Carpets are great! Who doesn't like a nice clean carpet at home? The biggest problem is how difficult it is to clean them. And unfortunately, sooner or later your carpet will get stained. It’s just part of life.
But don't panic! You can clean almost any type of stain on a carpet. If you'd like, bookmark this website! Next time you have a stain and don't know how to clean it, this guide will be extremely helpful to know how to get carpet stains out. It's the best and most complete guide online on how to remove carpet stains! And if there's a type of stain that we didn't include, don't hesitate to ask us a question at this section right here. One of our carpet experts will get back to you asap!
Also, If you've tried cleaning your carpet and weren't successful, you can always call a professional. We have a section dedicated to analyzing and independently reviewing different carpert cleanings. In case you need to find a professional, click here to find the best professionals near you.
We wanted to make this the best guide EVER to help everyone finally clean any stain on their carpets. After testing different stains with different methods, we found that every method works differently depending on the type of stain. Some methods are great for a certain type of stain, but don't work for other stains. And the other way around with other methods and stains.
It all seemed too complicated.
So... we are going to simplify this for you. We're first going to describe all the stain cleaning methods step by step. We'll give a simple name to each of those methods.
We'll then go stain by stain and tell you what method we would use in order to clean that stain. In most cases we'll begin with a non-aggressive method and move up in case the previous method didn't work well enough.
Great! One last thing before we get started. No matter what stain you're trying to clean, please read the following "General tips on how to get out stains in a carpet". They're super straight forward tips, and very easy to understand, but it could save you from runing your carpet (and it only takes a couple of seconds to read).
These tips apply for any stain on any carpet. So please, read them carefully!
Your carpet's fiber might be natural, or they might be synthetic. And within those, there are many different types of fibers. It would be wise to find out what material your carpet is made of. And if you still have (probably not) your manufactuers recommendations that would be even better!
If you've had your carpet recently installed be careful! Some manufacturers demand that you have your carpet professionally cleaned every couple of months in order to be covered by the warranty. So make sure you do if you don't want to lose the warranty.
All the methods that we'll be covering on this tutorial are DIY. Because of that, and because many people probably won't ever find out their carpet's material, you want to be careful using homemade carpet cleaners. If you're going to try one of the DIY methods, please apply the solution to a tiny portion of your carpet before applying it on the stain. It's the only way you can make sure that you won't ruin your carpet.
But if you're still unsure and would rather use a safer store-bought prodcut, we reviewed all the carpet stain removers and wrote a guide about which you should be using. You can check it out here
A very common mistake beginners make is to use too much product to clean a stain. This, not only will not help you clean your carpet, but it could actually make your have to work twice as much. You'll first have to clean the stain, and then you'll have to clean the excess product you applied.
As a rule of thumb, you don't want to use color towels to clean stains. That's because some products (both DIY and store bought) have chemicals that could cause a dye transfer to your carpet. And that's one of the toughest stains to remove.
Although some products can be applied with color towels, it's just a good practice to always use white towels.
This is the number one reason why people trying to clean their carpets sometimes end up making a lot worse. You don't want to scrub or rub any product. You'll spread the stain and it will be harder to clean up. Always blot. That means, to place on top of the stain and raise up. Then repeat as many times as necessary.
And please, use as many fresh pieces of paper (or towels) as necessary. If you blot a stain with a towel that's already been used, you might be simply cleaning a stain with a stained towel.
This is obvious, but the sooner you clean a stain, the more chances you'll have of getting it out. I've seen many stains that I could've easily cleaned that wouldn't go out because it took so long to be cleaned. It's simply not worth it to wait!
This guide is meant to address a simple question: "How to get stains out the carpet". But in my experience, the most important thing you can do as a carpet owner is to deep clean your carpet when it's necessary.
How often? Between once every 2 months to once every 18 months, depending on the use. We wrote an post on this topic, in case you're interested: How often should you clean your carpet..
This alone can double or triple your carpets lifespan. And it's not that expensive if you do it youself. We wrote a post on the best steam carpet cleaners in the market for the year 2022 (you can check it out here). But if you're in a hurry, check out this amazing machine:
These machines can be expensive, but are soooo worth it.
It's the wisest investment a carpet owner can make.
If you just want (or need) a fast and easy solution that will work on every stain, this section is for you!
This method won't be as effective against certain stains as their most specific stains, but it can help remove at least some of the stain. It's always a good way to get the cleaning started and if it doesn't work, simply proceed with a more aggressive method.
You can use this method both for new and old stains. Although, as we explained previously, every method is going to be more effective with recent stains.
Since the stain is old, you might need to moist it a little bit. In order to do that, simply spray water to the stain.
