how to remove common carpet stains

A single stain can make an entire room look uncared for. Before you rearrange the furniture to hide a blemish, take a moment to read over the information below. Removing the stain may be easier than you imagined, and you probably already have the ingredients you need at home.

Red Wine

A red wine spill is not the nightmare most people imagine, especially if it is dealt with promptly. Start by soaking up as much wine as possible with a clean white cloth or paper towels. Use another clean towel to dab the area generously with club soda and then sprinkle the stain with table salt. There are also cleaning solutions available that are designed specifically for wine stains.

Beer and Mixed Drinks

Wine stains are often accompanied by other types of party drink mishaps. Beer spills are usually the simplest to clean but can leave a lingering odor. Mix one part white vinegar to 2 parts warm water in a spray bottle and saturate the beer stain once the excess liquid is blotted away. Let the solution stand, then dab the area with a clean cloth. Vinegar will neutralize the odor, but a sprinkle of baking soda should absorb it completely. Fruit drinks and colored beverages may be more difficult to remove, but the same process can be repeated to do the trick.


Many people fear blood stains more than the mess wine spills can make. Blood dries quickly and will often bind to the carpet fibers, making it even harder to remove. For synthetic carpets, mix a solution of 2 tablespoons of ammonia and a cup of water. To clean other carpet types, substitute half a cup of vinegar for the ammonia and add a few drops of mild detergent. Always use cold water to clean blood stains and rinse the cleaning solution thoroughly after each application. A paste of baking soda and cold water, or a mixture of 1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide and 2/3 cup water may aid the removal process.

Candle Wax

Another tough carpet stain, wax, must be removed using a different approach than those used with other common discolorations. Carefully scrape away any excess wax if possible. Only remove what can be lifted easily without damaging or cutting the carpet fibers. Press an ice cube against the remaining stain so that the wax hardens and can be pulled away from the rug. Crayon stains can be removed in a similar manner, although a warm iron and blotter paper may be more effective on crayon wax.

Other types of carpet stains, including chocolate, mud, and food stains, can be removed using the same general procedures. Equal parts of detergent and white vinegar, mixed in warm water, is the best solution to remove most carpet stains other than the challenges mentioned above. Commercial carpet cleaning solutions and spot removers are also effective tools. Be sure to bookmark this page so you’ll have the arsenal you need to eliminate the next potential stain before it has time to ruin the carpet.