Top Tips on How to Get Stains Out of Carpet

Although we’d love to keep our floor coverings and furniture in the same condition as when we bought them, it’s a fact of life that at some point there will be some spillage and stains. Especially if you have a young family or pets. So, it’s important to know how to get stains out of carpet for those little mishaps that are bound to happen.
It’s important to know upfront that there is the potential you could damage your carpet if you do something wrong. Many factors need to be considered here such as the quality of the carpet, how old the stain is, and the active ingredients in the stain remover that you use.
So while the tips below may be of assistance this isn’t a professional stain removal guide. Most of the stains below are best cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner such as the team at Carpestology, your local carpet cleaning service in Brisbane.
But if you need a fast and temporary solution at least give us a call so we can provide you with some great hints until we can come to you. We will always try and squeeze in any emergency cases to give you the best chance of returning your carpet to its best.
If not, try these methods below, but they’re just helpful hints and won’t work on all stains. There is a risk that if you were to do something wrong or use harsh chemical you will change the nature of the stain and it will likely stay there permanently. So before trying these tips consider using and affordable professional carpet cleaning service in Brisbane like Carpestology.

Here are some general care tips when treating stains in carpets. 


The earlier you can treat the stain, the better. Depending on the type of stain, there may be excess solids or liquid to remove that may cause heavier staining if left too long. The first thing to do is scrape off any excess solids with a spoon or butter knife straight away to reduce the chance of a permanent stain.


Although natural ingredients found around the home can work for a variety of carpet stains, you may also need to bring in commercially available products for tougher stains. Whether you are using natural ingredients, or heavy-duty cleaners – it’s important to do a spot test in a discreet area of the room to ensure you won’t damage your carpet while you’re cleaning it. This will ensure that you don’t bleach the carpet or produce a bigger stain than the one you’re trying to fix. The active ingredients in the stain remove you choose will react differently to different carpets and different stains so it’s always helpful to ask a professional for their opinion on the best way to treat the stain.


It is really important that you use a blotting motion in all of your cleaning attempts. Scrubbing can cause the carpet stain to spread or even push the stain further into the carpet fibres so while it can be tempting to try and scrub as hard as you can to get the stain gone it is not an effective approach to take. When blotting work from the outside in and take a methodical approach.


We know you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief once the stain has disappeared, but your job doesn’t end there. It’s also important to remove any leftover detergents or cleaning residue in the carpet. The last thing you want is to remove the original stain and end up with a new one in its place from leftover detergent. You can do this by blotting with a clean sponge and cold water.


Here are some solutions to the more common carpet stains we see in the hundreds of houses we visit.

How to remove coffee stains from carpet

Use a cloth to soak up as much of the spilled coffee as possible and use cold water on the stain to dilute the coffee. Take care not to saturate the carpet. You will then want to blot the area with another dry cloth starting at the edges of the stain and moving inwards. This method is best to prevent the colour from seeping into the surrounding fibres of the carpet.
Continue to wet and blot the stain until the coffee is no longer visible on the carpet. You can use commercially available cleaners, or you can make your own cleaning solution using dishwashing liquid and vinegar. One tablespoon of dishwashing liquid combined with the same amount of white vinegar mixed with two cups of water is our suggested option if you really need to opt for an at home option.

Once you have the stain removed you will want to blot as much of excess liquid away as you can and allow the carpet to air dry. Avoid waling on the area until it is dried completely.

How to remove wine from carpet

Oh no the dreaded red wine stain, and it always seems to happen on light carpet too doesn’t it? Act quickly and blot away the excess wine before it set in. You can then cover the stain quite generously with table salt (yep like you have on your hot chips!) and let it absorb the wine. Salt works well to keep the stain from setting in.

Leave overnight before vacuuming the salt away. You may need to use water to remove any salty residue from the carpet. The dishwashing liquid and vinegar solution works for this stain as well. And like we’ve mentioned before always blot the stain as rubbing and scrubbing will make the stain even harder to remove. Try and use a white terry towel for best results or thick paper towel will be an ok second choice.

If the stain still remains you could try pouring a bit of club soda on the stain to lift the stain out of the carpet.

