Have you ever had a carpet ruined by a stain? Do you love carpet but worry about keeping it clean?  Have you ever had a carpet stain you just couldn’t get out, like wine, chocolate, ink or other stains on your carpet?

It’s terrible to think that one little “oops!” and hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of beautiful, comfortable carpet could be ruined. But it happens. Getting stains out of carpet can be a challenge, but it’s usually very doable with the right technique and some patience.
Removing carpet stains without damaging your carpet is a science as much as an art. You need to approach it carefully and thoughtfully.
Three Rules for ALL Carpet Cleaning
If you’ve just had a carpet stain, read these two rules!
1. Dry blot first – don’t scrub!  Sometimes people instinctually want to scrub out a stain as quickly as possible. But paper towel is typically much more absorbant than carpet. So dry blotting with layers of paper towel will pick up the excess spill and keep the portion that soaks into the carpet at a minimum.
2. If using a treatment product or mixture, try it first on a small section of hidden carpet to make sure the cleaner itself isn’t going to do more damage. Some cleaners can even remove colour dye – and suddenly you’re left with a faded patch where there used to be stain. Not pretty.
3. If water is used in the cleaning (or a water mixture), cold water is almost always preferred. Heat is likely to accelerate the penetration of the stain into the carpet. Not good!
Removing Red Wine Carpet Stains
We’ve all been there – an elegant glass of red wine is tipped and falls almost in slow motion spilling its contents everywhere. Red wine is one of the most feared stains. But getting it out is often possible. First, blot up as much of the spilled wine as you can. Second, mix about a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and another tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of cool or luke-warm water. Apply only a little bit of the solution at a time, blotting frequently with a dry, clean cloth. Keep sponging the stain with the detergent and vinegar solution. You may need quite a lot of rags or other dry cloths to get the stain completely out, but be persistant. Taking time is a key part of the solution – some stains fade slowly but with each new treatment you soak and blot away a little bit of the problem.
A more aggressive mixture that works well on some carpets is one part dish detergent with two parts hydrogen peroxide. Sponge the mixture on lightly, then blot it off.
Removing Blood Stains from Carpet
Contrary to what many people think, blood is usually not as difficult to remove as some of the other stains. To remove blood, as with other carpet stains, start as quickly as possible – time is even more important with blood stains since blood coagulates. The faster you act the more effective the carpet stain removal method will be.
Use cold water only. Blood coagulates when heated so cold water will slow this from happening and keep the stain from setting in. (Even ice can be good if the stain is in a small area.) Fill a spray bottle with cold water to which a tablespoon of dish detergent has been added. Spray the stained area generously. Use a paper towel or clean cloth to blot dry. Repeat this process several times.
There are other substances that can work on blood – even coke or other canned soda, hydrogen peroxide, sprinkled talcum or corn starch may work In a pinch. The most imporant thing is to use whatever is handy and act quickly to deter the blood stain from setting into the carpet.
Removing Ink Stains from Carpet
Ink stains can be very difficult to remove – after all, the very purpose of ink is to create a permanent mark. As with many stains, ink stains are going to be easier to remove when they are tackled as quickly as possible – right after the spill occurs is best. The first thing to do is be careful not to rub the stain in!  Resist the temptation to pounce on it, you’ll just make it worse. Instead, dampen a clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol (higher concentrations of alcohol are better); dab it on carpet where the ink stain is. (It’s a good idea to test first to make sure it will not lead to damage for your carpet.) Remember, dab – do not scrub! Scrubbing will spread the stain. Use a small amount of water as well on a sponge or cloth and damp and dry clothes to dab the location alternating alcohol, damp, dry.
Repeat this over time, and have faith. Other common household products can also work well on ink such as hairspray and nail polish remover. But these are stronger chemicals and can also damage carpet. If you want to try one of these, be certain to do a good test on a small patch of hidden carpet first.
Removing Kool-Aid Stains from Carpet
Kool-aid can a very challenging carpet stain to remove, after all it’s full of coloured dye. But it’s possible. To remove carpet stains caused by Kool-Aid do this: step one – blot the stain with a dry towel or paper towel. Do not rub it! This will make it worse. Put 1/4 cup of white vinegar and a tablespoon of Dawn dish soap (other brands may work as well) in a spray bottle and fill with cool water. Spray the stained area will with a mist, and y let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Then blot again with paper towel or a dry towel. Repeat several times until the stain is gone.
How to Get Chocolate Stains Out of Carpet
Oh the joy of chocolate! And the pain of getting it out of your carpet!
To remove chocolate stains from carpet, first use a dull knife to scrape off any solid remaining chocolate residue. Do this carefully – the more chocolate you can remove in this way the better since any chocolate left can make the stain worse. Then, using a paper towel or clean cloth, take a half teaspoon of laundry detergent and mix it with a cup of room temperature water.
