How to Get Stains Out of Carpet

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The following statement is an unfortunate, yet true, fact of life: If you have carpet anywhere in your home, you will have to learn how to get stains out of carpet.

Carpets develop stains on a regular basis. Common causes of stains include: 

  • Mud tracked in on shoes
  • Drink spills 
  • Pet accidents

But here’s some great news: In most cases, you can remove carpet stains on your own with no professional carpet cleaning required. So, keep reading to learn some of the most common types of carpet stains and how to get them out. 

Remove Red Wine Stains With Club Soda 

This popular drink is notorious for making quite the mess when spilled on your carpet. But a red wine stain doesn’t have to spell disaster. Here are three steps you can take to get red wine out of your carpet:

  1. Blot the carpet with dry paper towels, removing as much of the liquid as possible. Don’t scrub at the area, as this can push the liquid down into the carpet fibers, making it harder to remove. 
  2. Next, pour a small amount of club soda onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting the area again. You can repeat this process multiple times if needed. 
  3. If the stain persists, use a carpet cleaner with a cleaning solution designed for stubborn stains. 

And if you spill grape or cranberry juice on your carpet, you can use this same method to clean those stains, too.

Blot Away Dirt & Mud 

When you spot fresh dirt or mud on your carpet, resist the urge to clean it right away. Here’s a simple way to get rid of dirt and mud stains:

  1. Let the stain dry completely, and then use a plastic knife to scrape up as much of the dirt or mud as you can. 
  2. Vacuum the area before spraying a homemade cleaning solution on the stain. One good cleaning formula is:
    • 1 quart of warm water
    • ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon of a mild dishwashing liquid like Dawn spray-on dish soap 
  3. Wait 10 minutes, and then blot the stain with a paper towel.

Pounce on Pet Stains

Unfortunately your four-legged friends don’t know how to get stains out of carpet. So, if your pet has an accident on the carpet here’s how to clean it up:

  1. Pick up and dispose of any solid waste.
  2. Blot urine with a dry paper towel.  
  3. If the stain has already dried, re-wet the area with a small amount of water, and then try the blotting method. 
  4. To clean the area, add a few squirts of a laundry detergent or OxiClean stain remover to 1 quart of water in a spray bottle and spritz the soiled spot. Let it sit for a few minutes before blotting the stain. 
  5. To neutralize any remaining odor, use a combination of ¼ cups of white vinegar mixed with 1 quart of warm water. Spray it onto the stain, let it sit for several minutes, and then as before, blot it dry. 
  6. If the pet stain is especially large or difficult to remove, consider using a carpet cleaner with a solution designed for pet stains.

Break Up Candle Wax

While it may be tempting to try and remove melted wax from your carpet immediately, it’s best to let it harden first. 

  1. To speed up this process, apply an ice pack to the melted candle wax, and then break up the pieces before vacuuming up as much as you can with a good-quality vacuum cleaner. 
  2. If there is any wax residue left over, a carpet cleaner and solution designed for tough stains is the best approach. 
  3. You can also use a white paper towel or cloth with a bit of rubbing alcohol on the stain, and then blot the area to help it dry.

Use Cold Water & Dish Soap for Blood Stains

Everyone has a different opinion as to how to get stains out of carpet from blood, but all agree that time is of the essence. Just know that blood can be one of the tougher stains to remove, so you may need to try the below steps several times or more until you see results. 

  1. Start by using cold water combined with a dishwashing detergent (like Dawn) formulated to fight grease. 
  2. Fill a spray bottle with about 2 teaspoons of the detergent, top it off with cold water, and spritz the area thoroughly to completely soak the spot. Then use a paper towel to blot up as much of the blood as you can. Repeat as necessary. 
  3. You can also use OxiClean, known for its ability to remove tough stains like blood.
  4. You can also use a carpet cleaner on the area with a solution designed for tough stains.

Clever Tips for Coffee or Tea Stains

Trying to figure out how to get stains out of carpet caused by coffee is not how any of us want to wake up. When your morning cup of Joe or afternoon iced tea ends up spilling on the carpet, take the following steps:

  1. Grab a roll of paper towels and start blotting the area until you remove as much liquid as you can. 
  2. Then, mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the area. Allow the solution to sit for several minutes before rinsing it with cool water and blotting it up. 
  3. Repeat this process a few more times if necessary to remove the whole stain.

Persistence Pays off When You Need To Get Stains Out of Carpet

Carpet stains may be common, but you don’t have to accept them. 

Thankfully, you can remove the vast majority of stains from your carpet with a combination of blotting and targeted cleaning with specific ingredients.

Hopefully, this guide has taught you how to get stains out of carpet quickly and effectively. And if you have a truly stubborn stain, you could always look to a carpet cleaning machine for help.