No matter how careful we are, or how hard we might try, we are bound to have a few scary stain moments on our favourite carpets and rugs.
Whether it’s children dragging their muddy boots across the carpet after football practice, grease stains from a dropped meal or an accidental glass spillage after one too many red wines in the lounge room, our carpets will inevitably look a little worse for wear at some point.
The good news is that there are a handful of excellent home remedy carpet stain removers that are easy to make and use, and won’t break the bank!
Using our guide, we are confident you’ll find the most effective stain remover for your carpets, no matter the fabric or stain type.
Learn How To To Remove Stains From Carpet With These Clever Tips & Easy DIY Carpet Cleaners
Roll up your sleeves, let’s get going!
A Few Quick Tips Before You Start:
- Be quick – It’s much easier to remove stains if you act quickly before the stain has had a chance to set into the fabric.
- Know your fabric type – make sure you’ve checked your cleaning codes (e.g. code S, code W, code X, code WS etc.) first so you don’t damage your carpet, or make the carpet stain worse.
- Blot, don’t rub – If you rub the stain, often you will rub the stain further into the fabric of the carpet. It’s much better to gently blot away the stains.
- Always perform a spot test – Before using a homemade carpet cleaner, make sure you test it on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first. You wouldn’t want to accidentally remove the colour from your carpet along with the stain.
- Don’t use too much cleaning solution – We know you’re excited about your new homemade carpet stain remover. But before you go and make the stain worse by saturating the entire area, remember that less is more. Too much cleaning solution can make it difficult to remove the stain.
- Don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s instructions on the label – Often a rug manufacturer will provide general cleaning advice for your particular fabric and what cleaning solutions to use (or avoid).
So, How Do I Clean Carpet Stains?
The burning question.
Firstly, get to know whether your carpet or rug is made from a synthetic fiber such as polyester, or natural fibers like wool or cotton.
Each material will have its own general cleaning recommendations, for example, cleaning code S stipulates that you can only use chemical dry cleaning solvents and water-based cleaners can’t be applied.
It’s best to familiarize yourself with what material your carpets and rugs are made from beforehand. You don’t want to be scrambling to look for it as the coffee soaks in!
Secondly, you need to know the type of stain you’re dealing with. Just like fabrics, different types of stains need different methods of cleaning. It’s much easier to remove a stain if you know what caused the stain.
Save this article for quick reference later, you never know when you might need it.
The Ultimate Homemade Carpet Stain Remover Remedies!
Without further ado, we bring to you our favourite carpet cleaning solutions! Before going any further though, we always stress that you need to check your materials cleaning codes before applying any cleaner of any type!
1.) Carpet Cleaning & Deoderizing With White Vinegar
A spray bottle filled with white vinegar, diluted with water should be in everybody’s cleaning cupboard. It is completely natural, non-toxic and great for cleaning everything from carpets and rugs to microfiber sofas and fabric couches!
Simply dilute a cup of white vinegar with one cup of water, pour into a spray bottle and voila! Instant carpet cleaner and deoderizer.
Spray onto the affected area until it is lightly moist and let the vinegar sit for 5 – 10 minutes before blotting dry with a paper towel or clean microfiber cloth. If you’re using it as a deoderizer, you don’t need to wipe it away at all.
Perfect for general light stains like food or dirt as well as keeping your carpet smelling fresh and clean!
2.) Clean Greasy Carpet Stains Using Detergent
A gentle dishwasher detergent solution can be enough when removing water-soluble stains, and some types of greasy food stains.
All you need to do is mix some detergent in a container of warm water and gently work into the affected area of the carpet using a sponge or a white cloth.
Once you applied detergent to the entire stain, blot away the excess moisture with some paper towels. Wait for it to be fully dry before vacuuming away any residue.
Remember not to go overboard, a good rule of thumb is about one teaspoon of dish soap to every liter of water.
Be sure to use a clear detergent, as the dyes used for coloring could potentially stain your fabric.
3.) Using Baking Soda As A Spot Stain Remover
You can make a super simple stain removal cream by mixing baking soda and white vinegar together.
Simply mix equal parts baking soda and white vinegar into a thick paste. Dilute the paste with warm water until it is the right texture to work with (it should be slightly runny).
Use a sponge, or soft-bristled brush to work it gently into the carpet fibers in a circular motion. You’re trying to lift the stain, not end up with ground-in dirt.
Let it sit for a while and vacuum the area thoroughly once it has completely dried. You’ll be amazed at the results!
4.) Soaking Up Carpet Stains With Baking Powder and Corn Flour
This is a really easy powder to keep on hand, and it works wonders to prevent spreading when sprinkled over fresh stains.
Mix about two teaspoons of baking powder with one cup of cornflour. The starches in the fine cornflour will penetrate your carpet fibers to soak up the spill, while the baking powder neutralizes any nasty odors.
Sprinkle the cleaning powder over the new spill and leave it for at least fifteen minutes.
The longer you leave it, the more time it has to remove tough carpet stains before they set in. Vacuum the excess powder up and repeat the process as needed.
5.) Cleaning Light Carpet Stains With Soda Water
Plain old soda water is a great solution for water-soluble stains. After soaking a clean cloth with soda water, carefully dab at the stain with a clean section of the cloth each time.
