How to Remove Stains from Carpet: Practical Tips For Different Types of Stains

How to remove stains from carpet

Stains and carpet, they go hand in hand, no matter how careful you are.

Spills are inevitable, so you’ll have to be ready for it.

I have a 2-year-old at home, and he’s adorable.

But he still doesn’t know where to pee and would occasionally do it on the floor if he isn’t wearing nappies.

Now you know what I mean.

If you like to host a party at home with lots of people having fun, expect a few spills here and there.

The worst part is you won’t see some of the spills until a few days (or even weeks) after, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

I’ll have a section here that’ll discuss how to remove caked-on stains with the help of an iron.

Tip: Remember to always try these cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area of a carpet to see if there will be discoloration.

Know what type of stain you’re dealing with

Water-soluble stains

  1. For water-soluble stains like sodas, alcoholic drinks, food coloring, ice cream, milk, jelly, latex paint, and excrement, mix in a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid (like Joy that can break down greasy stuff) and 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar to a quart of warm water.
  2. Saturate the area with this solution using a spray bottle.
  3. Let it sit for around 10 minutes, then blot dry with a clean white towel. Repeat until the stain is no longer visible.
  4. Rinse area will cool water then blot dry again with a clean microfiber towel.
  5. It would be better to have a wet/dry vacuum to speed up the drying process.
  6. In case you don’t have one, cover the area with a half-inch thick layer of paper towel with a heavy object on top to press it down and help absorb excess moisture.

Hard to remove stains

  1. For tough to remove stains like blood, coffee, mustard, tea, vomit, wine, and chocolate, there will be a tweak to the cleaning mixture.
  2. Instead of using a dishwashing liquid, use ammonia instead.
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia to a cup of water.
  4. If your carpet is made from a wool mixture, don’t use ammonia but use a dishwashing liquid instead.
  5. If the ammonia concoction doesn’t work, try using chlorine bleach instead (one parts bleach to five parts water).
  6. Take note that this will only work on solution-dyed carpets.
  7. Remember to use bleach formulated for colored fabric, or you’ll end up with spots on your carpet (if it’s colored).
  8. Again, put in cleaning mixture in a spray bottle, then spray the stained area, leave for 10 minutes, then blot dry. Repeat until the stain is no longer visible.

Caked on stains

This solution will work on caked-on stains that have been there for weeks or months.

I found this in Jill’s post (excellent blog, by the way). It is so simple that you wouldn’t believe your eyes when you see it.

  1. Mix in one part ammonia (one commented recommended lemon ammonia) and one part water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray liberally on the stained area
  3. Cover it with clean white terry or microfiber towel
  4. Iron it with a steam iron
  5. Rinse and repeat with all the stains

Glue stains

  1. If the glue is still wet, try to use a paper towel, dabbing it over the stained area, and try to pick up as much glue as possible.
  2. For shaggy carpet, grab a second paper towel and try to get as much glue in between the fibers.
  3. If that does not work, use a towel dipped in white vinegar, then dab it over the glue-stained area and try to remove as much glue as you can.
  4. Just in case the glue dries up, cover the area with a clean white towel, and use an iron (turn off the steam setting) then go over it a few times.
  5. Remember not to keep the iron stationary but keep it moving, so it doesn’t burn the towel or carpet.
  6. If all goes well, heat from the iron will turn dried glue back to its liquid form, and the towel absorbs it.

Wax and Gum Stains

Gum is probably one of the tougher objects to remove on the carpet, but with this technique, you can remove it without damaging the fibers.

  1. Boil water in a kettle.
  2. Using a shop vac (preferably one with a wet/dry function), position the nozzle in a 45-degree angle near the gum-stained area.
  3. Turn on the shop vac and pour water into the gum as you vacuum it.
  4. The heat from boiling water should slowly dislodge the gum from carpet, and it’ll get sucked into the nozzle. Excess water on the carpet will also get sucked in.

Here’s a demo on how to do it

Oil and Grease Stains

  1. For these types of stains, you’ll need denatured alcohol, a water-based degreasing type of dish detergent, and a few white towels.
  2. Mix in a quarter teaspoon of dish detergent to around 4 ounces of water.
  3. Grease stains generally require a solvent-based cleaning agent (denatured alcohol) and water-based dirt will need a water-based cleaning agent (dish detergent)

Here’s a demo on how to do it

Cigarette Burns

For small cigarette burns, if it’s small enough you’ll need to:

  1. Cut/scrape off the burnt part using a small sewing scissor
  2. Cut new carpet fiber from another part of the carpet.
  3. Carefully place new carpet fibers onto the burnt part then use epoxy or glue to stick the new strands of carpet on the base.

See how it’s done below.

This method will easily save you $45 bucks per carpet burn if it’s done by a professional.

Nail Polish

Standard carpet cleaners will not work on nail polish. You’ll have two options here – acetone or fingernail polish remover, which also has acetone in it.

Do not pour acetone on the stain as this can damage the backing of the carpet.

  1. Saturate a clean white terry towel with acetone or nail polish remover.
  2. Blot the surface from the outside of the stain going in.
  3. Use the dry portion of the towel and blot the surface to absorb the excess cleaner.
  4. Spray affected area with an all-purpose spot remover like Bionex on the stained area.
  5. With another clean towel, blot the area dry.