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The Ultimate Carpet Stain Guide

Carpet stains
The ultimate carpet stain guide

Carpet stains can make an otherwise beautiful room very ugly and unappealing. Not only are they hard to remove, but they can totally change the look and feel of a room if they become a permanent fixture. However, there are ways to remove just about every stain imaginable.

Just follow a few simple tips, and you can get rid of unsightly carpet stains in a matter of minutes.

Remember, never scrub a carpet stain. Only blot the stain. Scrubbing or rubbing can spread the stain to the outer edges, push the stain deeper into the carpet fibers and make it leak onto the carpet pad.

But before you actually try to clean a stain, you must determine the type of stain you have first. This will make it easier to clean. Using the right cleaning method takes less time and makes your cleaning efforts more successful.

Water Soluble Carpet Stains

About 20 percent of all carpet stains are water soluble. They can be removed with cleaning products that contain water, and they are usually food, beverage or protein based stains. These include stains such as feces, jelly, milk, mud, latex paint, food dye, soda, alcoholic drinks, gravy, ink, berries, ice cream and wet paint.

The goal is to remove these stains as quickly as possible, preferably while the stain is still wet or fresh.

  1. Mix a fourth of a teaspoon of white vinegar and 32 ounces of water.
  2. Blot the stain with the solution. Do not rub it. If you rub the stain, this makes the stain get bigger.
  3. Repeat as needed.

Stains from pets

Pet stains are one of the most common water soluble stains. Feces and urine are also considered to be protein base stains as well. In order to clean this type of stain, remove as much of the stain as possible without smearing it into the carpet. If the stain is dried, then moisten it with a special cleaner that is formulated for pet stains. Use the method above to remove the stain. Vinegar is also good at removing bad smells

Gum on carpet
To remove gum from carpet, make it hard. Use ice cubes to harden it. Chip it off until it is gone.

Insoluble Carpet Stains

These make up about 80 percent of all stains. They do not dissolve in water or any other type of solvent. They make the worst types of stains, but they are also very easy to remove. However, they cannot be removed with cleaning products that contain water. These include stains such as paint, gum grease and oil.


1. To clean gum make it hard. Use ice cubes to get it as cold and hard as possible.

2. Chip it off until it is gone.

3. If this does not work, you may have to use a dry solvent such as baking soda to remove the excess.

Oil Based Carpet Stains

There are also oil based carpet stains. They include stains such as peanut butter, oil, lipstick, gravy, grease, crayons, makeup, car oil and margarine.

The best way to clean fat based stains is to use a dry solvent spot cleaner.

1. Use baking soda and sprinkle it over the stain.  It will absorb moisture and won’t do anything to damage the carpet fibers.

2. Let the baking soda sit on the carpet for about 15 minutes. This will help to soak up the moisture from the oily stain.

3. Then, vacuum up any remaining residue.

It is also possible to substitute corn starch for the baking soda.  You can also use rubbing alcohol to remove an oil stain because it is a solvent that will dissolve oil and remove it from the carpet fibers.

coffee from carpet
To remove coffee stain from carpet use a detergent and try to clean the carpet gently. Dont rub. Spray on top of the area with water. Dry with paper towers. Use baking soda to remove moisture. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and remove with vacuum cleaner.

Combination Carpet Stains

Combination carpet stains are a mixture of both water soluble and non- water soluble stains.  This means that you will need to use both a water based product and other products that do not contain water.  These are stains such as chocolate, mayo, vomit, wine, tea, coffee, mustard and blood.

Clean blood stains with cold water to not coagulate it and get it into the carpet fibers. Mix cold water and liquid detergent to clean the stain. Pour it on the stain and blot with a cloth or a towel. The color should transfer to the cloth.


1. To clean blood stains use cold water because it will not coagulate and get into the carpet fibers.

2. Prepare a mixture of cold water and liquid detergent to clean the stain.

3. Pour it on the stain and blot dry with a cloth or towel. The red color should transfer to the cloth.


To clean stains from coffee you will need a mild detergent, white vinegar, baking soda, and a spray bottle.

1. Use the detergent and try to clean the carpet gently. Dont rub the cleaning liquid into the fabric because such an aggressive approach will make it very difficult to remove the stain.

2. Pour some water in the spray bottle and spray on top of the area you were just cleaning.

3. Pat dry with paper towels.

4. Sprinkle some baking soda on top to absorb the excess moisture.

5. Let the baking soda sit for a couple of minutes and use the vacuum cleaner to remove it from the treated area.


1. Mix lukewarm water with a little dish-washing detergent. About 2 cups of water need 1/8 of a teaspoon detergent.

2. Apply it on the wine stain.

3. Blot it into the stain.

4. Remove the stain with water and a cloth.

All in all, cleaning carpet stains can be a chore.  But it isn’t hard to do if you know what type of stain you must clean.  Use these tips and make your carpets beautiful again.