Tips For Removing Carpet Stains

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SoapHere are a few tips I’ve accumulated to get rid of and clean carpet stains, remember to always test in a small, unnoticeable area first to make sure there won’t be any discoloration or damage.

  • Saturate a clean, white cloth with rubbing alcohol and dab at the spot to try to lift up as much of it as possible.
  • Mix 1/4 cup water with 3/4 cup household vinegar. Spray the area generously but not too much that it will soak the under padding. Allow to sit for a minute or two, then dip a white cloth in the water/vinegar mixture and dab area.
  • Use a bar of Ivory Soap wrapped with a wet cloth or try a gentle bristle brush.
  • Try a laundry stain remover pen or stick (use on light colored fibers only).
  • Pull up gum by covering and slathering the wad with a teaspoon of peanut butter. Allow it to sit for a minute or two, then pull up with a wet cloth. Clean the area with a wet, soapy cloth.
  • Spot clean with club soda.
  • Dab with a soapy sponge, then with hydrogen peroxide or a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and household ammonia (careful on colored fibers, more for light tones).
  • Blot with household vinegar.
  • Try a baby wipe if you have one on hand.
  • OxiClean–I’ve had great success with this product.
  • Mix together 4 tablespoons baking soda, 6 teaspoons household ammonia, 1/4 cup liquid Ivory dish detergent, 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water. Sponge into spot, allow to dry then vacuum.
  • Make a thick paste with cornstarch and water and apply to area, allow to dry then vacuum up. May need a few applications.

Keep In Mind:

  • Don’t scrub in, but blot out and wipe upward if possible.
  • Avoid applying so much liquid that it soaks and saturates the under padding.
  • Don’t take any chances–always test a small area first to make sure there won’t be any discoloration.
  • If you have pets, avoid using ammonia as it may trigger your pet to relieve himself on that spot.

Spilled nail polish can make an awful mess and here’s a tip sent in by Charlotte to clean that up:

  • First clean what you can of the spill by blotting it up with paper towels.
  • Next pour a little nail polish remover on the spill and blot the polish up, don’t rub it all over because it will just spread…just blot it up. Keep applying and blotting it up until the stain is gone.
  • If you missed the spill and didn’t notice it until it dried, still try this but wait about 5 minutes before blotting up so it has a chance to work.
  • After I did this there was a little trouble spot I missed but I was able to scrape it out with the edge of a plastic spoon, just soften with more remover and scrape it out. A plastic knife would probably work better but I was trying to do the least damage to the carpet fibers as possible.
  • Afterwards wash the area with a bit of soapy water and then sponge with clear water to get rid of any residue.

Tipnut’s Notes: Use an acetone based product and one that isn’t oily (so you don’t have to deal with an oily residue left behind). Nice one to keep on file, thanks a bunch Charlotte!

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Published: January 29, 2007
Updated: August 18, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
25 Comments to “Tips For Removing Carpet Stains”
  1. Kelly langley says:

    To remove blood from practically any fabric you can use hydrogen peroxide. Just pour it directly onto the fabric and then rinse it thoroughly. This even works on carpets too!just make sure u wash it well or it may discolor the material, (whatever it may be) -kelly

  2. Lisa says:

    Spray water and Shout on the stain and scrub. Made our carpet look new!

  3. annarose says:

    Which tips are safe for cleaning OLD STAINS from oriental rugs Where can one buy CORNSTARCH in the UK. ARE THERE ANY SAFE TIPS FOR REMOVING LONG TERM STAINS FROM LIGHT CREAM UPHOLSTERY Thank you for so much useful advice
    AR

  4. Christiana says:

    Spray white shaving cream (not shaving gel!!!) onto the stain, rub it in a bit, and leave for a half hour to an hour. Rub off with a clean rag and hot water. Voila!

  5. Jamie moody says:

    I had this really black spot, where a cup of coffee got knocked down and and ashtray too while the coffee was still wet. Nothing helped! I ended up spraying it with the Walmart brand (Scrubbing bubbles/Lysol cleaner) and let it set for a couple minutes and rinsed with vinager and it cam right up, when the “Carpet cleaners” didnt do anything! I have brown caret, Didnt even fade it! I was shocked! and it only costs a 1$ a bottle!