How to remove urine from carpet

Urine from your pets can be a particularly frustrating stain, not only can it leave an unsightly mark on the carpet if not treated effectively the smell can soak deep into the fibres and leave a constant smell in your house.
The best way to remove urine from the carpet is to blot the area until dry with a clean towel. Paper towel could be useful to absorb any remaining urine. Then use a dishwashing liquid (one quarter teaspoon is ideal) and cold-water solution to clean the stain. Make sure you use dishwashing liquid and not laundry detergent or dish soap as these could contain ingredients that will damage your carpet further. Repeat the process until you see the stain fading away.
You may also want to consider using an odour eliminator with anti-bacterial properties to remove the smell and clear up any bacteria.

How to remove vomit from carpet

Remove excess vomit by scraping it up. The use baking soda or cornflour to soak up any liquid that remains. Let that stand for about 10 minutes before vacuuming the baking soda up. Once it has absorbed the liquid use a sponge or clean white cloth and warm water to work on the stain. If the stain remains, mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Sponge the stain and blot until the liquid is absorbed. Sponge with cold water and blot dry to remove the detergent/vinegar solution. You may need a carpet or fabric cleaner with anti-bacterial properties to neutralise odours and bacteria.

How to remove water damage from carpet

It’s important to be quick and thorough with wet carpet. Remove excess water as soon as possible. If there is a large area of carpet affected, you may need a commercial dryer to dry the area completely. If the underlay was wet, you’ll need to ensure this is dried as well to prevent any mould growing in the area. For this type of stain it can be a tricky one to action a DIY method so it’s always best to give the Carpestology team a call to get advice on the best course of action.

How to remove make-up from carpet

Make-up – For any oil-based make-up you can add rubbing alcohol to your dishwashing liquid and water solution to help dissolve the product causing the stain. Once you have removed all the make-up, finish off with clean water to remove any residue.
Different make-up stains require different solutions to try and remove them. For example if you spill nail polish you will want to use no-colour and no fragrance non-acetone nail polish remover. For eyeliner and mascara try 1 cup of warm water with a quarter teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Lipstick can be removed with paint removed or rubbing alcohol.
There is a risk with some of these DIY solutions that the stain may not be removed or the cleaning agent leaves a stain of its own. So where possible a professional clean is advised.

How to remove kids mess from carpet

Kids mess – There’s no end to the types of stains that kids can create in carpets. You can attack nappy cream stains with dishwashing liquid and warm water, and Crayola has some good advice for removing crayon stains.
With a permanent marker stain moisten the stain lightly with rubbing alcohol or hairspray and lightly blot with a white towel to transfer the stain to the towel. Repeat until the stain has lifted.
For juice stains try club soda and the blot. Soft drinks are best removed with white vinegar.

For muddy footprints let the mud dry and then vacuum up as much of the dirt as you can. Then mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with two cups of water to blot up and remaining stain.

How to remove dirt from carpet

The first step is to vacuum up any excess dirt that is still present on the carpet. You may need to use a commercially available carpet cleaning product depending on the severity of the stain. Any superficial stains should come out with dishwashing liquid and cold water like with the muddy footprints example above.

How to remove blood from carpet

Act fast with blood stains, if it has time to set in your carpet it will become even more difficult to remove. Never use hot water on a blood stain. It sets the stain and makes it harder to remove. The dishwashing liquid and cold-water solution will work for fresh blood stains. For any dry blood stains, start with brushing it with a steel brush to loosen the stain and remove the surface deposit. Then make a paste using water and a laundry soaker such as Napisan.


If all else fails, or if the stained area is too large for a one-off solution, it’s time to call in the experts. Carpestology offers carpet cleaning Brisbane wide and can bring your carpet back to its stain-free self in no time at all. Our steam cleaning equipment can be used on a wide range of carpets and rugs, and we can also provide targeted stain removal for particularly difficult and stubborn stains. 

1 reply
  1. Ryan Haugh
    Ryan Haugh says:

    Great blog Post. I’ve spent minutes reading all of the great content about carpet cleaning and have found it tremendously valuable in learning as much as I can. Please keep up the great work sharing knowledge!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *