Carpet Stain Removal Guide

Stain Removal Home Remedies


We offer these only as helpful guidelines. Wolfe Flooring assumes no liability for the outcome. Always give priority to the manufacturer's stain removal guideline if it is available. It's a good idea to test cleaning agents in an inconspicuous area. After testing, blot the damp area with a white cloth and look for color loss in the white cloth. Also, watch for color distortion in the yarn. The mass majority of carpets in the U.S. have stable dyes. The same is true for high quality, machine made rugs. Some yarns are unfortunately not colorfast. Handmade rugs and inexpensive machine made rugs have a higher occurrence of bleeding dyes. These home remedies are for carpets and rugs with colorfast dyes.


The following factors affect the success of stain removal:

  • the type of stain
  • the length of time the stain has set
  • the type of yarn used to construct your carpet
  • the presence of stain-resistance properties in the carpet yarn
  • the types of removal procedures that have been unsuccessfully used thus far

Spills that come from animal products and plant products respond differently. Some stains are water soluble or solvent soluble; while, other products are not soluble. Some spots alter the pH of the carpet significantly and need to be neutralized. Timing is also important in successful stain removal. Generally, the sooner a stain is dealt with, the more likely the stain can be removed. Furthermore, different types of carpet yarns (nylon, olefin, wool, etc.) differ in their ability to resist stains. For example, olefin has a built in dye and can even resist bleach. Carpet yarns with stain-resistance properties improve the likelihood that stains can be successfully removed. However, no carpet is stain proof, including the name brand, stain-resistant products. Finally, we warn you that unsuccessful attempts to remove a stain with some cleaning agents can set the stain thereby hindering future efforts.


Please use the following techniques when removing the stain:

  • Work from the outside of the stain to the center.
  • Never scrub the carpet. A back-and-forth motion can distort the carpet tufts very quickly. Attempt to remove all the stain by blotting. If you need to rub the carpet, gently brush or stroke the carpet pile in one direction about 10 times and then brush the opposite direction 10 times. Alternate the direction a few times. The less brushing, the better.
  • Make the application of water and cleaning agents with a clean spray bottle if possible. A great alternative is to apply the cleaning solutions to a clean white towel, and blot with the towel. Do not pour cleaning agents directly on the stain. Do not soak the carpet when using cleaning agents. If solvent cleaning agents get to the carpet backing, they may cause delamination (i.e., the separation of the primary and secondary backing).
  • Repeat steps that are the most effective at removing the stain. It is not necessary to exercise every step. In fact, the less steps, the better. You should always end with the rinsing step.
  • Neutralizing or counterbalancing chemicals can create offense odors and irritating fumes. Avoid breathing such fumes if they occur.
  • Never use bleach or similar products to remove stains. (There are rare exceptions to this guideline.) Read the instructions carefully for any product you decide to use.

Please select the type of stain you wish to remove: