How to get stains out of carpet

Carpet flooring is a great choice for style and comfort in the home, but we all know that keeping it free of everyday stains is a struggle. While issues like coffee and red wine stains may seem like something you just have to live with, our guide to cleaning household stains will help you get your carpets looking new again. Remember, the key to getting stains out of carpets is time, so the quicker you can act, the better the outcome.

How to make a spot carpet cleaner

Many household carpet stains can be cleaned with products that you'll probably already have like dishwashing soap, vinegar, and baking soda.

Water soluble stains such as drinks respond well to detergent-based cleaners. For these, simply mix 1 tablespoon of washing-up liquid with around 500ml of water, which you can blot or spray onto a soiled area.

For more stubborn stains, using ammonia or vinegar is best. These are both effective cleaning agents that break down grease, while the acid dissolves many other stains like wine. If you have pets or children, or you don't have good ventilation, then we would recommend trying vinegar first as it is less hazardous. Vinegar will often need to be diluted to use a cleaner, but how much will depend on the type of vinegar used and how bad the stain is.

How to Clean Blood Stains

The important thing to note about cleaning up blood stains is to always use cold water. If you use warm water on blood, it will clot quicker and become tacky.

  1. Blot up as much fluid as you can. If the blood has dried, use a brush to break it up and remove as much dry deposit as you can.
  2. Mix one tablespoon of dish soap with two cups of cold water.
  3. Blot the mixture onto the stain with a clean cloth, taking care not to rub the stain into the carpet. You can also you a spray bottle to wet the stain before blotting it.
  4. Keep sponging the stain until it disappears.
  5. If there is still residue left, you can try using ammonia (do not mix with bleach) diluted with water or a stronger carpet stain remover.

How to Clean Food Stains on Carpet

The most common household stains come from food and drink, and with so many textures and types of stains, it's hard to know exactly what to do. Here is advice on how to clean some of the most common food stains from carpets, but much many of these tips will work for other spills and accidents that might happen!

How to remove tea stains from carpet

  1. Remove any excess by blotting the stain with a paper or cotton towel.
  2. Blot until the liquid no longer transfers onto the cloth.
  3. Pour a small amount of water onto the stained area. Keep on blotting up the liquid.
  4. If the stain still remains, sponge white vinegar diluted 1:1 with water onto the stain.
  5. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Rinse and blot up the liquid with a clean white cloth.


TOP TIP: Test the vinegar in a hidden spot first, as it can bleach your carpet.

How to remove coffee stains from carpet

  1. Blot up as much of the excess spill as possible using a clean cloth or paper towel.
  2. Apply a spot remover, such as diluted dish soap or vinegar, to the cloth and blot. Repeat until no more stain transfers to the cloth.
  3. Repeat the blotting with clean water to remove any residues.
  4. Remove any excess water with a cloth. Brush with a soft brush if needed and allow to dry.
  5. Groom the carpet with a soft brush to align the pile.
  6. If needed repeat the process. If all else fails, find an approved carpet cleaner.

How to Clean chocolate stains

  1. If the chocolate has dried, take a butter knife and gently remove as much as possible. However, if the chocolate is melted, blot with cold water to solidify. This will help stop the spread of the stain and make it easier to remove.
  2. Blot washing up liquid mix onto the stain with a clean cloth.
  3. Use small, circular motions to remove the stain.
  4. Remove any excess water with a cloth. Brush with a soft brush if needs be. Allow to dry.
  5. Repeat if necessary!

How to remove wine stains from carpet

  1. Don’t let the stain settle! Act as fast as possible.
  2. Using a white cloth, blot, don’t rub, the stain. The more you can soak up, the less you’ll have to remove.
  3. After you have blotted, pour a bit of cold water directly onto the wine stain – this will dilute what remains of the stain.
  4. Keep on blotting until no more of the stain comes out. Remember, no rubbing!
  5. Make a baking soda paste by mixing a three-to-one ratio of water to baking soda.
  6. Apply to the stain. Once the paste is dry, vacuum the stain.

And if that doesn’t work…

  1. Blot as much of the stain as possible – use paper towels or a clean cloth.
  2. Pour two cups of warm water into a small bowl. Then mix one tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of a dishwashing liquid together.
  3. Dip a clean sponge into the bowl and apply the solution directly onto the wine stain.
  4. Continue blotting until the stain has lifted.

How to Get Makeup out of Carpet

For many people, using makeup is a daily habit, but with so many different products, it's easy to find yourself unsure when it comes to cleaning them up. If you drop a powder, such as eyeshadow or setting powder, avoid standing on it and immediately hoover up as much as possible. This will ensure that the powder isn't worked into the carpet fibres, reducing the risk of stains.

