How to Get Stains Out of Your Carpet

Posted On August 6, 2020

Maintaining carpeting and area rugs takes less effort than keeping hard-surface floors clean—which is why many people love carpets and rugs. Frequent vacuuming and occasional deep cleaning will keep your rugs and carpets dirt-free and helps maintain their appearance. But despite your best efforts, rugs are vulnerable to spills, messy accidents, and other mishaps that could ruin their appearance. 

Depending on the type of stain or debris, just follow our easy step-by-step guides to removing stains and other waste using easily available household products. 

How to Get Blood Out of Your Carpet & Rug

  1. Treat blood stains on your area rug with cold water. Cold water will keep the blood from spreading through your carpet’s fibers.
  2. Fill a spritzer bottle with two teaspoons of grease-fighting, liquid dish detergent and cold water.
  3. Spray the mixture on the stain. Liberally dampen it for a fully soaked stain.
  4. Blot the spot with a paper towel or a dry white cloth. This step ensures that the blood transfers to the cloth.
  5. Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary.

You can use OxiClean to get blood stains out of your carpet as well.

  1. Apply some drops of OxiClean to your blood-stained rug.
  2. Blot the stain until it’s dry, then rinse and repeat if necessary.

How to Get Nail Polish Out of Your Carpet & Rug

The following methods can help you get nail polish stains out of your carpet:

  • Gently blot away any excess nail polish with a paper towel.
  • Scrape hardened nail polish with a butter knife or some other gentle tool.

Removing nail polish stains with vinegar

  1. Dampen the nail polish stain thoroughly with plain vinegar.
  2. Place a vinegar-soaked paper towel over the area.
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then gently blot and scrub the stain.

Removing nail polish stains with baking soda

  1. Sprinkle enough baking soda on the stain to cover it thoroughly.
  2. Pour ginger ale over the area. 
  3. Let the area soak for about 10 minutes.
  4. Scrub gently until the stain is removed and rinse with water or a wet cloth.

Removing nail polish stains with hairspray

  1. Wet the dry area with cold water.
  2. Spray about 10 to 15 pumps of hairspray on the stain.
  3. Add a little rubbing alcohol. You can apply three tiny splashes or more, depending on how small or big the stain is.
  4. Scrub the area with a brush or cleaning tool and splash more cold water while you scrub.

How to Get Wax Out of Your Carpet & Rug 

  1. Place a white cloth over a warm clothes iron.
  2. Set the iron on top of hardened wax until it melts.
  3. Scrape off the melted wax from your carpet with a butter knife.

How to Remove Pet Stains from Your Area Rug

  • Clean up the mess. Pick debris up with gloves and throw it away, or soak up moisture with continuous blots.
  • Dampen a dried pet stain, then apply a carpet cleaner for pet stains.
  • Mix a quart of water with stain-fighting laundry detergent in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the spot and let it soak for a while. Then, blot, rinse, and repeat if necessary.

Neutralizing odor and pet stains

  1. Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with a quart of warm water, then spray the solution on the stain.
  2. Let the vinegar spray soak for several minutes.
  3. Once the solution soaks, blot the stain until it fades and the spot dries.

How to Get Paint Out of Your Carpet & Rug

Paint can also get into your rug’s fibers. Let’s look at some helpful steps to removing water-based, Latex, and oil-based paint stains from your carpet.

Removing water-based paint stains

  1. For a wet stain, blot it with a wet paper towel. For a dry stain, mix hot water and a bit of dish detergent. Let the solution sit for a few minutes to soften the paint.
  2. Scrape the softened stain with a knife or a pin. Add more of the water-detergent solution as you scrape.
  3. You can also use a handheld steamer while scraping a hardened stain. This method helps remove the stain from your area rug.

Removing Latex paint stains

  1. Blot the stain to remove as much paint as possible.
  2. Mix a cup of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent.
  3. Gently blot the affected area.
  4. Let the area dry, then vacuum it.

Removing oil-based paint stains

  1. Using a steamer, apply steam right to a dry stain.
  2. Pick at the spot with a needle or a pin while applying steam.
  3. Do the previous step until the stain is removed.

How to Remove Liquid Stains from Your Carpet & Area Rug

Your area rug can get stains from spilled liquids, including red wine, coffee, and other water-soluble liquids. Here’s how to get rid of these stains.

Removing red wine stains

  1. Blot as much spilled wine as possible.
  2. Douse the stain with the Wine Away remover and let it sit for up to five minutes.
  3. Blot the area until the spot disappears.
  4. Remove extra residue with a damp cloth.

Removing coffee stains

  1. Blot as much coffee as you can.
  2. Mix a tablespoon of liquid dish soap, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water.
  3. Wipe the stain with a clean, white cloth. Apply a little bit of the mixture at a time and blot the stain repeatedly with a dry cloth until it fades.
  4. Clean the area with cold water and blot it dry.