If you don't have a spraying bottle, please get one. They're only like $2.5 per spraying bottle on Amazon. But if you really don't have a spraying bottle, try pouring a little bit of water around the edges of the stain and then moving inwards. That way you won't spread the stain.
Once the stain is moist, start bloting the stain. Keep doing this until no more of the stain comes out.
Create your secret potion. It's super complicated: mix equal parts white vinegar and water. And you're done.
Now it's time to apply the product we just made. Simply spray the area with the mix (remember not to use too much) and let it sit for just over a minute.
Once you've applied the mix, blot the stain again until you remove the product. Repeat until the stain is gone. And even if it seems like it's gone... keep repeating this step a little longer. It might seem clean, but it could still smell a little bit. With a couple more times, the smell will dissapear too.
If you own a looping carpet (you can know because the fibers loop), the product won't reach the underside of the loop just by spraying. That's why you should use a q tip to clean the insides of the loops.
If the stain you're cleaning is old (this usually happens with pet stains), pour a little baking soda over where the stain used to be and let it sit for 24h. You might even see yellowish stuff come up. That's ok, that means it worked.
After 24 hours scrape it up and vacuum.
The reason why we are doing this is because old stains tend to be deeper in the fibers of our carpets. Thus, a little help is needed to clean up all the odor remaining. The baking soda works like a charm removing the odor!
We are going to take a look at 9 cleaning methods. These are all very simple, but not all of them will work depending on the stain. Check the 28 Types of Stains and how to clean them to see which method you should apply to clean your stain.
This is the method that was previously described as the method that can be used to try to clean every stain. The best thing about this method is that you can use it on every stain, although it might not be very effective on old stains.
It has been described with a lot of detail here, so we'll just point out the basics now:
1. Moisture the stain with water and a spray bottle (This is only necessary for old stains).
2. Mix white vinegar and water (equal parts) and add the mix to a spray bottle.
3. Spray the mix and blot the stain with clean towels. Repeat this step as many times as necessary.
4. Sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for 24 hours. Vacuum the remaining baking soda.
This solution can be applied with a spray bottle or to the carpet directly. Although I would highly recommend applying it with a spray bottle to prevent pouring too much product.
1. Create the mix: One teaspoon of clear amonia to a half a cup of water. Do as much solution as you need.
2. Apply the solution with the spray bottle and let it sit for a 2 minutes.
3. Use white towels to blot. PLEASE! Remember to use white towels, or else you might transfer dye from your towel to the carpet.
Some carpets won't stand this amonia mix. Try on a small (non-visible) corner before using this solution.
This is a very popular method because it's not very aggressive. But please make sure not to use too much product. Removing excess detergent from a carpet can be very time consuming.
1. Create the mix: One quareter of a teaspoon of detergent to one quart of water. You can use any hand soap or dish soap, but make sure that it doesn't contain bleach or lanolin. Those could ruin your carpet.
2. Apply the detergent solution from a spray bottle
3. Blot out the stain and detergent. This might take a while and you might be tempted to rub the solution. Although you could (in theory) rub this solution without spreading the stain, I wouldn't recommend it.
1. Buy Isopropyl rubbing alcohol online or on your grocery store. (click here to check price on Amazon). I would recommend buying the 1 gallon one, because it will be very helpful in the future.
2. Apply the alcohol to a clean, white towel. You can use both cloth or paper as long as it's white.
3. Blot until the stain is gone. Be careful not to spread the stain! This method is used to clean very small stains, and so there's an even higher risk of spreading the stain if you aren't careful.
Never apply the alcohol directly to the stain. You'll almost always spread the stain.
This is one of the most dangerous methods, so please be careful and maintain the mix away from pets and children. This method, on the other hand is extremely useful against some stains that won't come out any other way.
1. Create the mix: You'll use 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part dish soap. This could also be hand soap, although dish soap tends to work better for some reason.
2. Apply the mix with a toothbrush and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
3. Use a clean cloth and blot the stain until it has disappeared.
4. Once the stain is out, you'll need water to clean the soapy mixture up. If not, you'll probably get the "soap stain". So... pour a little water with a spray bottle and blot until the soapy mix is out of your carpet completely.
This is surprisingly effective on some very tough stains.
1. Buy lemons. Any lemon will do, as long as it doesn't contain added ingredients.
2. Use a spray bottle to moist the area. You don't want the area wet, but feel free to use a little bit more product this time (compared to the other methods at least).
3. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
4. Blot it with a paper towel to remove the lemon. If you keep smelling the lemon and you wish to remove it, you could spray water once the stain is out and blot the water with clean towels.
