Stain removal tips for your carpet

Let’s go ahead and say it… If a stain is really bad, don’t try to get rid of it yourself. Go ahead and call a professional carpet cleaner. You’ll save yourself some time, maybe further damage, and definitely big headaches.

But if it’s something minor or in an area that isn’t very visible, you can definitely try these tips for removing the stain on your own!

  • When the stain first occurs, blot it gently. Don’t rub the carpet because you will end up pushing the stain farther into the carpet fibers. Blot it with a clean, white towel until your towel is dirty, and then get another clean towel to blot with until you can’t absorb any more liquid.

If there is any solid debris involved in the stain, it should be removed first with a paper towel before blotting. Baking soda can be sprinkled over a mixed stain to dry it before you begin blotting the stain.

  • Use a white vinegar mixture. Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with warm water in a spray bottle. You can spray this onto stains in order to neutralize any lingering odors. The vinegar also helps to release the stain. Spray it on the stain after you have blotted it and let it sit for a few minutes, then blot it again.

Repeat this process until most of the stain is gone. You could then try one of the other stain removal tips described here.

  • You can moisten dried stains to help remove them. A dried stain will not come out, but when you lightly moisten it, the stain will loosen up again. Plain distilled water, the vinegar mixture or seltzer water can be used to moisten the stain.


Don’t pour a lot of liquid on a stain. It won’t take much, and if you use a lot, it will sink into the carpet backing and you won’t be able to get it out.


  • Laundry detergent mixed with water can be an effective stain remover as well. If you have a spray bottle, this is ideal. Spray the mixture directly onto the stain and allow it to soak in, just as you did with the vinegar mixture.

Rinse the detergent with warm water, and repeat these steps until the stain is gone.

  • While chemical carpet cleaners are not suited for all carpets, you can use products such as OxiClean, Resolve or Shout in order to remove the stain. You should first test the product on a hidden area of your carpet or a swatch that you have left over from installation.

Only use products that are approved for your type of carpet. And always follow the directions on the product closely to avoid further staining or bleaching the carpet.

The best stain removal tip is to act fast. The sooner you attempt to remove a stain, the more successful you will be. If you still have no luck, admit defeat. It may be time to call a professional.