Cleaning Carpet Stains

July 16, 2009

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 Mark Landis from El Paso, TX

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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.

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August 18, 2004

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

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April 5, 2012

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.

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March 19, 2009

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.

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29 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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


April 9, 20100 found this helpful

If it's an old embedded stain, it would be rather impossible to remove from the rug.

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April 10, 20100 found this helpful

Check your laundry aisle for a liquid bleach for colors called Vivid. Mix about 2 tbsp per cup of water, spray on the area and allow to sit overnight if possible. Use a damp cloth then a dry cloth to blot up. I have used this with a great deal of success. Hope it helps!

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Jackie,
First try shaving cream. If that doesn't work, try Windex. Both are marvelous for removing carpet stains.

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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October 21, 20150 found this helpful

I have used degreaser spray ( like WD40 ). As brilliant as WD40 is it smells terrible and overpowering so use a degreaser which tells you it is citrus smell or similar.
Spray some onto the stain leave for a couple of minutes and blot off and then used face cloth or similar. Dip in water with small amount of dishwashing liquid ( not so much you have suds ! ) and gently scrub the rest of the stain off. It really does work and it will tackle any stain. My son walked around with Flexitol liberally applied to his plods. You can imagine the damage that did to the carpet and my temper ! The degreaser removed all of it.
However check on an inconspicuous part first just in case any probs. My carpet is wool and very light so I am not sure as to bleaching after effect.
You can buy degreaser sprays in bike and car shops and some cheapo store like Wilkinsons, where I got mine. I love Wilkinsons. There is one in Kingston upon Thames and one in Epsom.

I saw this on UTube so I hope the person giving the information will forgive me in the interests of disseminating information.

Good Luck.

From Petworth in the UK

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One day while rummaging thru my extra freezer in the back of my house. I sat a 12 oz. can of frozen orange juice up on the top of the freezer, forgetting about it. A few days later, I heard a noise. What I found was a partial can of thawed orange juice on top of the freezer, and the rest had run all down the front of my freezer and into my light gray carpet. I was lucky that it didn't explode onto the ceiling area. What a mess though! My question is --- does anyone know what takes orange juice concentrate out of carpet? Many thanks to those who answer!



July 5, 20060 found this helpful

I use Shout Spray On any of my carpet spills.

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By carla bledsoe (Guest Post)
July 7, 20060 found this helpful

you might try straight peroxide. or if that doesn't get it, wet the area with peroxide and sprinkle on some baking soda and scrub it in with a soft brush. rinse and repeat as often as needed. this will take blood out of jeans so it should do pretty good on orange juice too. good luck.

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By KLS8800 (Guest Post)
July 7, 20060 found this helpful

I know that when I had pets, and they did their liquid business on the rug..I used ginger ale or club soda. Baking soda may help, too. and oops for the Orange Juice. I have done that...we now store our cans (of frozen juice) in ziplock type bags. Just make sure they close.

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October 18, 2009

My daughter's chest freezer quit working on her and some meat thawed out. The blood leaked out of the unit and got on the carpet. She tried shampooing it up, but the smell and stain are still there.

By Kellyjo Keithley from Heppner, OR


October 18, 20090 found this helpful

Maybe she should try an enzymatic cleaner. We got some at Petsmart for "accidents," called PetZyme. The bottle said it's for all sorts of organic messes. Here is a link:

We went ahead and got the big bottle, and put it in our own spray bottles (so much cheaper per ounce). I've used it several times, and it seems to work well on urine accidents. I haven't had to try it on blood, but it might not hurt to try.

Good luck - don't know if it'll get rid of the ugly spot, but hopefully at least the smell will be gone (then maybe she can cover the spot with a rug!).

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October 19, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know what it is about Baby Wipes, but for some odd reason they work. Every time I spill something on my carpet I grab the baby wipes and it always comes out:) I have also used goo gone on an old paint stain and it came out right away without damaging color. Try these sometime:)

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March 8, 2007

How do you get stains off carpet?

Dave from San Diego, CA


By (Guest Post)
March 12, 20070 found this helpful

a great product is called Spot Shot. It is about $4-5 a bottle but well worth it. It is cheaper if you get it at sams or costco.

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By Colorful Carpets (Guest Post)
July 25, 20070 found this helpful

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

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I have an asphalt driveway and very light carpet. I have awful trails on the carpet and it is a little sticky. I have had it professionally cleaned several times, but the spot returns almost as soon as it is dried.

What can I use to clean it? Please help.

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January 19, 2015

I found a tip on your site re getting out stains from my light carpet. I have tried the apple cider vinegar + baking soda, but I'm finding it has made the carpet worse than it was. There are now big stains on the carpet. I am now on my 3rd application to see if it will lift the stain. My carpet is a cream colour and the stains now are really noticeable.

Can someone give me some advice?

By Rhonda G

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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


May 4, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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November 21, 2013

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

By Jean from Mobile, AL

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August 12, 2012

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

By Anthony

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June 4, 2012

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

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October 4, 2010

What can you use to remove red stains from carpet?

By beaver from Seminole, FL

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April 18, 2007

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

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