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How to Get Stain out of Carpet

How to Get Stain out of Carpet
March 7, 2022

Last time we talked about getting milk out of your carpet. But that doesn’t exhaust the topic of carpet stains you could face one day.

how to remove high traffic stains from carpet

Being high-traffic areas, carpets are vulnerable to spills and blotches. From muddy footprints to dog urine, the possibilities are endless. Even if you apply extra care to them, accidents do happen and unless you do something about it, they can turn into stubborn spots. In this post, we will dig into how to clean carpet stains of all kinds so that your precious items are always in tip-top shape.

What are the Hardest to Remove Stains from Carpet?

You need to understand that any stain can become impossible to remove if left unattended for too long. Yet, there are certain marks that won’t come out in a breeze even if you address them right away. Here are the main offenders:

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Coffee. It comes with tannins and added substances that - paired with high temperature - make stains difficult to remove.
  • Red wine (learn more about how to get red wine out of yoru carpet)
  • Cooking oil and grease (non-water soluble stains)
  • Pet mess
How to Get Stain out of Carpet

Water-soluble stains are the likes of latex paint, ink, mud, grape juice, milk, or berries. On the other hand, non-soluble stains are those caused by coffee, chocolate, pet messes, wine, and blood.

If you are not sure how to clean carpets yourself, you can always turn to our professional carpet cleaning services in London that will employ heavy machines and world-class products to tackle the toughest carpet stains.

How Do You Get Yellow Stains out of Carpet?

Before we get into this, we want you to know that your carpet may turn yellow due to certain chemicals that you use on it. With some types of carpets, the composition of the fabric may react with chemicals present in storebought cleaners. If you don’t know which products are best for your possessions, it’s best to leave them to the carpet cleaning professionals.

Not only that, but your carpet may still turn yellow, even though it doesn't come in contact with harsh chemicals. Some fabrics have butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) that brings about a yellow discolouration, called phenolic yellowing, when there is not enough air in the room.

Note: If the yellow marks are from urine stains, check out the next section on how to remove carpet stains.

With that out of the way, let’s jump to cleaning carpet stains that appear yellow. One of the proven methods is steam cleaning. It is so powerful that it can break dirt into easy-to-remove particles. Besides, it’s great for yellow stains. Not only does it do a good job at cleaning but it actually disinfects. Plus, it deals with both the stain and the unpleasant smell. So, if you have a carpet cleaning machine that works with steam, don’t be afraid to put it to the test. But first confirm that the carpet type you have can be steam cleaned.

Sometimes air exposure is all you need for carpet stain removal. It works for phenolic yellowing in particular.

And lastly, you can try tackling that stain with some bicarb soda and water. Scrub with a toothbrush and this should do the trick.

If the above strategies fail, opt for carpet dye to camouflage the spot.

How to Remove Pet Stains from Carpet

white Labrador dog lying on carpet

This calls for an enzyme cleaner, regardless of whether you are dealing with urine stains or poop stains. Enzyme cleaners are so powerful, they literally eat away whatever is on the surface. A quick note, though, they are effective for organic stains like food, faeces, and urine. Since they contain bacteria, you really have to leave them on for a while so that the tiny guys can do their magic.

So, to start, liberally spray enzyme cleaner on the spot. If you notice it’s getting dry after a while, spray more product. Go back to the carpet stain after 10 minutes and wipe it with a clean white cloth. The bigger and deeper the pet stains, the longer the cleaner will take to work. You may have to continue to saturate the spot with cleaner and wipe with paper towels.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Carpet Fibers

An ink-stained carpet is bigger of a challenge to clean, especially if you notice the stain later on, because carpet stains from dyes and paint are classified as inorganic. As with any stain, the faster you try to get it out of the fabric, the more likely you are to be successful. But if it gets the chance to set into the carpet pad, you will be faced with a serious challenge.

Carpet stains from ink

Steps to clean & remove carpet stains from ink

For washable ink stains, the first thing you are going to do is blot dry the mess by placing a white towel over it. There are a few products you can use at the next stage. Before you start the process, make certain to wear gloves.

  • Rubbing alcohol - Pour isopropyl alcohol on the targeted site. Get an eyedropper, spray bottle, or another tool to control how much of the liquid hits the fabric. Let it do its thing and come back after about 15 minutes. By this time, the alcohol should have started to dissolve the ink. Gently blot the stain with a sponge for as long as you can see ink. Next up, rinse with cold water/warm water.
  • Hydrogen peroxide - Immerse a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide (3%) and dab the spot with it. Once foam forms on the surface, rub the swab against the stain. Repeat as necessary - stubborn stains need more effort to remove. For better results, allow the product to work for 5 minutes before you start rubbing.
  • Glass cleaner - Remember that character on My Big Fat Greek Wedding that used Windex on everything? While we are in no way suggesting you should try to cure illnesses with a glass cleaner, we do think you can safely employ it for your ink stain situation. All you have to do is spray the fresh mark with the product, let it settle, and wipe it down with a sponge or a dry towel. Spray a little more and repeat the rubbing action until you get the stain out. Note: avoid rubbing too intensely as this may help spread the ink elsewhere.

In the end, if these stain removal strategies don't work like a charm, consider nail polish removers as a last resort but do keep in mind that they are not as effective. And don't forget to check out the next sections on how to get stains out of carpet.

How to Get Rid of Blood Stains

Now, this is a tough one but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. The first method you should employ when removing blood stains is absorbing whatever you can from the fluid with a paper towel. Splash cold water on the targeted surface and run a bar soap over it. Alternatively, you can add a dab of dishwashing liquid (any non-bleach detergent) and brush. Rinse and dry to check if the strategy worked (stick with cold water).

Method number two calls for hydrogen peroxide. Apply some product to the fabric and wait for it to do its thing. Rub with a cloth. Let the carpet dry.

How to Remove Coffee Stains from Carpet

A white mug of hot coffee on the carpet floor

With respect to removing stains from coffee, try liquid dish soap or a non-bleach detergent solution, as it is effective for tougher water-soluble stains. Mix it in with some water and apply it over the coffee stain. Alternatively, you could toss white vinegar in the solution too. Dip a sponge in it and run it over the carpet stain with mild rubbing motions. With a dry cloth, do the blot technique. When you are done, leave to air dry or hold a hair dryer over the spot.

How to get Grease out of Carpet

For grease stains, you want to act as soon as the spill occurs. First, you'll need a paper towel. Likewise with the previous tips, you should go with the blot method around the grease. The more you manage to blot up, the better. Second, sprinkle cornstarch over the affected area so it can absorb what’s left of the stain. Now, brush with a stiff-bristled brush. If that doesn’t do the trick, apply some dry carpet cleaner to the spot, rub it in and remove.

The other cleaning solution that could help with grease stains is warm water coupled with mild dishwashing liquid. The proportion should be a quarter cup of dish soap to one cup of water. Immerse a cotton ball or a clean cloth in the concoction and cover the stain while exerting pressure on it. Give it a dwell time of 5 minutes before you proceed to rinse it with a damp sponge or an absorbent cloth.

How to Get Old Stains out of Carpet

So, most of the above strategies work great for fresh marks but we all know sometimes you can miss to notice a stain as it happens. How do you remove old stains from carpet? Is there a carpet cleaner that can help?

How to remove old stains from carpet with vinegar

If you have an old stain, try to remove it with good old vinegar. It’s best to use white vinegar but if you don’t have one handy, any vinegar will do. Transfer small amounts of it in a spray bottle and use it in the problem area. The older the spot is, the more you have to wait for the vinegar to act on. After 10 minutes or so, check out the fabric. Grab a brush and scrub. Be sure to rinse well. If you are looking to eliminate the smell, white vinegar will come to the rescue, as always (or you can try white wine).

How to get stains out of carpet with baking soda

Now, let’s see how to clean a carpet with baking soda. To be honest, the steps are not so different from other cleaning jobs in which you use said white powder. First, add bicarb soda to the site and then follow up with warm water or hot water. The surface needs to be damp but not soaking so that the white substance can do its thing. Let it sit overnight.

In the morning, vacuum dry what’s left of the spot. The bicarb soda must have absorbed some or all of it. By vacuuming it from the carpet fibers you will pick up the dirty marks as well. If this doesn’t solve your problem, you could repeat the process.

How do you get old stains out of carpet with a mixture of vinegar and bicarb soda? For best results, when you apply the soda, pour vinegar over it and watch it bubble up. This way, the stain will loosen. Leave it on for a few hours. After that you should rinse well.

Note: Don't stick with chlorine bleach for stain removal unless you have consulted the carpet label first. Bleach tends to cause colour fading in piece dyed carpets. But if you own solution-dyed carpets, discolouration should not be a concern for you. You can check what type of carpet you own with the manufacturer.

FAQ on How to Clean a Carpet by Hand


What stains cannot be removed from carpet?

Almost any stain can be treated with a good carpet cleaner, unless we are talking about one that happened 20 years ago. In general, things like wax, fat, alcohol, and coffee are hard but not impossible to get rid of. It depends on a plethora of factors.

What is the best product to remove stains from carpet?

If you are looking for some home remedies for carpet cleaning, you can go with a mixture of water, white vinegar, and dishwashing liquid. When you apply it, give it some time to settle and then brush with a soft-bristled brush. Don’t forget to rinse.

What is the best homemade carpet stain remover?

Vinegar is a magic ingredient that acts on tough carpet stains - whether diluted or undiluted it usually doesn’t matter.

Can badly stained carpet be cleaned with a carpet stain remover?

Yes. If you struggle with this task, remember that there are professional carpet cleaners that will complete the job without much hassle.

Do vinegar and baking soda remove old stains from carpet?

Yes, these two ingredients largely available in the household can be paired to eliminate a carpet stain. In some cases, they won’t work as expected but most of the time, the combo is efficient enough for removing carpet stains.

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