2 Simples Methods To Remove Carpet Stains

By Gladys K. Connelly Updated January 15, 2021

Clean carpets with a carpet cleaner and homemade stain removers

2 Simples Methods To Remove Carpet Stains

Let’s admit it, you can take all precautions in the book to prevent carpet stains, but it’s bound to happen someday. Pet stains, wine spills, food crumbs, and muddy footprints are inevitable, considering you probably spend most of your time in the living room.

Sure, you can try to prevent this by having a no-shoes rule inside the house or restricting edibles to the dining table.

But, that’s not the best way to prepare yourself for the horror of a huge, stubborn stain on your carpet.

Instead, you should learn how to get rid of carpet stains so that you know the remedy as soon as an accident happens. Although vacuuming your carpet regularly prevents dirt accumulation, it isn’t your best bet against a tough stain.

That’s when the cleaning solutions come to the rescue. Let’s discuss two effective methods that can help you get rid of carpet stains.

Table of Contents

Method 1: Using a Carpet Cleaner

Not everyone is a DIY enthusiast, and that’s why there’s a need to mention a method that involves store-bought cleaners.

What You’ll Need

Here are all the things you need for this method:

Step by Step Instruction

Gather your supplies and follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Remove Dirt

If there are large dirt and debris particles on the carpet, remove them. Doing this helps prevent further embedding of the dirt into the carpet.

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove crumbly substances. If there’s a sticky material, use a butter knife to scrape it off. You can also use popsicle sticks if you don’t trust yourself around knives.

For the liquid spills, use a paper towel to soak as much moisture as you can.

Use a damp cloth to blot the stained area lightly. Make sure to move the cloth from outside in to prevent spreading the stain even more.

Do not scrub the area as it can press the dirt deeper into the carpet fibers or area rug. In contrast, blotting helps in lifting the stain without making it bigger.

More importantly, only use white paper towels or rags for cleaning your carpet. Any color or printed fabric can leave a dye stain on the carpet, making the situation worse.

Step 2: Apply the Carpet Stain Removal Liquid

Now, apply the carpet cleaning solution to the stain. Do not drown the stained area in the cleaning liquid to avoid mold growth. You can use a spray bottle to ensure that you’re not applying too much solution.

When buying a carpet cleaning product, make sure that it does not contain bleach as it can ruin your carpet’s color. However, if you have a white carpet, such solutions are suitable for use.

Check the recommended duration on the carpet cleaner’s packaging and let the stain sit for the appropriate amount of time.

Meanwhile, keep kids and pets away from the carpet. Chemicals in carpet cleaners can be hazardous when touched or ingested.

Step 3: Remove Moisture

Blot the carpet with a white paper towel or rag. As you blot, the stain should go away. If it doesn’t, apply the solution again until the stain is gone.

During this process, make sure the carpet does not get soaked at any point. Keep a dry rag nearby to blot away the excess moisture as required.

Step 4: Use a Washcloth

Lastly, dip a washcloth in distilled water and use it to blot the area you have just cleaned. Doing this will help clean remnants of the carpet cleaner.

Never rub the stained area as it can cause spreading. Instead, blot the area gently until the carpet is stain-free.

If you still see the stain – even if lightly faded – mix a teaspoon of white vinegar in the distilled water and apply it to the carpet.

Step 5: Vacuum

Finish off by vacuuming the area to flatten the carpet fibers. This will also quicken the drying process, making your carpet look freshly-cleaned.

Method 2: Using a Homemade Stain Remover

It might come as a surprise to you, but homemade cleaners work just as well as their store-bought counterparts. I’ll go as far as saying that some solutions – such as vinegar – are even stronger.

What You’ll Need

Here are the supplies you need for this method:

Step by Step Instructions

After gathering your supplies, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Blot the Carpet

Like the previous method, start by blotting the stained area with a paper towel, working from outside to the middle. Don’t use colored or printed rags. Instead, use white paper towels.

For slightly tougher stains, dampen the cloth or rag in warm water to blot the area.

Step 2: Make the Solution

Now, it’s time to make a detergent solution using the ingredients mentioned above. You can either make it in a spray bottle or a bowl big enough to dip a washcloth in.

Mix half a teaspoon of white vinegar and baking soda in two cups of warm water. You can also use cold water, but the former helps the ingredients mix better.

Stir the mixture to dissolve the powdered ingredients properly.

If the smell is too strong, pour a few drops of lemon essential oil to add a fresh scent to the solution. You can use this mixture for cleaning red wine spills, pet stains, and urine.

For more stubborn stains, use hydrogen peroxide. Mix it with water in equal amounts and add a few drops of dishwashing soap or non-bleaching laundry liquid.

If you’ve had a paper cut while working on the carpet, this solution will help remove the bloodstains.

Step 3: Spray the Solution

Depending on the stain, spray the appropriate solution onto the carpet and let it sit. Start blotting with a clean rag after 15-20 minutes.

While blotting, keep a dry cloth nearby. When you see the stain lifting, bring in the dry cloth to blot further without making the carpet any wetter.

Repeat the process until the stain is removed. 

Step 4: Vacuum

Once the stain is no longer visible, vacuum the carpet to dry it and remove any dirt particles not visible to the naked eye. You can also spread baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming for better cleaning.

Tips and Warnings

Take it from a pro, paying heed to tips and warnings goes a long way during carpet cleaning. I’ve compiled some cleaning tips that professional carpet cleaners swear by.


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  • Tend to a stain as early as possible. If a stain is allowed to seep into the carpet fibers, it can get tougher and harder to remove.
  • To remove toothpaste stains from the carpet, use water and liquid detergent solution.
  • If you have a shop vac, there’s no need for blotting the carpet for hours. Rinse the stained area using water and vacuum it with the wet-dry vacuum to suck excess moisture and the stain.
  • If you’re using store-bought solutions, always follow the instructions given on the packaging.
  • Vacuum the carpets regularly, especially doormats and area rugs, as they get the most traffic.
  • Keep the cleaners – commercial or homemade cleaners- aways from pets and kids.
  • Warm water works better than cold water for mixing solutions and removing stains.
  • Although costly, professional carpet cleaners can get rid of stubborn stains that you cannot remove at home. Get help from a professional when the methods mentioned above don’t work.


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  • Never scrub the solution. Carpet cleaning solutions lift the stain and scrubbing only pushes them back into the carpets. On the contrary, blotting removes the lifted stains.
  • Do not clean in a circular motion as it can destroy your carpet’s fibers and texture.
  • Never use carpet cleaning solutions containing bleach on colored carpets to avoid discoloration.
  • When using hydrogen peroxide, wear a mask and gloves to stay safe from the fumes. Plus, open the windows and doors for ventilation.
  • Some stains – no matter how concentrated the solution is – won’t go away. Make your peace with it and replace the carpet or hide the stain with a furniture item.
  • Baking soda does not remove tough stains. However, it does help eliminate unpleasant scents left behind by carpet cleaners or the stain itself.


With that, this guide comes to an end. By now, you should know how to clean your carpets using homemade and store-bought cleaners.

Some of you might be wondering: why share two methods when one can do the job? Well, you’ll come across different types of stains when cleaning your carpet, and it’s good to have an extra option.

Now, it’s time for you to tell me:

I’d like to hear your response and feedback in the comments below.

About the Author

Gladys K. Connelly

As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips about housekeeping for Thehousewire's audience. She's a housekeeping specialist with just shy of 9 years' experience to boast. That, combined with seven years prior experience in teaching, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.

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