What to Use on Different Carpet Stains

How To Clean Carpet Stains

Kids, pets, food, drinks and bodily fluids can take a beautiful carpet and turn it nasty in no time. With the right treatment, you can get your carpet clean and sanitary again. Luckily most carpets can be cleaned with common household cleaners and require little effort.

There are a few household  items you want to keep on hand when the inevitable accident happens. Keep them all together in a plastic storage box so you can find exactly what you need when you need it. 


The Carpet Stain Treaters to Have:

    • Mild dish soap such as Joy or Dawn
    • Clear household ammonia
    • White vinegar
    • Dry cleaning solvent
    • Wet spotter (like Resolve carpet cleaner) Dry spotter (carpet cleaning granule types)
    • Spotting brush
    • Paint thinner
    • Hydrogen peroxide
    • Isopropyl alcohol
    • Bacteria/Enzyme digester
    • White cloths
    • Wet/dry vacuum


There are six steps that you need to follow when it comes to effectively cleaning carpet stains. Following them will help you to get the very best results.


1 - Try to get the stain removed as soon as you can. The longer it sets in, the harder it will be to get it out. 

2 - Start the removal process. If the material is a liquid then blot it up. If you have a large amount of it then get out the wet/dry vacuum to remove it before it dries. If you are dealing with a solid then do your best to remove it with the spot brush by gently scraping. Make sure you make small movements so you don’t spread the area of the stain.

3 - Once you have removed all you can, use cleaners such as soap and spotters to clean them up. If you don’t know how they will affect your carpet type, try them on an area that is well hidden first. If the test is fine then you should be good to go.

4- When you apply spotter to the carpet, make sure you clean by staring from the outside perimeter of the stain. Then slowly work your way towards the middle of it. This way you can contain the area and you won’t end up spreading it. To prevent damages to the fibers of the carpet you need to make sure you blot as you work instead of scrubbing. Only use a spotting brush to break up the stain as other items can be too harsh for the fibers to withstand.

5 - After treatment, make sure you remove all of the chemicals from the area with water. Then you can blot the area dry with clean towels. Use your hands to fluff up the carpeted area so that it looks like the rest of it.

6 - To help remove all of the moisture from the area, place clean towels on the area. Put some heavy books on top of it to make sure there is enough pressure. Allow this to sit overnight and then check it in the morning.

Use the right products to use to clean specific stains so they don't set into the carpet. Below are the most common stains as well as solutions for them.



Try to scrape off as much as you can. Lipstick can be tricky so make sure you don’t spread the area of it. Try some ice to help harden it if you are having a hard time removing it. Dry cleaning solvent can certainly help too. If it is a dark color you may need to use ammonia as well.

Alcohol (liquor or beer)

Use a mild soap and water to blot it up. Create a mixture of vinegar and water then blot it as well. If necessary apply some hydrogen peroxide if the alcohol was colored and left a stain. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times to get it all out.



If the blood is dry do your best to scrape it all off. You can loosen it up with mild soap and water. Blot to remove the excess water and then add ammonia mixed with water. You may need to apply either rust remover or hydrogen peroxide if the blood is very difficult to get out of the carpet. If it's an unusually large amount you'll have to call a professional (most likely a crime scene cleaner).



If you have kids, you can be pretty sure that one day you will need to remove candy from your carpet. Try to scrape it with a spotter brush or a butter knife. Then use a sponge with mild soap and water. It is important that you get all of the sugar out of the area on the carpet. Failure to do so will result in that area attracting dirt and debris easily. Blot to dry when you are done.


Candle wax

Take the time to scrape as much of the candle wax off of the carpet as you can. Don’t be tempted to use heat though as a mentioned before. Instead use ice cubes to make the candle wax hard. Then it will break off of the fibers easily for you. The use of a dry cleaning solvent may be useful as well.



