How to Clean the Top 5 Carpet Stains

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  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20
What You'll Need
Baking soda
Club soda
Laundry soap
Dish detergent
Pet cleaner
Window cleaner

If you've got carpet, you've probably run into a few carpet stains over the years. To avoid having to install new carpet, you can tackle common carpet stains with common household items.

Wine Stains

A bottle of red is notorious when it comes to staining. If you've dropped a glass or tipped a bottle, you've got to work fast. First, apply boiling water to the stain. It may look like the stain gets bigger with the water, but it will be much easier to clean this way. Then dump a generous amount of table salt over the stain. If possible, mix equal parts club soda and vinegar together and then apply that mixture.

Once your stain is soaked, start blotting it up. Don't scrub or rub. Use an old towel and rinse it regularly. Switch it out with other rags frequently when it becomes too wet to soak anything up.

If that doesn't work, mix three parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dishwashing liquid and attack the stain the same way.

Ink Stains

A broken pen in the carpet is certainly cause for alarm. They say it's mightier than the sword and if you don't act fast, it can conquer your carpet too. As soon as you can, spray your ink stain with glass cleaner. The kind with ammonia works best. Let the cleaner sit on the ink for about an minute and blot it up with a rag. Repeat this process over and over until the ink is lifted.

You'll know this trick is working if you can see the glass cleaner bubbling a little and pulling the ink up into it. It may even change colors before you begin to blot.

Glass clean will work to remove dried ink too, but the process will require a little more time and a lot more glass cleaner.

If you have light carpet, you can use Oxyclean to lift remaining color a few days after the initial stain has been removed.

Coffee Stains

Coffee stains, old and new, can be tackled with Woolite INSTAclean pet stain remover or a similar pet stain remover. Made to tackle animal carpet stains, this cleaner lifts and pulls coffee stains from the carpet quickly. Simply follow the instructions on the back of the bottle.

coffee stain on carpet

If you don't have pet cleaner around, sprinkle baking soda and a small amount of warm water on the spot and scrub it up. Try not to send the stain deeper into the fibers of the carpet, but you can be a little more aggressive with this mixture.

If the baking soda and water doesn't cut it, you can use beer or vineagar on the stain. Soak the stain in your liquid of choice and let it sit for one to two minutes. Then soak up the stain with a rag using a blotting motion.

Coke Stains

Coke, or any other cola soda, can live a big brown spot in the carpet. Pour a little club soda on the coke stain as soon as you see it and follow that up with a generous amount of baking soda. Let the mixture sit and then blot it up with a towel. Then add the club soda and baking soda again, let it sit, and then pour vineagar over the mixture. Blot it up with a clean towel again and repeat until the fill stain is lifted.

You can also use a bleach-free laundry detergent to scrub into the stain. Scrub it in with a little water, blot it up, and then use a wet vacuum to suck up the excess liquid.

spray cleaning carpet

Chocolate Stains

You can take your time enjoying the rest of your chocolate if you drop a little in the carpet—a chocolate stain is a stain best served cold....or dry in this case. Let the chocolate dry all the way and then use your fingers of a butter knife to pull what you can out of the carpet. You can use a vacuum to suck up all of the little bits.

After you've removed what you can, take laundry detergent and warm water and place a small amount on the carpet. Use an old toothbrush to scrub up the stain and then blot it away with a rag. Repeat until you're stain free.

hand cleaning carpet with toothbrush

No matter what you spill in the carpet, there's usually a way to DIY it out. With a little elbow grease and a lot of trial and error, you can have clean carpet no matter the spills.