Keeping the cloth wet, continue lightly working until the stain is gone. It might seem like slow going but be patient, the results will be worth the wait.
Remember to dry the area thoroughly when you are done to avoid the musty smell of wet carpets.
Bonus DIY Cleaner:
Karrie from Happy Money Saver has another excellent homemade DIY carpet cleaner recipe in the video below. If you’ve tried the above and still have some marks or odors to deal with – we highly recommend giving this a go!
Further Options For Dealing With Stubborn Stains
If you have tried everything on this list, and on every other list, and still have some tough stains that just won’t let go, rest assured that there are many commercial carpet cleaners that can be effective for removing stains in a wide variety of fabrics and textile. Particularly old stains that you may not have noticed until you moved the couch.
Just make sure you choose a high-quality product as it will be kinder to your fabric by not using cheap and harsh chemicals as well as generally being better at removing carpet stains. And make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.
As with homemade carpet cleaners, always test the commercial cleaning solutions for colourfastness on an area of your carpet or rug that isn’t noticeable.
It’s important to note that some commercial cleaners may not be suitable for natural fiber carpets.
Can I Steam Clean My Carpet?
Using a steam cleaner on your carpet is a great option for stains that have set in hard, or you’re cleaning an older carpet or rug that really need a deep clean.
A steam cleaner removes dirt from your carpet by using heated water that turns to vaporized liquid (i.e. steam) when it contacts the flooring surface.
The heat loosens up soil particles that typically get trapped in the fibers of your carpet or rug. It then extracts all of the water droplets from your flooring surface with a vacuum, giving one of the deepest and most sanitary cleans possible.
How To Eliminate Pet Odors From My Carpet Or Rug?
All pet owners can vouch that as much as we love them, they often leave the rug with a bit of a smell (particularly if a ‘pet accident’ has occurred).
The homemade cleaners we’ve listed for you above can often do a great job, but sometimes it’s a much bigger problem to tackle.
If this is your situation, using a carpet cleaning machine is the most effective remedy to clean up pet stains and odours. Use a pet rug cleaner with a specific pet cleaning solution. They will often have a rotating bristle head to lift pet hair and deeply ingrained dirt before shampooing.
These can often be hired from your local hire shop or Home Depot type store. Given the chemicals often used to deal with pet odors, it’s probably a good idea to leave this one to the professionals.
A Quick Reference Guide For What To Use On Each Stain Type:
Wine or Juice
- There’s no need to panic next time spills a glass of orange juice (or wine) on your carpet. If you act quickly, often all you will need is your trusty spray bottle of Club Soda. After blotting up any excess liquid with paper towels, simply give the affected area a bit of a squirt with soda and dab dry with a clean microfiber cloth. (Note: this works well for both red wine and white wine).
- If the chocolate has melted into the carpet fibers, place a few ice cubes into a ziplock back, and cool the chocolate down until it has hardened. Using a butter knife, carefully scrape away as much of the hard chocolate before vacuuming the area to pick up any loose flakes. After vacuuming, treat the stain with your homemade dishwashing liquid cleaning solution.
- After the wax has dried, break it up into pieces and scrape as much off the carpet as possible. Once you have removed the bulk of the wax, lay a piece of baking paper over the stain and apply heat with your clothes iron. The wax will stick to the baking paper as it cools and you will be able to gently peel it off the carpet.
Coffee or Tea
- Pesky stains on the rug from your morning coffee? All you need is a little of our baking soda and vinegar-based cleaner, applied with a clean brush into the fibers around the stain. Once you have worked the stain well, blot dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Rinse and repeat until the stain has gone!
Fatty butter or gravy stains
- Sprinkle the grease stain with a generous amount of baking soda, and let sit overnight if possible. Vacuum the excess powder in the morning and use a small amount of vinegar solution or dish soap on a damp cloth to remove any stubborn fat stains left behind.
- Whatever you do, don’t wet the dirt! Getting dirt wet creates mud, and that is a much harder carpet stain to deal with. Vacuum up any excess dirt before it gets rubbed deeper into the carpet, then work a clean brush in circles over the stain, trying to lift the dirt to the top of the carpet fibers. Vacuum again and most of the dirt should be gone. If a little stain remains, use the baking soda and vinegar solution.
Every parent’s worst nightmare; blood stains…
- As much as we hope it won’t happen, one day you will probably find yourself dealing with the outcome of a bloody nose or cut lip on your carpet. After making sure your patient is all patched up, it’s time to deal with the stain before it sets too deeply. Coldwater or Club Soda is usually all you will need for this if you act quickly. Simply spray on and blot away until the stain is gone completely. It may need a little more (depending on the nature of the injury), so if a little red stain is left behind, try the baking soda spot stain removal paste.
That’s A Wrap!
There it is – our definitive list of the 5 best home remedy carpet stain removers – with a few extra tips to boot!
Needing to clean your carpet or favourite rug from time to time is just a fact of life, and likely means you have a fun and lively life!
As you can see, using a handful of ingredients you likely already have laying around the home, you can easily make a number of safe and effective carpet cleaners for all stain and fabric types.
We hope this guide has helped you in your hunt to remove carpet stains you may have thought were permanent, and given you the confidence to tackle any other odors or marks that life throws your way!