  6. jan says:

    How to remove saffron powder stains from cream pure wool carpet

  7. Natasha says:

    Does anyone knoe a good way to get color stains out of carpet without using harsh chemicals???

    • Jayne says:

      I just had a disaster in a holiday rental My teen daughter spilt a bottle of mineral powder foundation on a cream carpet. Sadly she tried to mop it up with a wet cloth before telling me. I had friends over for coffee and we all got on our hands n knees and blotted it with generic baby wipes. Amazingly not only did it clean the mess it didnt even leave a trace and didnt bleach out or lighten the carpet in any way.

  8. Sharon says:

    DOes anyone know how to remove candle dye from carpets? A red candle got knocked over and wax spill all over the carpet. Got all the wax out using an iron and paper towels but the red from the dye did not come up. Please any help would be appreciated!

  9. sylvia bainbridge says:

    Does anyone know how to remove a tar stain from my carpet thanks

    • Tina says:

      In Florida we get tar on our flip flops from the beach and often have to remove it from carpet. We found GoJo the hand cleaner men scrub car oil from their hands with, worked into the tar lifted it right out. It also took it from fabric too.

  10. Bev Sch says:

    Does anyone know how to get waterproof mascara out of carpet?

  11. eric says:

    this might sound strange but ive sprayed many carpet stains with window cleaner and most stains come out amazingly, spray directly on the stain and blot, repeat as neccesary,

  12. valerie says:

    can any one help! My 16 yr old daughter has got fake tanning on her carpet

  13. Melissa says:

    Does anyone know how to get Renuzit “cone” airfreshener out of carpet? My kids ground an orange one into their bedroom carpet and I can’t get the stains out!

  14. josete says:

    Does anyone know how to remove liquid black shoe polish from a red rug ?

  15. Christine says:

    Any ideas on how to get a sick stain from a beige carpet. Unfortunately the “sick” had part digested tablets in it, which have left an orange stain. Ordinaary carpet cleaner hasn’t touched it.

  16. Garfield says:

    What is the best way to get curry stains out of a carpet?

  17. NaNaNoonyah says:

    WHITE toothpaste does WONDERS on carpet stains. Got out a fingernail polish stain, AND mascara that had been sitting in the carpet for 9 months.
    Just get the area wet, rub in the white (like Colgate) toothpaste, and rinse out!

  18. jeannie says:

    The carpet in our car has a slight black tint in it, which I know is mildew from when the car interior got wet. It rained and the window was slightly open. It is a “spare” car, and we didn’t realize it right away.We were hoping to sell the car soon, but we can’t sell it in this condition.

    • Tina says:

      My husbands truck often gets mildewy so with a spray bottle of water with a teaspoon of bleach mixed in I misted the stinky carpet using and old rag and pushed the dampened area up and down working it a little deeper. It didn’t bother the carpet because it in 100% polyester…It works in minutes, then air dry.

      • mike says:

        I used to work in a dry cleaners and they had an amazing way to get rid of mildew and other similar stains out of clothes & linen etc but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for anything to be honest. You need to use either Milton baby sterilizer (usually used for baby sterilizers) either in the bottle or the tablets, make up a solution of either 1 tablet to a spray bottle of water or 1/16th or so of the liquid to a spray bottle of water and then spray it on the affected area, you won’t need to spray loads of it, trust me!
        Once you’ve done that you can literally watch it go from black to yellow to nothing in a matter of seconds and it doesn’t leave any residue etc behind afterwards. It can also be used on colored items because it’s a gentle type of bleach for use with baby’s and infants. After the stain is gone just wash it as normal! This is a much better idea than just trying other ways to remove it because you’ll usually find that it’ll only fade a little and will still look grey at least!

  19. Susan H says:

    Spilled tea true oil on carpet, stinks, any idea how to rid my carpet of it and the smell?

  20. Mary Patten says:

    How do I get old tea/coffee stains from a beautiful cream oriental carpet


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