How to Remove Carpet Stains

7 min read

Having to remove carpet stains is inevitable if you have a dog, a cat or a toddler.

At some stage, you will be cleaning up something nasty off the carpet (ie poo, wee or vomit). Getting professional carpet cleaners can cost you your left leg but have no fear, SAHM can help!

What to do first!

First, mop up the excess moisture as quickly as you can. The quicker you can attend to a mess, the better chance you have of getting it out! If you have some soda water on hand, dampen a cloth well and apply to the stain and sponge it up. If it is still there, make up the following mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons dish washing liquid
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

Work the liquid into the stain and blot it dry with a clean towel. If the mess has seeped deep into the carpet, ensure you have a soft toothbrush on hand, gently brush the carpet with the toothbrush to get the liquid right into the carpet pile.

For a Stinky Stain

When you have a really smelly stain on the carpet, time is of the essence!  Another way to clean your carpet quickly (especially if there’s been something smelly on it) is to put about 10 drops of eucalyptus oil into a spray bottle of water, then spray it onto the stain and wipe up with a damp cloth. We also have a terrific home made carpet deodoriser recipe to try too!  Eucalyptus Oil not only smells clean and fresh, it is fantastic at stopping smells in their tracks!

We love the Eucalyptus Essential Oil from Eco Aroma


Home Made Carpet Shampoo

This recipe is great for allergy sufferers:

  • 1 cake Sunlight Soap
  • 1/2 bucket warm water
  • 1 tablespoon (30 grams) Cream of Tartar

Grate a cake of Sunlight Soap into a half filled bucket of warm water. Add two litres of boiling water, mixed with 30 grams of cream of tartar. Shampoo carpet without saturating and dry with a clean cloth or towel. Make sure you turn on your ceiling fans or open all the windows to allow air to circulate and dry the area.

You can pick up Sunlight Soap from most supermarkets in the cleaning section.

Removing Blood from Carpet

Time is of the essence here! Blot the area with a paper towel to remove as much of the blood as you can. Next, make up a spray bottle with 1/2 cup of room temperature tap water and one teaspoon of clear ammonia. Spray stained area lightly and again blot with a paper towel to remove as much as you can. Next, make up a solution of a cup of room temperature tap water and a teaspoon of dish washing liquid (ensure it doesn’t contain bleach).

Sponge the area very carefully so as not to smudge the stain. If the stain persists, place a slightly damp towel on the stain and weigh it down with something heavy for an hour or two to ‘soak it up’. Then try the above method again.

Urine Stains and Smells

Urine is a common stain in homes with little ones – and no parent is immune to the odd pee stain.  Use a damp cloth to try and mop up as much urine as possible.  Then grab some Soda Water, pour it liberally onto the stain, and blot, blot blot.

Removing Candle Wax and Crayon from Carpet

If it’s wax, let it dry completely before touching (or it will smudge and make it worse). Using the edge of a spoon, gently scrape over the wax to remove as much of the ‘bulk’ as you possibly can. Once that is done, wet a white washer and place it over the wax/crayon stain.

Carefully use a hot iron over the top of the washer; the steam will melt the wax/crayon and the wet washer will ‘suck it up’. Please be careful not to burn yourself, or the carpet (stay on the wet washer only!). You may have to repeat a few times to get it all out!

Removing Grease from Carpet

Sprinkle the stained area with bicarb and leave for 24 hours, then brush off and vacuum!


Removing Ink and Red Wine from Carpet

Whilst the stain is still fresh, cover with table salt – the salt will absorb the ink. Brush it off and repeat. When there are no more soaks into the salt, sponge the area with sour milk and metho.

Removing Pens from Carpet 

Mix 2 cups of warm water, one tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of dish washing liquid in a bowl. Use a white cloth (like an old cloth nappy) and gently dab the solution onto the texta on the carpet. Blot occasionally with a dry white cloth. Continue until the texter disappears then sponge over with some plain water. If some texta remains, gently dab some rubbing alcohol over it until the stain is gone.

Removing Sudocream or Toothpaste

Use warm water and a tiny bit of washing up liquid – it will mop right up!

Removing Nail Polish from Carpet

This is a tip from cleaning guru, Shannon Lush. Soak a cotton ball in acetone. Slide a tissue over a nit comb so the teeth are protruding through the tissue, then slide the comb in underneath the carpet fibre and wipe the cotton ball up the front of the nit comb over the stained carpet (the tissue over the comb stops the acetone from getting into the carpet and melting the glue).

Removing Dry Coffee Stains

Image By David Dewitt

Mix 1 tablespoon of mild dish washing liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water in a bowl. Stir the solution well then apply the detergent and vinegar solution to the dry coffee stain using a clean cloth. Blot from the outside of the stain toward the middle, refreshing the solution on the cloth, as required. Blot with a dry cloth to pick up the old coffee stain as it loosens. Rinse the area of the carpet where the dried coffee stain was with cool water. Blot up the water from the carpet and allow the carpet to air dry.

Removing Grease and Oil from Carpet

Grease and oil stains can be really stubborn as they tend to really weave themselves into the carpet pile.  To remove these stains, grab yourself some shaving cream.  Apply the shaving cream onto the stain liberally, and then use a damp cloth to really ‘push’ the cream into the pile.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so, then slowly start dabbing the stain with your damp cloth, rinsing well with hot water in between blots.

Removing Hair Dye from Carpet

Hair Dye is perhaps one of the very worst stains you can have as dye is notoriously hard to remove.  But if you get to the stain quickly – you have a better chance of saving the carpet!

Firstly, blot the stain with a clean towel. Then mix a solution of 1/4 teaspoon of  dish washing liquid and 1 cup lukewarm water. Blot the dye with the soap solution using a clean towel. Always blot from the outside of the stain, working inward so you don’t spread the stain. Leave for a few minutes then mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts lukewarm water and dab this on the stain from the outside in.

Finally, flush the area with cold water and blot dry with a clean cloth.

If this doesn’t work – you need to bring in the big guns!

The Ultimate Stain Removing Product

Believe it or not, the very best carpet stain removal product is good ole WD40!  Most people have some in the shed or garage.  To use WD40 on a stubborn stain, spray the stain lightly and allow it to sit for a few minutes.  Then grab a soft sponge and very hot water, and blot the stain until it is gone!

What weird and wonderful tricks have you got for removing carpet stains? Have we missed any?

Jody Allen
About Author

Jody Allen

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay at Home Mum. Jody is a five-time published author with Penguin Random House and is the current Suzuki Queensland Amb...Read Moreassador. Read Less

Ask a Question

Close sidebar