The goal is to get rid of it completely so take your time. Use a dry brush to remove what you can to start with. Then use a clean sponge to apply a good disinfectant to the area. Follow this with ammonia and then hydrogen peroxide. Keep a good eye on the area over the next couple of days to make sure you got all of it.



This is one of the panic-mode stains. Not to worry, get rid of it by applying some dry cleaning solvent to the area. Work from the outside so you don't  get a ring left. Use mild soap and water to make sure you have removed all of it as well. Dawn dish soap is perfect for this, because of its history of successfully getting oily stains out of clothing.



Scrape it away if it is solid, blot it if it is in a liquid form. Use a sponge and some dry cleaning solvent to remove what remains. You may need to use mild soap and water or hydrogen peroxide if it is staining your carpet.



This is another very common type of stain but one you can clean up quickly. Try to blot it up as soon as it occurs. Use mild soap and water to remove it as well. 



If ink gets on your carpet, don't worry...it can be removed. Spray the area with hair spray first to get it to loosen up.Try to clean it up right way with mild soap and warm water. Be careful as this is one of those stains that can easily spread if you don’t work from the outside in. 



Blot the jelly and get as much of it up as you can. You may need to apply mild soap and water to help it get soft. Depending on the color of the jelly and the color of your carpet you may need a solution of vinegar to get the stain completely out.



Wet mud can be almost impossible to get rid of. If you allow it to dry, then you can brush it and it will crumble. Vacuuming it up is every simple too. If you have a stain left use either ammonia or dry cleaning solvent to remove it. 



Gum can be quite a mess on the carpets, and it will get worse if you use heat. Instead use ice cubes to get it cold and then it should come right out. You may have to use some dry cleaning solvent to get the small pieces from the fibers though.



Try to blot it up as much as you can. This will work for ketchup which is commonly found with mustard on carpet. Apply mild soap and water too in order to remove what remains. If there is a stain then apply either rust remover or hydrogen peroxide. You definitely want to refrain from using any type of ammonia or alkaline cleaner for this type of stain.



Use mild soap and water to blot what you can of it. If you clean it up right away that should do the trick. If not, use some vinegar to blot the area as well. You may need to use hydrogen peroxide as well. Coffee can be a stubborn stain though so make sure you work until it is completely gone.



Use ice to get the wax of the crayons to harden. Then you should be able to remove it with your hands from the fibers. Next you can use dry cleaning solvent to get the remaining particles of it cleaned up.


Grass stains

Apply mild soap with water, blot the stain until it is gone. If it is stubborn try either ammonia or vinegar to the area with water.


Nail polish

Cleaning this up will depend on the type of nail polish that is involved. If it has acetone and it is non oil based then you want to blot it as much as you can. Dry cleaning solvent should help to remove the stain completely. If it doesn’t have acetone on it then you can use amyl acetate which you can buy at any pharmacy to get rid of it.


Paint or varnish

Mineral spirits are your best way of cleaning it up without any problems if it is still wet. Should you find dry paint on the carpet simply apply a small amount of lacquer thinner to it. Make sure you test this out on a hidden piece of carpet though to make sure it won’t alter the color.


Pet stains

Indoor pets are a leading cause of stains to the carpets. Try to blot it out as much as you can with clean towels. To get enough pressure you want to step on those towels for a few minutes. This way you penetrate what has gone deep into the fibers and the smell won’t linger. Apply a bacteria/enzyme digester as well. Wait for it to dry and then use mild soap and water to complete the clean up. White vinegar is also very effective for getting rid of the smell. 



Apply Lysol to help neutralize the smell as you clean it. Scrape up as much of it as you possibly can. Then use a bacteria/enzyme digester or white vinegar. Allow the area to dry and then use mild soap and water to complete the clean up process.



To easily remove it, use steel wool or rust remover. Make sure you completely rinse the area with warm water after you are done.


Shoe polish

Do your best to blot it up without smearing or spreading it. Scrape off what you can and then apply dry cleaning solvent. You may need to use either ammonia or hydrogen peroxide to fully remove the stains.




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