How to Remove Every Common Carpet Stain

Whoops! Whether it be food, wine, wax or a present from Fluffy, it seems whatever is not supposed to get on the carpet always does. These stains are inevitable, but luckily they can be easily cleaned with a few simple steps. Here’s how you can remove virtually every type of carpet stain using products you already have around your house.

Before You Start

There is a proper technique to stain removal to ensure the carpet stays in good condition. To remove a stain, blot the spot from the outside in, rinse with clean water, then blot again. Don’t scrub the carpet or you risk damaging the carpet fibers or letting the spill soak through to the carpet pad.

Water-Soluble Carpet Stains

  • Soda

  • Berries

  • Food coloring

  • Gravy

  • Ice cream

  • Jelly

  • Milk

  • Mud

  • Iink

  • Latex paint

For these stains, use a cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar mixed with 32 ounces of water.

Difficult Water-Soluble Carpet Stains

  • Blood

  • Chocolate

  • Coffee

  • Mustard

  • Ketchup

  • Tea

  • Vomit

  • Wine

Mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one cup of water, massage into the stain, then blot the spot from the outside in. If you have wool or wool-blend carpet, only use mild detergent and water. If this solution doesn’t clean the stain, try one part chlorine bleach to five parts water. Only use this mixture on solution dyed carpets as bleach won’t harm them. Always check with the manufacturer if you are uncertain about what type of carpet you have.


Heat a clothes iron to an appropriate setting for the fibers of your carpet. Next, place a paper towel over the wax stain, and apply the iron to the towel. You may have to repeat this a few times, but all of the wax should melt and soak into the paper towel.


Place a few handfuls of ice contained in a bag directly onto the gum. Next, use a scraping tool to fully scrape away the gum from the carpet and vacuum the area to remove any loose gum particles. Sponge the spot directly with warm, soapy water, working in a circular motion. Then cover the area with a clean white towel or rag to soak up any remaining liquid, and continue patting dry.

Fat and Oil

Just like wax removal, place a paper towel over the carpet and iron on a warm setting. The fat or oil should come up off the carpet and stick to the paper towel.

Cigarette Burns

Cigarette burns can be removed by gently rubbing the carpet with the edge of a hard and flat surface, such as a dull knife.


Moisten a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and press it on the glue spot. Once the glue residue is moistened, gently wipe it off and repeat until the carpet is clean.

Nail Polish

Blot the area with a rag doused in nail polish remover.


Absorb as much of the urine as possible with paper towels, then blot with a damp cloth. Next, spray or blot with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Finally, apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear, mild, nonbleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, then rinse and blot dry.

Carpet Maintenance

Even if you don’t spill anything on your carpets, you should still have your carpet cleaned once a year. Make sure the cleaning equipment you choose has enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry in 6 to 12 hours or you may risk mold and mildew. You can use fans or a dehumidifier to expedite drying time after cleaning.

 Be sure to choose a cleaning solution that has a pH of 10 or less, and check your carpet’s warranty. Carpets with stain resistance must be cleaned with products formulated for them or you risk impairing their effectiveness and voiding your warranty.

If you have any questions about carpet maintenance or stain removal, give us a call at Jabara’s at 316-267-2512 today.