the Dawn do its work.

  3. Grab a roll of paper towels (like Bounty, the "Quicker Picker Upper").

  4. Get your iron out and plug it in with the setting on high. Let it warm up nice and hot.

  5. Take about 5 or 6 sections of dry paper towels and fold them so they are just wider than your iron and lay them over the stained area.

  6. Take your hot iron and press down on the paper towels. (Don't let your iron contact the carpet directly or you will have a bigger problem, since most carpet is made from plastic, such as nylon,) Instantly the paper towels will begin soaking up the water and a steaming action will occur, hot steam everywhere. Don't worry its just the hot iron and water making contact. You have just created an instant home steam cleaner that will work on most stains actually.

  7. When you lift your iron, you should see the stain color being wicked up on the paper towels.

  8. When that batch of paper towels becomes soaked, make a new batch and repeat until the towels don't soak up much water anymore.

  9. On my stain, I had to apply 3 batches of Dawn and hot water, repeating the whole steaming process.

  10. With a little patience the stain disappeared and my apartment deposit is still intact.

  11. Don't use white cloth towels as others have suggested, why ruin a perfectly good towel or rag. Paper towels are cheap and soak up the moisture more effectively.

Let me hear about your success stories.

Source: This is an improvement to a tip I found on this site.

By El Marko from El Paso, TX

Tip: Hydrogen Peroxide For Carpet Stains

Deciding to finally "power" clean my son's room while he is at college, I got everything off the floor. To my dismay, I found huge, dark brown spots of coffee, tea, soda (or whatever it used to be) all over my cream colored berber carpet. AAUUGGHHH!

I tried everything I had labeled "carpet cleaner" in the house then decided to go for plain old hydrogen peroxide. I did not fear it bleaching the polypropelene fibers. Even if it did, I would rather see that than the yucky brown mystery spots he left behind.

I was equally shocked to see the stains fade before my eyes! At 69 cents a bottle, what a great money saver it was. I just sprayed it on and used a rag to wipe it up after about 15 minutes.

Again, peroxide may fade some colored fabrics but, in this case, I was very happy to see the the stain "fade" with no noticable change in the carpet fibers. I would be real sure my colors would not fade before trying this on a darker colored carpet. For me, it would have meant buying new carpet as bad as the stains were.

By Leslie F P from Lakeland, FL

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Here are questions related to Cleaning Carpet Stains.

Question: Carpet Stains

I have an old, white carpet, but it doesn't look white anymore. It has many different dark spots which show up out of nowhere. How can I make it cleaner and whiter in general?

By Lilly

Most Recent Answer

By bkvander05/04/2010

Mix up a strong solution of Oxy Clean in a bucket of water. Wet the area well with a mop and let it sit for 30 minutes. Use a wet-vac cleaner to clean and remove excess moisture.

Question: Removing Carpet Stains

How do you get stains off carpet?

Dave from San Diego, CA

Most Recent Answer

By Colorful Carpets (Guest Post)07/25/2007

If you use Spot Shot or Oxyclean (or any other similar type of product) be SURE to rinse out ALL residues of these chemicals as they WILL cause the carpet color to fade in the areas where they have been used. These products are designed to remove stains (specifically the colors associated with stains). Unfortunately these chemicals don't know the difference between the color of the stains and the carpet's own color! The resulting effect is carpet that has faded spots.

Simply stated, chemicals do NOT belong in carpet! Be sure to rinse out any chemical residues using warm water. Extract the water thoroughly using a portable wet-dry type of vacuum cleaner.

Good luck!


Chris Howell
Maryland, USA

Question: Reappearing Carpet Stains

Have you steam cleaned the carpet and had that stain reappear? As the carpet begins to dry, the residue wicks up in the fibers and goes to the surface. To prevent this: stack several paper towels on top of the damp area and place a heavy pot on top. The towels should soak up the remaining stain overnight.

By Linda from Oceanside, CA

Question: Blue Loo Stain on Carpet

I have spilt Blue Loo toilet bowl cleaner on a synthetic mocha coloured carpet. How can I remove the stain?

By C Falk from Victoria, Australia

Question: Cleaning Carpet Stains

What can you use to remove red stains from carpet?

By beaver from Seminole, FL

Question: Removing Pink Vodka Stain on Carpet

I dropped a pink vodka sidekick on the carpet last night. I need help on how to get it out?

