The Ultimate Guide to DIY carpet stain remover

Wine. Juice. Urine. Ink. Pets. Children. Guests. Us. Nothing spells us into crisis mode faster than a carpet spill. With all the products on the market, there are actually many DIY carpet stain removers that come straight from the kitchen. And of course, there are times, when it’s time to call someone to the carpet – in these cases, a professional!

Keep in mind to never pour solutions directly onto your rug. First, blot the stain to remove as much of the offender as you can. For synthetic carpets, dip a white cloth into DIY solutions, and apply to the stain; for natural-fiber carpets, pour solutions into a spray bottle and mist them onto the stain.

Remove Blood Stains
Cover the stain with equal parts meat tenderizer and cold water and let it sit for 30 minutes. Sponge off with cold water.

Remove Greasy Food Stains
Mix one part salt to four parts rubbing alcohol and rub on the grease stain, scrubbing in the direction of the rug’s natural nap.

Remove Gum
Freeze the gum by placing ice cubes in a plastic bag onto the chewing gum, then scrape with a butter knife and blot with trichloroethylene, a dry-cleaning fluid.

Remove Ink Stains
Mix milk with cornstarch to create a paste and apply to stain for a few hours. Use a stiff brush and vacuum. WD-40 also works here too. Spray on the stain, and gently cleanse with a sponge and warm, soapy water until the stain is gone.

Remove Juice, Grease and Oil Stains
After you blot the stain, pat it with a wet sponge and apply some shaving cream by working it into the stain, letting it dry and wiping clean with a damp sponge.

You can also use baking soda or cornstarch to lift grease stains. Sprinkle equal parts baking soda (or cornstarch) and salt over the spot, and scrub with stiff brush to work the powdery mixture into the carpet. Let sit for 4 or 5 hours and vacuum to completely remove the stain.

Additionally, see WD-40 tip from above.

Remove Ketchup Stains
This one dries really quickly, so act fast. Sprinkle salt over the stain, and let it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming. Repeat the salt/vacuum process until the stain is gone.

Remove Red Wine Stains
Before the red wine dries, add some white wine to it to dilute the color. Wash the stain with a clean soft sponge and cold water, and pour table salt onto it. After about 1-2 minutes, you should be able to vacuum up any remnants of the mishap.

Remove Urine, Vomit, Coffee and Tea Stains
Option1: Immediately blot up excess liquid with paper towels, soak the stain in club soda; blot again and scrub with carpet shampoo.

Option 2: Blot and remove liquid, pour baking soda directly over the affected area and pat with a paper towel. After the mixture is completely dry, vacuum the residue.

Avoid using DIY steam cleaners to clean urine odors from carpet or upholstery, as the heat will permanently set the stain and the odor by bonding the protein into any man-made fibers.

How to treat unknown carpet stains
Can’t tell what that stain is? Mix a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a little cream of tartar or a dab of non-gel white toothpaste. Rub the paste on the stain with a soft cloth and rinse.

When to call a Professional
For small stains, DIY efforts are easier and less expensive. Beyond targeting specific areas, homeowners should regularly work with a professional carpet cleaner, as they have specialized equipment for a deeper cleaning overall.
They have experience and expertise to work with any type of fibers, and their equipment has more power than steam cleaners available to consumers, which means more dirt and water are removed from your carpets, for a healthier, happier home.

Request a free carpet cleaning estimate