How To Remove Nasty Carpet Stains

Our floors bear the brunt of many spills, scuffs and accidents of all types. And somehow, the worst of these seem to land on the surfaces that are hardest to clean-the carpeting!

Here are a few tricks to try, in order to remove some of the more stubborn carpet-catastrophes:

Water-based Paint

Begin by scraping off as much of the excess as possible. Then mix a solution consisting of a cup of warm water with a few drops of liquid dish detergent added. Apply this to the stain and let it set awhile, particularly if the paint has already dried. Scrub gently without spreading the strain. Blot this up with a clean dry cloth or use a wet-vac. You may need to repeat the process a few times. After the paint is rinsed out, dry your carpeting with a fan or blow dryer.

Oil-based Paint

Apply a small amount of solvent (turpentine, white spirit) to the stain. Agitate and blot. After this, mix a half-cup of warm water and a few drops of dish detergent. Thoroughly scrub the solvent-and-paint mixture. Rinse with clean water and then dry the area with a fan or blow-dryer.


Apply a small amount of WD-40 to the stain and let this sit for several minutes. The mixture will become gummy; scrape out as much as possible, then spray again with more WD-40. Blot and repeat. Then mix a solution of a half-cup ammonia, a half-cup water and few drops of liquid dish detergent. Completely wash the WD-40 out of the carpet and then rinse with water. Again, dry with a fan or blow-dryer.


Dab up as much excess as possible with white paper towels or a clean rag. Mix a half-cup of cool water with one tablespoon of clear ammonia. Apply a generous amount to the stain, but not enough to soak the carpet backing. Blot up thoroughly, then mix a solution of 1 quart cool water with a quarter teaspoon of liquid dish detergent and apply in small amounts to the stain. Rinse with more cool water and blot this up. Then dab the stain with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and allow it to remain until the stain has disappeared, then blot again one final time.


Spray the stain with a small amount of hair spray. Blot with paper towel or clean white cloth, then repeat. Mix a half cut of hot water with a half cup of ammonia and a few drops of clear liquid detergent. Gently wash and then rinse with clear water. Blot carpet or dry with a fan or hair dryer.

Red Lipstick

Scrape up as much as possible without spreading the stain. Use a bar of Ivory soap to create a sudsy solution. Stain will gradually disappear; then rinse area with clean water. Dry with fan or hair dryer.

Coffee or Tea Stains

Use a small amount of club soda on the stain and then blot with paper towel or clean dry cloth, or rinse with a wet-vac.

Candle Wax

Dampen a white towel and settle this over the wax. Place a hot iron over the cloth. The steam will reach into the carpet and the wax will adhere to the cloth. This may require several applications of the iron.


Mix a solution of a half cup hot water, a half cup ammonia and 15 drops of clear liquid detergent. Be careful to apply only a small amount of the solution to the carpet. It's best if you can apply this solution with a sprayer or with an amount soaked into a clean white cloth. Allow this to soak into the carpet for a few minutes. Then scrub the stain gently. Blot or wet-vac to remove excess moisture. You will need to repeat the procedure a few times, then rinse with some clear water, blot again and then dry carpeting with a fan or blow dryer.


The best procedure for removing clumps of gum or gum-stain is to apply a small amount of lighter fluid to the rug. However, lighter fluid can also discolor the carpet, so you should test a small area of ​​the rug before proceeding. As an alternative, try applying peanut butter to the stain. In either case, the residue will need to be removed thoroughly afterwards. Do this by first using a clean rag to remove as much of the broken-down gum solution as possible and then mix one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent into a half cup of hot water and use this to wash the carpeting with a clean rag. Blot and repeat, then rinse with clean water. Dry with a fan or blow dryer.


Vinegar is the best agent for removing urine stains. Urine will discolor carpeting, but this effect can be neutralized with the quick application of vinegar. Apply a generous amount to the stain (but not enough to saturate the padding). Allow this to remain for a few minutes, then rinse the spot with clear water, blot with paper towels or a clean rag, and then dry the surface with a fan or blow dryer.

Source by Andy J. Bell

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