Coffee or tea spilled on the carpet

Cleaning and Maintenance

15 Ways to Remove Difficult Stains From Your Carpet

August 30th 2022

We know the feeling. You've just sat down for the evening with a well-deserved glass of wine and you accidentally drop it - that cream carpet that's been spotlessly clean is now stained red.


If you need to know how to get stains out of a carpet, don't panic. Here at HSS, we have a range of cleaning equipment ready to be hired whenever you need it. So next time you've got to remove awful stains from carpets, you can turn to us.


If you're looking for advice on removing tough stains quickly, here are fifteen easy ways to remove different types of stains from your carpets. Whether that's with carpet stain remover, home remedies or a professional carpet cleaner - you'll find a method that works for you in this blog.

Simple steps to follow when removing stubborn stains from carpets

1. Blot up the stain to remove excess liquid


Don’t panic. The first thing to do when a glass of red wine or a cup of hot chocolate is spilled over your carpet is to get a clean, soft cloth or paper towel and gently blot up as much of the stain as you can (blot carefully and don’t scrub, as you don’t want to spread the stain even more or push it further down into the carpet’s fibres). An absorbent paper towel will instantly remove some of the wet stain to make the rest of the stain removal process easier.


Side note: Avoid using hot water as this can disperse the stain and make it much worse!


2. Gently rinse the accident spot


You can try blotting the stain using just cold water and a white cloth, but you can also add ¼ of vinegar to 1 part of water. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray over the area. Cover with an absorbent towel or kitchen paper and apply some weight on top (you can use heavy books or a table). Leave for 6-8 hours and repeat if necessary. This is not the most effective solution for all cases, but sometimes it’s the simplest things that can get the best results for tough stains.


3. Use a carpet shampoo


If you have a carpet shampoo or stain remover available try to remove the stain using them. If you don't have a special shampoo to hand, combine a couple of drops of dish soap or laundry detergent with a cup of water. If the stain has already dried into the carpet fibres, try brushing it out with a steel brush once the shampoo has been added. 

Traditional home-made solutions for tough carpet stains

Mud soil marks stains on the carpet

4. Pour some salt on your carpet’s wound


This is a trick that never gets old; if the stain is still wet pour some salt on it to cover it completely. Leave until the stain dries and then vacuum. The salt will have absorbed a big part of the stain, making it easier for you to finish off using a carpet cleaner or one of the following methods. 


5. White wine on red wine


Although it might seem as the most unorthodox solution, pouring some white wine over a red wine stain and blotting with a clean cloth might actually help, when the stain is still wet! 


6. Club soda


Pour some club soda on the stain and leave it for 15 -30 minutes. Use a damp cloth, a sponge or even an old toothbrush to absorb both the club soda and the stain! This method (along with the vinegar trick) is good for removing bad stains like coffee stains and blood stains.


7. Baking soda and water


Use some cold water to soak the stained area. Use a clean cloth to remove as much of the stain as you can and when no more of it comes out mix 1 part of baking soda with 3 parts of water and apply on the stain. Leave until it dries and then use your vacuum to remove what’s left of the stain.


8. Hydrogen Peroxide and baking soda


Spray over the stained area with hydrogen peroxide and then pour a small quantity of baking soda - enough to cover the area. Leave for 4 to 5 minutes and then remove with a wet cloth.


9. Hydrogen Peroxide and soap


Mix 1 part of hydrogen peroxide with 1 part of liquid soap (make sure it is suitable for use on fabrics). Put the mixture in a sprinkler and spray over the stained area. Wait for 1-2 minutes and then use a dry, clean cloth or a sponge mop rub gently until the stain is removed.


10. Beer over coffee


We know that this sounds like the right decision for an evening, but it’s also the right move if you accidentally spilled coffee or tea on your carpet! Just pour a small quantity of beer on the stain, leave for 2-3 minutes and then rub it off lightly with a soft cloth or an old toothbrush.


11. Ammonia


Dilute ½ cup of ammonia in 1 litre of warm water, apply on the stain and let it dry. If the stain is not removed completely, repeat once more.


12. The vinegar and liquid detergent solution


Use a mixture of ¼ warm water, 1⁄2 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Make sure that you use a non-bleach and non-alkaline detergent. Dip a clean, absorbent cloth or a sponge into the mixture and blot up the stain. At the end, use a wet cloth to rinse off with water and a dry one to absorb as much of the humidity as possible. Leave until completely dry. Another variation of this solution suggests mixing 2 cups of warm water with a cup of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. You can try both and see which one has the best results on your carpet!


13. Another liquid detergent solution


Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of liquid detergent to 1 cup of warm water. Use a clean dry cloth or a sponge mop to gently scrub the area that is stained. If the results are not as you expected, alter the proportion slightly (try ½ teaspoon of detergent to 1 cup of water). When it’s dry, use your vacuum to remove any residue.


14. Yet another vinegar solution


Mix vinegar and baking soda in equal proportions to form a thick mixture and then add as much warm water as it is needed to turn into a thin liquid. Dip a sponge or a clean cloth and scrub gently on the stain to blot it up.

Hire a carpet cleaner from HSS

Whether you have to deal with a persistent stain on your carpet or you just realised that you have neglected it for too long, hiring a carpet cleaner to deep clean your carpets is always the best move to get them to look as good as new!


You may be thinking that the task of cleaning your carpets is one that can be done with a bit of scrubbing and manual labour. But if you have tried doing this before, chances are that you have realised that it requires more time than what you anticipated. Also, it is not always the most effective way to remove bad stains from your carpet.


Start by removing as much furniture as possible and then vacuum to remove any loose dirt or pile. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on which cleaning solution to use as well as on how to use the carpet cleaner. Below you can watch our instructional video on how to use a carpet cleaner to deep clean your carpets but also your sofas or any other soft furniture!

Additional tips for removing stains effectively

  • It’s always more effective to deal with a stain immediately, before it dries.
  • Always test any mixture or product in an inconspicuous corner of your carpet to make sure that it won’t leave a stain or lead to discolouration.
  • Don’t over scrub your carpet when trying to clean a spot; this way the carpet’s fibres are destroyed.
  • Avoid circular moves as you may end up spreading the stain in a wider area.
  • Work from the outside of a stain inwards, and not the opposite, to avoid spreading.
  • Don’t use more water than is actually needed to rinse, since this way you risk ending up with mouldy carpet and a weird smell in your living room.
  • Do not alter the recommended proportions for each mixture.
  • Always follow the safety instructions on cleaning fluids, detergents and cleaning machines.
  • You can speed up the drying process by using a hairdryer or hiring an air mover for fast drying.
  • If you are trying to deal with an old, solid stain, you can use a blunt knife to scrape up the excess. Be careful to keep your moves soft so as not to destroy your carpet’s fibres.
Author - Marcin Haraszczuk

About the Author

Marcin Haraszczuk

Marcin is a member of our E-Commerce Team. He mixes creative flair with analytical thinking, has a knack for DIY and is always seeking ways to broaden and share his knowledge.

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