How to Remove Almost Any Carpet Stain

Removing a carpet stain quickly can save your flooring. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single cleaner that will remove all types of stains. However, stocking a few basic cleaning supplies will give you all of the options you’ll need to remove most types of carpet stains.

No matter what type of stain you need to remove, you should always work from the edges of the stain inward to prevent the stain from spreading. You should also plan on cleaning the stain as soon as you see it for best results. Before attempting to clean the stain, use a clean towel to blot and remove as much of the stain as possible. You should avoid rubbing when possible to prevent the stain from migrating to the carpet pad or damaging the pile.

Fresh Latex Paint, Soda, and Ice Cream

Combine 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar and 32 ounces of water into a spray bottle. Apply to the stain and blot repeatedly with an absorbent towel until the stain is lifted. If a stain still remains, apply more of the vinegar and water mixture to wet the stain. Continue blotting and repeating the stain removal until the rug is clean.

Wine, Blood, and Coffee

For non-wool carpets, mix a combination of one tablespoon ammonia and one cup water. Spray onto the carpet and blot with an absorbent towel. For wool carpets, use a mixture of one tablespoon of hand-washing laundry detergent and one cup of water instead of the ammonia mixture.


Apply rubbing alcohol to the glue using a cotton ball and allow it to soften the glue stain. Use an absorbent towel to remove any residue, gently rubbing if necessary.

Oily Stains

To remove oily stains apply a paper towel to the affected area and apply heat with a warm iron. The oily stain should absorb into the paper towel. Continue ironing the stain with the towel, shifting the towel as necessary to provide a clean area over the stain. To remove any residue, use a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of dish-washing liquid to 2 cups of water. You should blot to remove any oily residue from the carpet.


Remove any wax stains on the surface of the carpet with a butter knife. Then use the same technique used to remove oily stains, using the iron and paper towels to remove the remainder of the stain.

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