Do it yourself carpet stain removal

Always test for color fastness in an inconspicuous
place before trying any of these techniques.

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  Scroll down to learn some carpet stain removal tips


About stain removal

When something stains your carpet you should be thinking about chemicals and PH.

Tar is petroleum based. Coffee is an acid-based beverage with tough tannin. Red Kool-Aid has a red dye.Red wine has natural colors and tannin from the skin of the grape.

Each fiber of the carpet has a chemical component and it attracts and binds more securely with certain stains.

For example, a nylon carpet likes acid dyes. (This is why Kool-Aid being an acid will easily stain a nylon carpet.)

Oily soils will bind to Olefin. Because of this a bit of tar on an olefin carpet is going to be much more difficult to remove than a bit of tar on a nylon carpet. It normally rejects natural juices, tannins, and other acid dyes.

Polyester is similar to olefin because it also is attracted to oily soils, but doesn't bind easily to normal liquid spills, including coffee, tea, wine, juice and other acid dye stains.

What ever type of carpet you're working with, the stain can normally be removed if you do your research and apply the proper chemicals.


Home made carpet stain removers


Folex instant carpet stain remover isn't home made but is a great product that you can buy at the hardware store.

  • Light stains: Try club soda.
  • Heavier stains: Try mixing 2 tablespoons detergent, three tablespoons white vinegar and one quart of warm water.
  • Really tough stains: Tide laundry detergent and warm water.
  • Straight ammonia
  • White shaving cream
  • Rinse with clean water.

How to remove crayon from carpet:

1. Scrape up as much crayon as you can without spreading the problem.
2. Apply a small amount of dry solvent to the area, let stand for a few minutes.
3. Blot
4. Apply some paint oil grease, wait a minute
5. Blot
6. Wash with (1 teaspoon colourless, mild detergent 1 cup water)
7. Rinse with clear water
8. Dry by blotting, fan, blow dryer, or wet-vac.


How to remove fleas from carpet:

The easiest way to get fleas out of your carpet is by killing them. The one thing all fleas have in common is the desire to use your dog or cat as flea food. This is their weak link and this is where we get them. Using Advantage or Program on your animal will solve the flea problem in your whole house. A flea can’t reproduce without first biting your animal. When it does, it will get a mouthful of an enzyme that will render it’s eggs sterile and it will soon die. Within a short time the animal will stop scratching. Within a few days, every flee in the house will be dead. At this point call a carpet cleaner to clean all the dead fleas out of your carpet. Better yet, call me to refer you to a great carpet cleaner in your area.

How to remove coffee or tea stains from carpet:

Try using club soda, it often works beautifully. Then rinse well with a wet-vac.

If that doesn't work use hydrogen peroxide 20% solution, then rinse well. (This can discolour the carpet so be carful, test, and wear gloves.

How to remove silly-putty from carpet:

1) Scrape off as much of the Silly Putty as you possibly can.
2) Spray the Silly Putty with WD-40. Don’t use too much, only use as much as you need because it will leave a residue.
3) Allow the WD-40 to sit for about 10 minutes.
4) Repeat as many times as you need to in order to remove all the Silly Putty.
5) Finish by blotting with alcohol until all remnants of the stain are gone.
6) Rinse with clear water

How to remove indentations from carpet:

Set an ice cube in the indentation. Let it melt, allow the carpet to dry. This sometimes works and other times doesn't.

How to remove grease from carpet:

There are so very many wonderful ways to remove grease from carpet, here is one of them.
1. Mix a solution of 1⁄2 cup hot water + 1⁄2 cup ammonia + 15 drops clear detergent. Use discretion when applying the solution. Use the minimum amount required to completely wet the greasy parts without soaking the backing of the carpet. If you do get the carpet too wet, put a fan on it for a day or two.
2. Apply the solution with a sprayer or just use a white cloth. Let soak for a few minutes
3. Scrub the stain gently to loosen up the grease.
4. Blot or wet-vac to remove excess moisture. Repeat a few times.
5. Rinse with clear water then blot or wet –vac.
6. Dry your carpet as much as possible by using a wet - vac, fan or blow dryer. Some people wick the moisture up by placing some paper towels or a diaper on top of the wet part. Then place something heavy like a brick on top of that. The water is wicked up into the absorbent material. I like to use a fan.

How to remove gum stains from carpet:

For ground in gum there is nothing that works better than lighter fluid. The lighter fluid could damage the carpet so test the color first. You can also use peanut butter or anything oily. Just remember that any residue from peanut butter will need to be thoroughly removed or you will have a reoccurring stain.
1. Apply a small amount of lighter fluid directly on to the gum. Allow the lighter fluid to break up the gum for a few minutes.
2. Use a rag to clean the broken down gum out of the carpet
3. Mix one teaspoon of a neutral detergent with a 1⁄2 cup of hot water.
4. Use the solution to wash the carpet. Use a clean rag.
5. Blot and Repeat
6. Rinse with clean water
7. Blot up the excess water with a sponge, rag, or wet-vac.
8. Dry it with a wet - vac, blow dryer or a fan.

