These 6 Expert Methods Will Help You Clean Any Carpet Stain (No Matter the Type!)

published Jun 24, 2024
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Household mishaps — like spills on the floor — happen. If you’ve got wood floors, it can be pretty easy to clean up. But with carpet? That’s a different story. Each spill requires a different cleaning process so no stains set in. Here’s how to clean carpet stains — including the tougher ones like pet messes and spilled wine.

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How to Clean General Carpet Stains

For general spots on your carpet — meaning not spills that will stain an ugly color — here’s how to clean up, according to Marla Mock, president of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company.

  1. Blot the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Do not rub the spot, as it can spread the stain.
  2. Add some cold water to the spot to help dilute the stain and then blot up the water.
  3. Combine half a cup of white vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, and half a cup to one cup of warm water.
  4. Apply this cleaning solution to the stain and then blot again.
  5. Rinse the area with cold water and blot up as much liquid as possible.
  6. Let the carpet air dry.
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How to Clean Pet Stains

Pets have accidents sometimes. To clean pet stains like urine or vomit, first, soak up as much of the liquid and material as possible with a paper towel or damp towel, Mock says. You can also use baking soda to soak up anything you couldn’t get. Then, rinse the area with cool water and blot it up. Next, you’ll want to use an enzyme cleaner to break down the stain and the smell and blot it with a clean cloth. Let the whole area air dry completely.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

How to Clean Chocolate Stains

When cleaning chocolate spots, the biggest thing to remember is that you don’t want to rub any chocolate into the carpet. So start by gently scraping off the chocolate and removing all the solid pieces. After that, blot the spot with cold water so the chocolate doesn’t set into the carpet. Spray the spot with a mixture of dish soap and water, and blot until the chocolate comes out. Then pour on some cold water and blot it dry.

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How to Clean Wine Stains

Tricks for getting wine out of the carpet range from baking soda and salt to hydrogen peroxide and laundry detergent. Out of every method, Mock says that club soda should do the trick. Blot the spot first to absorb as much wine as possible, then pour club soda directly onto the spot and blot it again. Repeat this process until the spot is clean. If it’s a stubborn wine stain, mix a tablespoon of dish soap and some white vinegar into two cups of water, then use that on the stain. Once all the wine is gone, rinse with cold water and blot the spot dry.

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How to Clean Blood Stains

Soak blood stains with cold water for several minutes, then blot away as much of the spot as you can. After, Mock says to put 3% hydrogen peroxide onto it, let it sit, then blot it again. Rinse the spot with cold water and repeat the process until the stain is gone. Let the carpet fully air dry.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Prop Stylist: Tom Hoerup

How to Clean Coffee Stains

Mishaps with coffee are fairly easy to clean up if you know the best method. But first, blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Then mix up a cleaning solution of two cups of warm water and a teaspoon to a tablespoon of dish soap. (Mock says you can also add a tablespoon of white vinegar to boost the cleaning power.) Gently rub the solution in, then blot the stain again. Repeat this process until the stain is gone. Finally, rinse the spot with cool water, blot up any liquid, and allow your carpet to air dry.