1. Get a freezing pad from the freezer. Any freezing pad will do, although you might need more than one depending on how hard to remove the stain is.
2. Place the freezing pad on top of the stain and allow it to freeze the stain. You guessed it, this method is meant to remove solid stains.
3. Remove the freezed stain with a butter knife.
This is a super simple method, but extremely effective against certain stains.
1. Buy club soda from your grocery store.
2. Pour a little baking soda on top of the stain and let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Blot until the stain is gone.
On this section of the post we're going to be looking into how to clean every type of stain. Please note that we won't be describing step by step how to clean each one of these stains, but referencing the methods that you should be using to clean it up.
So feel free to go to the top of the page and look for the different stains and how to clean them.
Coffee is the number one stain of the list because it's a tough stain to remove. So tough in fact, that we wrote a separate post on how to clean coffee stains with pictures and step by step instructions. Go to that post here.
Again, pee is such a complicated stain that we chose to do a post on how to remove dog and capt pee the right way. Click here to go to the post. You'll see that those methods are very similar to some of the methods described on this guide.
This is the method you should be using:
Your first option should be:
But if that doesn't work, try:
Your first option should be:
If that fails, try to bot it out with water only. It might take a long time, but eventually you'll get there.
Remove as much of the ketchup blotting. Then proceed with:
If the stain is still there, try:
First of all, remove as much as possible blotting. The stain might be quite small, so be careful not to spread anything. Then, try:
And if that doesn't work try blotting with water over and over again. I will come out.
It really depends on what type of glue we're talking about. If it's water based remove as much as you can with a kitchen knife and try removing simply by blotting with water:
For other types of glue, you can try the following method. Although it might not always work depending on the glue.
Believe it or not, the method used to clean kool-aid is exactly the same method that's used to clean coffee. It doesn't change one bit.
It's a fairly different method, so we decided to write a whole post about it. You can check the step by step method (with pictures) here.
Blood can be extremely tough to clean. Use this method as fast as possible! Blood dries very quickly!
As a first option you should try:
If that doesn't work, try:
Try blooting it out with water first. If that doesn't work, then try:
Remove as much as possible blotting the stain. Then:
If that doesn't work, try:
And if that doesn't remove it completely, try removing it with water only. You'll have to be very patient though.
This works with gum and most sticky candy:
It's hard not to spread a chocolate stain, so be careful and use a butter knife if necessary to remove the excess chocolate. Then, try:
If it's melted crayons, you might want to wait a little bit until it's cooler (but not all the way). Then try:
If that doesn't work:
Try to remove as much as possible with a knife, then:
If that doesn't work, try:
The most effective method is:
Although you might have to finish up with:
This is a difficult one. And if done incorrectly, it can leave a dark ugly stain. But bear with me, you can do it!
If the stain just happened moments ago, use:
But make sure you're using warm water! And be fast! It's ok if you rub a little bit, but be quick.
If you've delayed the cleaning you can cleaning using the vinager mix. But! This time you're going to add shaving cream (foam) and a mild soap to the mix.
Don't ask me why, but it works like a charm.
Try to remove as much as possible with a knive. Then:
It can be tricky, especially if you want to make sure that you remove the smell. First try:
And then (not optional, simply do both methods) try:
Make sure you dry the carpet as much as possible right after using the detergent mix.
Please don't rub! Remove as much as possible blotting, and then:
If doesn't matter if it's cat's or dog's vomit. You want to try:
If it smells still, try:
Try cleaning it with water by blotting. If it doesn't work, simply try:
Grease can be difficult to deal with and is inevitable sometimes (especially if there're machines close).
To remove grease, you'll probably need to buy a product. The DIY solutions won't do as good of a job. Check our post on the best carpet stain removers here to see which one you should look into.
This is another tricky stain.
Try removing as much of the punch as possible. The more you remove the more effective the next step will be. After that add some baking soda mixed with water (3 parts of baking soda per part of water). Then let the mix dry and vacuum up. The stain should be completely gone.
Just like with the cat pee, we wrote a whole article explaining how to remove dog pee! So be sure to check it out here.
This should be an easy clean. Try cleaning it with water. If it doesn't work, simply try:
Thank you very much for reading!
As you've probably figured out already, this is meant to be a reference post. I don't think anybody goest through every single type of stain! If you liked it, please feel free to bookmark it for future references. You never know when you might need it.
I'm Tony and I consider myself a carpet cleaning expert! I've tried the 5 most common professional cleaning methods myself, and I've reviewed thousands of carpet cleaning & installation companies. I'm currently exploring the DIY Cleaning and Installation world. It's not that hard and it's a lot of fun!