5 easy tips for removing common carpet stains

It’s almost inevitable that a carpet will get stained at some point. No matter how careful you are, it only takes one spilt drink or accident from your pet to cause an unsightly stain. Fortunately, removing stains is often easier than you think. Here are 5 tips for common stains.

1. The basics of stain removal

As a general rule, the faster you start the cleaning process the easier it’ll be to remove a stain. In some cases, acting quickly could even stop the carpet from being stained at all.

The actions you should take depend on the type of accident. For liquid stains, blot up as much as possible with a damp cloth (ideally a white one to avoid risking the colour seeping into the carpet.) It can take a few minutes to soak up all the fluid, so don’t rush this process.

If the accident contains solid debris, such as food, then before blotting you should remove as much as possible with a spoon. Avoid pushing down on the material, as this will cause it to become more embedded into the fibres.

Once you’ve removed as much of the offending material as possible, you can then move onto using a stain-remover or other method. Always check that the stain remover is suitable for your carpet material, then test on a hidden area before applying it to a larger patch.

2. Use enzymatic stain removers for dog accidents

Even housetrained dogs can have the occasional accident – particularly if they are unwell, stressed, or entering old age. Unfortunately, urine stains can be difficult to remove, and if not cleaned correctly may encourage the dog to toilet in the same place.

That’s why enzymatic carpet cleaners are an essential purchase for any pet owner. These cleaners contain harmless bacteria and enzymes that “eats” the compounds that cause odours. This makes them brilliant for eliminating odors and removing stains.

As the foul-smelling compounds no longer exist, this type of cleaner also makes it less likely that your dog will urinate in the same place.

Tip: It’s also important to blot up as much of the accident as possible when you notice it. Once dried, the stain will be much harder to remove.

3. Vinegar can remove coffee and tea stains

White vinegar is surprisingly effective at removing a variety of stains. There are many cleaning formulas that use vinegar, but one of the most effective is for tea and coffee stains.

Try mixing ½ cup of white vinegar with ½ cup of water. Use this mixture to blot or spray the stain, then allow it to sit for around 10 minutes. Once the stain has gone, gently rinse the area using a wet sponge, then dry with a soft cloth.

Keep in mind that some carpets and upholstery shouldn’t be cleaned with water-based cleaners. Always check the manufacturers guidelines, or test on a small patch of hidden material.

On a side note, you should never use vinegar to clean hardwood floors. Vinegar can dissolve the protective finish and may even void the warranty.

Tip: Never pour a DIY carpet cleaner onto carpets. For synthetic carpets you can blot the stain, while it’s safer to use a spray bottle for natural-fibre carpets.

4. Be careful when removing mud stains

Mud is one of the easiest stains to remove, but the key is to avoid pushing it deeper into the carpet. Dirt is also an exception to the “clean the stain as quickly as possible” rule, as you should allow it to dry first.

Instead of rubbing with a cloth, allow the mud to dry before touching it. Once dry, start by using a strong vacuum cleaner to remove as much of the dirt as possible. Ideally, use a vacuum with a motorised brush bar, as this will stir up more debris from the carpet.

If there’s still mud remaining, apply a small amount of carpet remover, and blot up until the mud stain is completely removed.

5. How to remove red wine stains

Red wine is one of the hardest stains to remove, especially if it’s on a light carpet. There are many ways to approach cleaning this type of stain, but here’s one of the most effective methods:

1.     Immediately blot the wine using a damp (not wet) cloth. This removes as much of the wine as possible, while diluting whatever remains.

2.     Find some store-bought stain remover that’s specifically designed for carpets. Test the product on a hidden patch of carpet (under the sofa is a good option.) If there’s no discolouration in the carpet fibres after several minutes, you’re probably safe.

3.     Cover the red wine stain with the remover and leave it to work. This usually takes a few minutes, although always check the instructions for your stain remover.

4.     Blot up the fluid with a damp cloth again.

Most people give up after a single round, but stubborn wine stains often require multiple cleans before they are no longer visible. The sooner you start cleaning after the spill, the easier it’ll be to completely remove the stain.


Carpet stains are unavoidable – especially if you have pets or children. The good news is that most stains can be removed without resorting to professional carpet cleaners.

Even so, all carpets should be cleaned every 12-18 months using a carpet cleaning machine. Make sure you use a dehumidifier or heater to dry the carpet, otherwise bacteria could grow in the fibres.

Submitted by James Hall, Editor of Spotless Vacuum

Story by: Trendsideas

07 Mar, 2021

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