By Anthony

Question: Mystery Stain on Carpet

There is an old stain, it might be lipstick on a white carpet. They have tried to remove and there is still a large spot. If anyone has an idea I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

By Jackie from North Powder, OR

Most Recent Answer

By Mary Koehler04/13/2010

Mix white vinegar and liquid dish soap in small container. Use a brush to apply to spot and scrub. I have found this takes a lot of small spots out.

Question: Removing Fabric Dye from Carpet

How do I remove the red sofa dye from brown carpet?

By Jean from Mobile, AL


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Carpet Stains

I need help removing old stains in the carpet in the house I am renting. I don't know what types of stains they are, but they are blue, red, green and one brownish one. I have a steam cleaner so some type of solution would be good. The carpets are sculpted dark and light grey. HELP!

RE: Carpet Stains

I have used the Oxi-clean powder mixed into a thin paste on kool-aid type stains in my carpet and it worked wonderfully. Just remember that anything you use should be tried in an (b)INCONSPICUOUS(/b) area first or you might create more problems than you already have! (03/19/2003)

By addh2o

RE: Carpet Stains

Check with your local hardware store, there are many products in the "housewares" department for removing stains from carpet. I can't remember the name of the one most apartment complexes use it would remove any stain including red koolaide, it has been many years since I worked at the hardware store. Greasy stains, including lipstick can be removed with lighter fluid for zippo lighters. (03/20/2003)

By Jackie11065

RE: Carpet Stains

DD7 has been a great help (this can be purchased at your local Walgreen's drugstore or hardware) but make sure to test it as it will remove some color. It removed red juice stain from my cream colored carpet, no residual stain can be seen. (04/08/2004)

By Colleen

RE: Carpet Stains

When we owned our fourplex, we would steam clean the carpets first with about 1 c. Pine-Sol mixed in the water and then go back over it with regular carpet cleaner. (05/07/2004)

By Tawnda

RE: Carpet Stains

We had dumped register ink on carpet once and used rubbing alcohol to get it out. You soak the spot with rubbing alcohol and blot, soak, blot, works great. Do not rub. (08/15/2004)

By amoush

RE: Carpet Stains

Try Simple Green first. If that doesn't work, try things like hairspray, alcohol, or a mixture of 1/3 wisk, 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 ammonia. (05/28/2006)

By call4cathy

Archive: Reappearing Carpet Stains

I have tried all the tips and formulas listed here and even resorted to bleach but the stains in my carpet always reappear about a week after I shampoo. I have a steam cleaning shampooer and have tried everything. It looks really good for about a week and then the stains reappear as if the carpet had never been cleaned. I would appreciate any new methods that work for these type of stains.


RE: Reappearing Carpet Stains

I have had some big trouble with this too, and finally found something that works for me. Pour small amount of CLEAR shampoo on stain, then sprinkle salt over shampoo. I then took an old hairbrush and rubbed in all over the stain. Left all night, and then next morning, vacuumed all up. It really worked well on my carpeting, which is a Berber. Give it a try, it is really cheap too. (09/20/2005)

By Trishcardmaker

Archive: Removing Carpet Stains

If the carpet stain is still wet, try pouring a little club soda on the stained area. Wait a moment and blot until moisture is absorbed.

If you don't find the stain right away, mix a diluted solution of vinegar, soap and water. Dampen a cloth with this solution and press firmly against the stain for several moments. Blot dry with a rinse cloth.

Shaving cream is a great emergency carpet stain remover. Use on ketchup, chocolate, tea, coffee, wine and even blood.

Salt is also a great for absorbing mud stains. Sprinkle it liberally on fresh stains and allow to soak up the moisture. Then vacuum.

Never rub a carpet to soak up liquid that has been spilled. Using as much dry cloth as you need, blot the area until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

If your first treatment fails, let the carpet dry before you try something else. You'll have a better idea how much of the stain remains once the carpet is dry.

By Donna

Archive: Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

Always keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol (very cheap). When you get a stain or spot on your carpet, dip a toothbrush in the alcohol and rub it out. Not only does it take out just about everything, because it is alcohol, it dries immediately.

By sandis3

Archive: Carpet Stains

How do I remove old stains from carpet?