Pour or spray a little of the water and detergent mixture directly onto the stain. Then blot the stain. Work from the outer edge of the stain towards the middle. Doing it this way ensures you’re not spreading the chocolate stain from the center outwards. Do this several times if needed. Some people recommend using a warm iron and towel on hard chocolate that is pushed into a carpet with the idea that the towel will absorb the warmed-up chocolate better than the carpet. This is risky. Might be woth a small test if you’re desperate, but be very cautious.
Store Bought Stain Removal Products
Professional, store-purchased stain removal products do sometimes work. Resolve Carpet Cleaner and Oxi-Clean for Stained Carpets are both pretty good. You can try them – or even alternate with home-made water-based mixtures to see. In general these are strong products so you must make sure to do a test in a hidden area of carpet first. The last thing you want is a product that makes the stain worse – or permanent. The beauty of water-based methods is while they can take a little time, they are safer. And they do usually work.
Removing Pet Stains from Carpet
The worse thing about pet stains (besides just being gross) is they can also leave a lasting odor, even if faint.  Fortunately it is possible to remove both odor and pet stain from carpet.
Start by cleaning up the ‘bulk’ of the mess as best you can with paper towel. The more you clean up this way the better. Of course if the carpet stain is dried, you may need to use some moisture to loosen it. A little warm water spritzer can do the trick; use more water for pet stains than for other stains since pet urine (and cat urine especially) tends to sink in. You want in part fo flush the urine out in stages. Aside from water, use carpet or fabric cleaning products designed for pet stains. Carpet cleaning products for pet stains are specifically formulated with enzymes that can break down the stain and the smell and so are best. As with other stains it make take a little patience and several treatments to get the job done. Hang in there – it’s worth it.
If you want to get extremely serious or are cleaning up a large or embedded stain, you can also put a layer of paper towel, newspaper, or cloth rags underneath to catch the water and urine you soak through.
Cleaning Old Pet Stains
Sometimes you can smell a pet stain odor, even if there’s nothing to see. Well, there’s a way to find those old pet gifts, even if they’ve cleverly hidden them when you weren’t around.
You know how on police shows like CSI they use a special light to see the remnants of blood stains? Well you can put on your pet detective badge for this one because the same trick works for urine.
Purchase a UV lamp or flashlight (or a black light bulb) at a Walmart or hardware store. Keep in mind that not all UV lamps are equal, some will work much better than others. LED lamps are generally stronger so work well. Most LED lamps emit 400 nm, 385 nm, or 365 nm wavelengths. Of these, the 365 and 385 work best – 400 is getting close to visible light and may not work well at all. You may also find “regular” black light style bulbs. These may work, but keep your receipt in case they don’t.
Turn out all of the lights in the room and the black light should identify soiled areas. A good trick is to then use chalk to outline the areas you spot. If chalk isn’t available you can use pinches of baking soda (the soda will only help the cleaning process when you do it).
As above, a formulated pet stain cleaner is best (available at most pet stores and some other stores). However, this can also be expensive. An effective inexpensive solution is to use a strong vinegar and water mix (50-50 vinegar and warm water). Spray this solution liberally onto the stain and let it sit and sink in. Blot until near dry and repeat several times. When the area seems fairly clean, move to step two. Sprinkle baking soda over the area. Then take a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to which a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent has been added. Put on a pair of protective rubber gloves and slowly pour some of the hydrogen peroxide and detergent mixture over the baking powder. Use only what you need to get the entire area slightly wet. Use your hands first, then a scrub brush to rub the solution into the carpet.  Let the solution dry completely. Vacuum thoroughly and you’re done.
These carpet stain busting methods usually work well. But if you are trying other products or methods not mentioned here, avoid using ammonia based products to clean dog urine. Dog urine has ammonia in it and the smell may encourage the dog to reoffend.
Removing Coffee Stains from Carpet
Coffee and tea can leave a brown or yellow stain on carpets. To remove spilled coffee, tea, or other liquids, start by blotting with a dry cloth or paper towels. Dry the spot as well as you can.
Next, use the same mixture of vinegar, water, and detergent as described above under red win stain removal in a spritzer bottle. Let sit briefly and then blot. Repeat several times to get the bulk of the stain out. The stain may be completely gone with this method. If not, use a stronger cleaner, such as a commercial product – many of them are effective on this type of stain.  As always test the stain remover first on a small hidden area of carpet.
Persistant Carpet Stains
Homemade treatments, as most of these are, can be very effective in removing stains while not damaging the carpet. They do take effort and persitance to be 100% effective but for many carpet stains this more natural, gentle (even if time consuming) way is more effective. Avoid scrubbing, especially at first, because often that makes things worse. Gentle persistence is the rule when it comes to removing carpet stains. Also, keep in mind that all carpets are different, and some carpets will be more absorbant then others. There is no guarantee that any given method will work, which is also why we recommend the dry and saturate method as safe and effective for most carpets.
Do you have a carpet stain removal trick? Let us know – we’d love to hear it!