How to remove ink from carpet:

1. Spray with hair spray. Be careful to use only as much as you need. You don’t want to spread the ink around.
2. Blot with clean white cloth or paper towel.
3. Repeat
4. Mix 1⁄2 cup hot water with 1⁄2 cup ammonia and a few drops of clear detergent.
5. Gently wash the area with the solution.
6. Rinse with clear water
7. To dry the carpet you can blot, use a wet –vac, fan, or hair dryer.
Instead of using hair spray you can experiment with rubbing alcohol. Milk can also dissolve ink stains. Just be sure whatever you use gets rinsed out afterwards.

How to remove Kool-aid stains from carpet:

There's a product called Red Relief. It comes in two parts. Follow the directions. Find it by searching the web.

How to remove water-based paint from carpet:

1) Scrape off as much of the excess paint as you can.
2) Mix a solution of one cup warm water and a few drops of liquid dish detergent.
3 Apply the solution and let it set for awhile if the paint is dry.
4) Gently scrub the paint without spreading it.
5) Blot or wet-vac.
6) Repeat a few times.
7) After you have rinsed out all paint, dry the carpet with a wet-vac, fan, or blow dryer.

How to remove oil-based paint from carpet:

1) Apply a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit to the paint stain.
2) Be careful not to spread the stain. Agitate and blot.
3) Mix 1⁄2 cup warm water and a few drops detergent. Wash the solvent and paint out of the carpet.
4) Rinse with clean water.
5) Dry the area with a wet-vac, fan, or blow-dryer.

How to remove red lip-stick from carpet:

1. Scrape out as much as possible without spreading it.
2. Use a bar of Ivory soap to suds up the carpet
3. After the lipstick disappears, rinse the area with clean water
4. Dry the carpet using a wet-vac, fan, or blow dryer.

How to get red wine stains out of carpet:

This will even remove red wine stains from white carpet. The challenge is to get some sunshine on the solution while it is drying. For this to occur, you may need to remove the carpet and lay it in the sun.
1. Mix a solution consisting of two parts Hydrogen Peroxide to one part Blue Dawn dish-washing detergent. The solution must be freshly mixed or it won’t work.
2. Apply the solution to the stain. Get the stain fully saturated without soaking the carpet all the way down into the padding.
3. When finished, dry with a wet-vac, fan, or blow dryer.

How to get static electricity out of carpet:

Add an ounce or less of so of fabric softener to a quart of water. Use a sprayer to mist the carpet as needed. Wow that was easy!

How to remove tar from carpet:

1. Spray with WD-40 or use mineral spirits, turpentine, lighter fluid etc.
2. Let it sit for a few minutes
3. Scrape out as much as possible
4. Spray again with WD-40 etc
5. Blot, repeat
6. Mix a solution of 1⁄2 cup ammonia, 1⁄2 cup water, and a few drops clear liquid joy detergent.
7. Completely wash the WD-40 out of the carpet.
8. Rinse with water
9. Dry by using a wet-vac, fan, or a blow dryer.

How to remove urine stains from carpet:

Urine turns light fabric brown. To reverse the process it needs to be neutralized.
1. Apply vinegar directly to the stain.
2. Wait a few minutes or more then rinse with clear water.
3. Dry the area with a wet – vac, fan, or blow dryer.
4. If that doesn't work follow the directions here.


How to remove blood from carpet:

1. Remove as much of the blood as you can. You can blot it up with white paper towels, a clean rag or better yet, a wet -vac.
2. Mix a 1/2 cup cool water and 1 Tbs. of clear ammonia. Apply the solution to the carpet generously but no so much that you soak the backing.
3. Blot it up as much as possible.
4. Mix and work into the carpet a solution of 1 qt. cool water and 1/4 tsp. of dish detergent. Do not use anything with dies, bleach, lanolin, or anything weird. Don’t get your carpet soaking wet. Just use what you need.
5. Rinse with cool water.
6. Again, blot it up as much as possible.
7. Let carpet dry. You can use your blow dryer if you want to speed things up.
8. Use the same hydrogen peroxide as you get at the drug store. Apply as much as you need without soaking the backing and the pad under that. Wait until you see the stain disappear
9. Blot it up again
10. Rinse with cool water
11. Remove all excess moisture with a wet-vac.

How to remove wax from carpet:

1. Dampen a white towel and place over the wax.
2. Place a hot iron over the cloth. The steam will reach into the bottom of the carpet and melt then suck the hot wax into the cloth.
3. Repeat until you have all the wax out of the carpet.



Steve Gordon

Steve Gordon, Owner

California state contractors license # 922096