DIY Carpet Stain Removal Guide

carpet stain removal

Life can be messy. One moment you’re enjoying a pizza slice with all the fixings when a piece of pepperoni falls on the carpet. Or your fur-legged family member decides he can’t wait a moment longer to relieve himself.

Next thing you know; you’re facing a carpet stain, which without quick action will become a permanent fixture in your life. With carpet stains, the faster you act, the better the results. Don’t despair – we can help you solve most any carpet stain.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Solutions


  • 6 CUPS Water
  • ¼ CUP Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1 ½ TBSP White Vinegar
  • 1 ½ TBSP Dish Soap
  • ½ of a WHOLE Lemon


  • 3 CUPS Borax
  • 1 ½ TBSP Baking Soda


  • 2 CUPS Water
  • 3 TBSP White Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Baking Soda

Carpet Stain Removal Steps

The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends the following stain removal steps:

Always pretest any new stain removal solution in an inconspicuous area. You want to be certain the solution won’t damage the carpet’s fibers or dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for 10 seconds, minimum. If a change occurs, another cleaning solution should be used.

Act quickly to absorb spills. Most carpet today has been factory treated with a stain-resistant formula allowing spills to be effectively removed when immediate action is taken. The longer the delay, the higher the probability of a spill becoming a permanent stain. No carpet, however, is completely stain proof.

Apply a cleaning solution. Spray any remaining spills with a cleaning solution of your choosing. Use a store-bought formula or a homemade stain remover (see above). Take care not to oversaturate the area as this can damage the backing. Let sit for 10 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Work from the outer edges of the spill, in. This will prevent the spill from spreading. Do not scrub! Scrubbing can cause pile distortion. You should always blot the spill, using a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no printing) paper towels, until liquids are completely absorbed. Repeat if necessary.

Be patient! Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same step multiple times. After the spill has been completely removed, you should rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and blot dry with a clean, white, non-patterned cloth until all of the solution has been removed. Change cloths as needed.

Carpet Stain Removal Guide

PAINT: If the paint stain is still wet, blot the spot with a wet paper towel until the paint is absorbed. If the paint has had a chance to dry, you’ll want to use a hot water mixed with a little bit of dish detergent. Let sit for a few minutes. Once the paint is softened, use a knife or metal spatula to scrape away the paint stain.

GREASE: Cleaning grease stains from your carpet doesn’t have to be challenging. Begin by thoroughly blotting the area using a clean cloth. Spray the stain using a spray bottle filled with white vinegar. Apply the solution and allow enough time for it to soak into the grease before wiping the stain clean with a towel soaked in hot water.

COFFEE: If you have light-colored carpet, you know there is nothing worse than a coffee stain. To effectively remove the stain, you will first want to blot the affected area with a paper towel to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. You will then want to take some liquid detergent and place directly onto a damp sponge. Gently rub the stain with the sponge in a circular motion. Remember to work from the outside, in.

PET STAINS: Pet related accidents happen. You will need white vinegar and baking soda to remove these stains. Pour enough vinegar to soak the stain and then add a small amount of baking soda. This combination cleans and deodorizes the stain. Allow sufficient time for the mixture to dry before vacuuming.

INK: There are several methods for removing ink stains including spraying the area with hair spray and mixing milk and cornstarch together to form a paste that can be applied to affected area. If using the milk/cornstarch concoction, allow sufficient time for it to dry, before sweeping it up and then vacuuming.

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