Basement Floor - © Iriana ShiyanWe’ve all been there. Whether you dropped a glass of wine, your toddler spilled a bottle of paint, or the repair man walked in a trail of mud, you need to know how to properly get that carpet back to its perky self. But don’t worry, removing stains doesn’t need to be difficult if you have the right tip up your sleeve.

Basic stain removal tips:

  1. Blot away stains, don’t scrub or rub which can damage your carpet.
  2. Rinse spills with lots of clean water, then blot from the outside working in.
  3. Repeat this process again and again until the stain has faded.
  4. Different spills call for different approaches. Read on for case by case tips on getting those difficult to remove stains out of there!

Tips for Water-Soluble Stains

Water-soluble stains include:

  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Jelly/Jam
  • Milk
  • Food Dye
  • Latex Paint
  • Mud & Dirt
  • Excrement

For these and other simple, water soluble stains, you don’t need to go out and buy a carpet cleaner. Instead, use this simple carpet cleaning solution recipe. Take 1/4 teaspoon of either non bleach detergent or white vinegar and combine with 32 ounces of water. Then use the method above wash that stain away

Tips for Difficult Water-Soluble Stains

Difficult water-soluble stains include:

  • Wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Mustard
  • Vomit
  • Blood

These stains are typically more difficult to remove than your average stain. First, remember to test all cleaners before you use them to avoid damaging your carpet. To beat out difficult stains, try a concoction of 1 tablespoon ammonia added to 1 cup of clean water (not for use on wool or wool blend carpets.

If that doesn’t work, then you can try a mixture of 1 part chlorine bleach mixed with 5 parts water, but only use this on solution-dyed carpets. When in doubt, test in an inconspicuous area before putting this to use.

Nail Polish

Dip a rag or wash cloth into nail polish remover and blot the stain away.


Freeze gum with ice, then break it with a hammer. Vacuum that gum away before it thaws.

Fat, Wax or Oil

Using a paper towel and iron, set the paper towel above the stain and iron on warm. This should lift the stain up and onto the paper towel.


Soak up with white towels, then using a cool, damp cloth blot away as much as you can. Then create a solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar and spray it on the affected area. Then using a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear non-bleach detergent and 32 ounces of water, soak and blot dry using the method above.

If you found any of these stain removal tips useful, share it with a friend who may need it as much as you.