How to Remove Foundation from Carpet

  1. Scoop up any excess product to reduce how much seeps into the carpet. Do not rub the stain.
  2. Spray or blot the area with a mixture of lukewarm water and washing up liquid to dissolve the foundation.
  3. Blot with a clean cloth or microfibre towel until there is no more product transfer.
  4. If you have a gentle makeup remover, you can apply this to your carpet. However, we would recommend doing a patch test first, in case it affects the colouring of your carpet.

How to Remove Lipstick from Carpet

  1. Use a spray mixture of water and vinegar to cover the area and dissolve the lipstick. Lipsticks are primarily made from fats like oils and butters, so they require a cleaning product that can break down these ingredients.
  2. Allow the cleaning product to sit for a few minutes to soak into the stain.
  3. Blot the stain with a clean cloth. You can rub a lipstick stain gently to work the cleaning product into the stain but keep your motions small to stop the stain from spreading.
  4. Repeat until the lipstick is gone. With darker colours, you may need a stronger agent, but be mindful of bleaching your carpet's colour.

How to Remove Nail Polish from Carpet

  1. Blot up any wet excess until no more transfer happens.
  2. Wet the area with cold water.
  3. Apply an acidic product such as vinegar or acetone, but we would recommend a patch test first to ensure that the acetone does not damage the carpet.
  4. Let this sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the agent to break down the nail polish.
  5. Blot until the stain is gone.
  6. Alternatively, after you wet the area, apply 10-15 sprays of hairspray. Then use a cloth or sponge to gently scrub the area, taking care not to increase the size of the stain.

How to Remove Hair Dye from Carpet

  1. Clean up any excess dye that has not sunk into the carpet.
  2. Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 2 cups (around 500ml) of water.
  3. Apply to the stain and gently work in, to break up the dye. Do not rub vigorously.
  4. Alternate between applying the cleaning mixture and dabbing with a dry cloth to remove the dye.
  5. Repeat until the stain is gone. For more stubborn stains, you may need to try rubbing alcohol or ammonia to lift the colour.

How to Remove Wax Stains from Carpet

  1. As soon as you notice the wax stain, it’s important to take action. The longer it sits on the carpet, the harder the stain will be to remove as the melted wax will seep into the carpet fibres before it hardens.
  2. Fill a plastic bag with ice. Lay this directly onto the stain and let it freeze the wax for a few minutes.
  3. Remove the plastic bag and start to scrape the wax off the carpet using a blunt knife, taking care not to damage the carpet fibres.
  4. Lay a clean cloth or a brown paper bag directly over the affected area of the carpet.
  5. Using a warm iron, slowly press the iron on top of the paper bag or cloth. The material should start to absorb the wax and lift it off the carpet.
  6. Repeat this until the wax disappears.

How to Remove Crayon Stains from Carpet

  1. Apply white or mineral spirit to a clean cloth and place over the stain.
  2. Leave for two minutes, then blot. Repeat until the stain no longer transfers to the cloth.
  3. Apply a spot of remover to a cloth and blot. Repeat until no more of the stain transfers to the cloth.
  4. Repeat the blotting with clean water to remove any residue.
  5. Dry the area with a white cloth or paper towel.
  6. Groom the cut pile carpet with a soft brush to align the pile. If all else fails, find an approved carpet cleaner.

How to Remove Mud Stains from Carpet

  1. Firstly, give the mud time to dry...
  2. Vacuum the muddy area thoroughly.
  3. Apply a carpet shampoo to a white cloth and blot. Repeat until no more stain transfers to the cloth.
  4. Apply a spot remover to a cloth and blot. Repeat until the stain no longer transfers to the cloth.
  5. Repeat the blotting with clean water to remove any residue.
  6. Dry the treated area with a white cloth or paper towel.
  7. Groom the cut pile carpet with a soft brush to align the pile. If all else fails, find an approved carpet cleaner.

Further Advice

While the advice here can help combat a lot of everyday stains, this might not cover everything that you need. If you are looking for tips on how to combat pet issues like getting fur out of the carpet or treating urine stains, take a look at our guide on how to keep carpets clean with pets.

For more severe stains or to spruce up an old carpet, you may need to deep clean your carpet. We have some great tips on how to steam clean your carpet and how to know when it's time to get a professional carpet cleaning service.

If you think it's time for your carpet to be replaced, don't hesitate to reach out and book a free appointment with one of our flooring experts to discover the perfect new carpet for your home.