Treating Common Carpet Stains

by Emily McBride
(last updated October 3, 2018)

Having clean and spotless carpet makes a big difference in the overall appearance of a house or an apartment. However, carpet is expensive and a big pain to replace. The best thing to do is to keep it looking nice by cleaning spots as soon as they appear.

  • Spots vs. stains. Just to help you keep the definitions straight when you are looking at cleaners or talking to manufacturers, spots and stains are often defined differently. Spots are removable, while stains are permanent. However, stains can be diminished by products and cleaning, even if they cannot be completely removed. It is not essential to know the differences between these two, but it can often help you in your choice of cleaner or removal technique.
  • Liquids. It is very important to remember to only blot liquids—if you rub too hard you could rub the liquid further into the carpet, resulting in a stain. Use a cloth or paper towels to blot. After you have soaked up the liquid, pour a small amount of water on it to rinse it off. Blot the stain or spot again. Sometimes it is beneficial to repeat. Whatever you do, do not rub the carpet too hard. You could damage the carpet, even if you do get the spot out.
  • Semi-solids. Substances like peanut butter, mud, or pudding should not be blotted immediately, or the spot will be forced further into the carpet. Instead, scoop up as much of the substance as you can with a spoon. After you have removed most of it, rinse it with water and then use a cloth or paper towel to blot it dry.
  • Dried solids. Pick up the pieces and vacuum. If there is still a spot remaining, rinse it with water and then use a cloth or paper towel to blot it dry.
  • Using a cleaning solvent. If you are using a carpet cleaner, first apply some to a hidden area to make sure that it will not ruin your carpet. Follow manufacturer's instructions on the container. Usually you will apply a small amount of the cleaner to a cloth, and then you gently blot it into the spot, working from the outside in to the middle. After, you rinse with water, blot dry, and then repeat until the spot is gone.

If you are still not able to remove a spot or a stain, call a professional carpet cleaner.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...

MORE FROM EMILY

Cleaning Glass Tiles

Need help figuring out how to clean your glass tiles? The best way to keep them clean is by prevention, but you can still ...

Discover More

Cleaning Air Conditioning Equipment

Cleaning your air conditioning equipment can help to keep you cooler and save you money. Read more for tips on how to do ...

Discover More

Wedding Dress Cleaning

Do you want your wedding dress to look as good as it did the day you were married? Different fabrics and dresses require ...

Discover More

MAX Power! A powerful lithium-ion drill/driver that delivers 0-to-650 RPM and 115 inches-per-pound of torque in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. An anti-slip soft grip and LED worklight makes this tool a delight to use. Check out Black & Decker 20-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Simple Hardwood Floor Restoration

Simple hardwood floor restoration projects aren't all that difficult, though you will need to be careful. All you really ...

Discover More

Replacing Damaged Sections of Carpeting

When replacing damaged sections of carpeting, you'll need a carpet remnant or leftover of the carpet you're replacing. If ...

Discover More

Removing Grout

When using power tools to remove grout, make sure that your bit is the appropriate size for the space between the tiles. ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)