Removing other water-soluble stains

Mix ¼ teaspoon of non-bleach detergent or white vinegar with 32 ounces of water, then use it to clean the water-soluble stain.

Other homemade cleaners can also help you remove liquid stains from your area rug or carpet. 

  • Mix a tablespoon of ammonia with a cup of water and use it on a non-wool carpet.
  • Use a mild detergent and water to clean wool or wool-blended rugs.
  • For solution-dyed carpets, you can mix ¼ to 1 cup of bleach and ¼ water in a spray bottle. Soak the stain with the mixture, blot it, and rinse. Repeat the process until the stain disappears.

How to Remove Other Stains & Wastes from Your Rug & Carpet


  1. Dampen a clean white cloth with isopropyl alcohol. The substance can remove an ink stain if it has a higher concentration.
  2. Dab the wet cloth on the ink-stained carpet—don’t rub or scrub.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the excess moisture with a liquid-friendly vacuum.

Hairspray, nail polish removers, and other chemicals with high alcohol content will also work on ink stains. Rinse with water, then blot or vacuum dry after applying any of the chemicals to an ink stain.


  1. Scrape as much chocolate as possible from your area rug with a dull knife. For melted chocolate, harden it by putting a resealable plastic bag with ice cubes over the spot.
  2. Vacuum the area to pick up any loose flakes or pieces.
  3. Mix ¼ teaspoon of liquid dish soap with a cup of warm water.
  4. Apply the solution to the stain with a clean cloth.
  5. Let the solution sit for at least five minutes.
  6. Blot the stain until it disappears.


  1. Let dirt or mud dry before vacuuming.
  2. Vacuum over the affected area several times until you pick up most of the dirt.
  3. Mix a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with a cup of warm water.
  4. Blot over the area until the stain fades.
  5. Let the carpet dry.

Fat-based stains

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and let it sit for six hours.
  2. Once the baking soda settles, vacuum the affected area.
  3. Blot the area with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.


  1. Peel away as much gum as you can.
  2. Put a resealable plastic bag with ice cubes over the remaining gum. This step hardens the gum pieces.
  3. Scrape hardened gum from your carpet with a spoon or dull knife.
  4. Vacuum the affected area.
  5. Use a dry-solvent carpet cleaner to clean the lingering stain.


  1. Absorb as much urine as possible with white towels.
  2. Blot the urine with a damp, cool cloth.
  3. Make a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water, then spray or blot it on the stain.
  4. Mix a half teaspoon of clear, mild non-bleach detergent with 32 ounces of water. Apply the solution to the stain, rinse, and blot dry.

Frequently Asked Questions about Removing Carpet Stains

How do I remove yellowing spots from my carpet?

  1. Apply lemon juice and salt to the stain.
  2. Sponge the pile with water.
  3. Blot liquid with an absorbent pad.

To get rid of persistent carpet stains, try the steps below.

  1. Test the Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish on an inconspicuous area.
  2. Apply the product on your carpet according to the instructions.
  3. Flush with water and blot extra liquid.
  4. Let your carpet dry.

How do I get rid of old stains from my area rug?

  1. Spray your carpet with your preferred cleaner.
  2. If you have an extremely stiff rug, let the cleaner sit for a few minutes.
  3. Apply the cleaner to your carpet with your gloved hand.
  4. Once you’ve finished massaging the cleaner into your rug, let the solution sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Dip a cloth in clean warm water, then use it to blot up the carpet. Blotting will flush the cleaner out of the carpet.
  6. Blot up as much moisture as possible from your rug with a dry towel or a paper towel.

Have Your Rug Professionally Cleaned at Cyrus Artisan Rugs

While rug and carpet stains can be easily removed with household cleaning products, deep cleaning will require professional expertise. Rugs that are properly cleaned and cared for will maintain their pristine appearance and will last for generations. 

Cyrus Artisan Rugs offers professional rug cleaning services in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area. Our rug cleaning professionals will tailor their cleaning methods based on your rug’s origin, foundation, and construction. 

Our rug cleaning process starts with a thorough inspection and any stains or damage will be noted. Next, we will recommend any repairs before the piece is dusted with a powerful but gentle vacuum to loosen and remove particles. The rug is then submerged in fresh, pH-balanced water and a specially-formulated solution. It is also hand brushed to clean the fibers. After a final rinse, the rug is aired in a special climate-controlled drying room to dry thoroughly.

Once the rug is dropped off at our Bloomington showroom for a cleaning, you can expect the rug to be returned to you after 10 days. Alternatively, we can pick up and deliver the rug to your location for an additional fee. Please contact our showroom for more details and estimates.