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".
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.):
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
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.
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?
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.
How do you get stains off carpet?
Dave from San Diego, CA
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.
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
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
What can you use to remove red stains from carpet?
By beaver from Seminole, FL
I dropped a pink vodka sidekick on the carpet last night. I need help on how to get it out?
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
How do I remove old stains from carpet?
Summer from Ava, MO
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
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
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)