Remove Stains from Carpet

Carpets suffer from continuous wear and tear. Routine vacuuming and knowing how to remove stains from the carpet can keep the carpet looking new.

Steps to prevent stains

Stop tracking dirt onto your carpet by removing shoes when you walk into the house. Immediately clean up any spills on the carpet to prevent the need to remove stains from the carpet. Regular vacuuming controls the odor and the soiling of the carpet. A wet/dry vacuum can quickly suck up liquid spills before a stain occurs.

Types of stains

There are three types of stains: oil-based, water-based, and urine. Oil-based stains usually involve grease, lipstick, butter, crayon, peanut butter and oil. Many water-based stains involve candy, jelly, chocolate milk, wine, beer, vomit, and food stains. Urine stains are a common persistent problem for pet owners.

Remove stains from carpet

Always remember to blot a stain and never rub it. Scrubbing a stain weakens the carpet fibers and causes the stain to spread. Start blotting the stain from the outside working towards the center of the stain again to prevent the stain from spreading. When using a cleaning solution always rinse with water after application and dry the area. The steps to remove stains from the carpet may have to be repeated in order to completely clean the spot. Be sure to thoroughly rinse cleaning products out of the carpet otherwise, they will attract soil.

How to remove stains from the carpet which are oil-based

First, try to remove stains from the carpet by using ¼ teaspoon dishwashing soap with 1 cup water. If, the dishwashing soap doesn’t work add 2 tablespoons of household ammonia to 1 cup of lukewarm water or use 1 cup white vinegar with 2 cups of water.

Remove water-based stains from carpet

Water-based stains usually can be easily removed by using ¼ teaspoon dishwashing soap with 1 cup of water. With a stubborn stain, you can use 1 cup of white vinegar with 2 cups of water.

Pet urine stains

To remove stains from the carpet soak up as much urine as possible with paper towels. Rinse with cool water and dry the area. A wet/dry vacuum can help with this type of stain.

An enzymatic pet urine stain remover should also be used to eliminate odor. Rinse after using the enzymatic product and completely dry. Do not use heat to clean a pet-urine stain. Steam cleaning pet-urine stains will fix the stain into the carpet.

Getting gum out of carpet

Heat the gum with a blow dryer to soften it. Put a plastic bag over your hand and lift the gum out of the carpet. Repeat until the gum is removed.

Wine stains on the carpet

To remove stains from the carpet, blot the wine to soak up the liquid. Sprinkle the wine stain with table salt. Let the wine and salt dry, and then vacuum the spot.


Only use cold water to remove stains from the carpet. Hot water will set the stain into the carpet fibers.

Coffee stains

Use a hot wet cloth with white vinegar to remove stains from the carpet. Dry the carpet when done cleaning the stain.


Wicking occurs when you remove stains from the carpet only on the surface. As a result, the liquid from the stain pools onto the backing or padding of the carpet. The liquid can work its way back up to the carpet fibers making the stain reappear a day or two after cleaning. To stop wicking, cover the stained area with a cloth and heavy books and leave overnight. The next day, blot with a damp cloth.