Summer from Ava, MO

RE: Carpet Stains

I just used carpet cleaner "bissell fiber cleansing" liquid to take out 100% dark red pomegranate juice. It worked amazingly well. (02/15/2008)

By Sue

Archive: Cleaning Carpet Stains

Someone came in from the outside and left snow prints on our carpet. When the snow melted it left dried salt footprints. I tried a spray on foam cleaner with no effect. The carpet is a dark gray shade and is a plush carpet. Please give me an idea how to clean it, this is a brand new carpet.

Marie from South Milwaukee

RE: Cleaning Carpet Stains

I don't know if this will help for you, but it sure worked for nail polish on my carpet. Try the 409 Glass and Surface (purple in color). I sprayed it on the nail polish on my carpet and with a little rubbing with a clean damp white rag I saw it all coming up. (01/26/2007)

By stlouisx50sgirl

RE: Cleaning Carpet Stains

RE: Cleaning Carpet Stains

The best stuff in the whole world is "Folex". It removes all stains from my carpets. I love the stuff. (01/26/2007)

By cjbisco

RE: Cleaning Carpet Stains

RE: Cleaning Carpet Stains

Melaleuca makes Sol U Mel, which is wonderful to remove any stain. Check under for information. KB (06/19/2007)

By Kathy

RE: Cleaning Carpet Stains

There is a product you can purchase at any Petsmart or Petco called "Simple Solution". It's the greatest stuff I've ever used. My husband and I used to have 4 Golden Retrievers (who love to play in the water and mud) and our carpet is a light gray. Just pour the solution on the stain, put a clean towel on it and stand on it for about 2 minutes. When you lift up the towel all the dirt will be on the towel, and you can scrub in any remaining wet area and the stain will be gone completely. It's been a carpet saver for me for over 18 years! And now I have a 2-year old puppy. (08/24/2008)

By hearts1

RE: Cleaning Carpet Stains

I have cats; I live in an apt. If you don't want to buy a steam cleaner (after owning a couple, I highly recommend Hoover's SteamVac - got it $150. Google your best price.), then just get the professional soap that goes with the steam cleaner. This is a hands and knees job. But it works. With a new carpet, I would just invest in the steam cleaner. (11/14/2009)

By catfifty

Archive: Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

Straight rubbing alcohol will remove any stain from your carpet. It does not discolor the carpet and will remove poo, pee, pink sticky stuff, absolutely anything. And the best part is that it does not leave a soapy residue in the fibers. Any spot remover you buy will have soap in it and soap does not evaporate. It just stays in the carpet and collects dirt which will make the spot reappear.

The alcohol evaporates! Simply put a dry white wash cloth over the top of the bottle, getting the cloth wet with the rubbing alcohol and rub on the spot. For a larger, deeper stain, you can carefully pour the rubbing alcohol straight from the bottle onto the carpet and rub the carpet with a dry white wash cloth. It's amazing and it's the cheapest stain remover you will ever find.

By Jrshari from Marysville, WA

RE: Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

I just used this tip! There were spots on the beige living room rug- dull black spots from who-knows-what? grease? old spill?). It was behind my couch where I had some stuff stored. This is a rental and I'm hoping to move out in a month or so. I didn't want carpet cleaning deducted out of my security deposit nor me to ruin the carpet maybe by spraying Resolve/chemicals on it! These stains were at least 2-3 years old though! I was worried!!

All the spots just disappeared instantly! Doing the happy dance here! LOL

Yes, using any soapy shampoo or cleaning product on your carpet does leave soap residue which only attracts more dirt and stains, and the old stains do come back usually! Thank you for posting this super-duper tip! Hugs and blessings from PA to you! (06/20/2009)

By Reen1960

RE: Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

Excellent idea. I'll try it next time. I usually use soda water, it works well too. I was eating an ice cream bar and the chocolate melted and dripped on the carpet. I didn't have any soda water at the time. It was about 2 weeks before I got to the store to get some. It worked like a champ too. I used it the same way you recommended with the alcohol. I'll try the alcohol the next time. I have plenty of that on hand. Thank you. (06/20/2009)

By chef4u

RE: Rubbing Alcohol for Carpet Stains

Great tip. I wonder if adding some alcohol to your rinse water on a carpet cleaner machine would remove the soap residue? (07/07/2009)

By italianswede

Archive: Cleaning Carpet Stains

How do I get rid of deep dark stains on my carpet?


Archive: Cleaning Carpet Stains

How do I remove dried in stains from a carpet?