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How to Bust Common Carpet Stains

Your carpet literally provides the grounding for the rest of your home decor, but it’s not always possible to keep it as clean as you’d like. Whether it’s a bit of wine spilled during a special dinner or grease tracked in from the garage, eliminating common carpet stains can be trying. While there’s no easy fix for every carpet stain, you can bust almost any stain by following a few simple steps.

Before you can get rid of carpet stains, you’ll need to identify them. After all, not all stains are the same. You’ll need to take different steps to clean your carpet depending on what’s staining it. Carefully cleaning the stain by hand is always better than using a home carpet-cleaning machine. While these machines may seem convenient, they tend to do more damage than cleaning.

Water-Based Stains

Hundreds of common substances can cause water-based carpet stains. Many homeowners have dealt with spots caused by juice, alcohol, syrup, milk, soda, alcohol, latex paint, water colors and vomit. If you find yourself confronted by a water-based stain, you can take a few simple steps to eliminate it.


Your first line of action should be to:

  • Remove any solid material on the stain. Be sure to work from the outside of the stain to its center.
  • Blot the spill with a clean, white towel.
  • Apply dry-cleaning liquid to a white cloth and gently dampen the stain.
  • Wipe the stain gently, turning the cloth frequently. Don’t scrub the stain or use a brush.
  • Rinse the stain with lukewarm water.
  • Cover the area with another clean, white towel and blot it to lift the liquid.
  • Rinse and blot until all the cleaning fluid is gone.

Place fresh towels on the carpet and apply weight until the spot is dry.


If your first attempt to remove the stain doesn’t work, move on to the second line of action You should:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of household ammonia with 1 cup of water.
  • Apply to the stain.
  • Rinse and blot until the stain is removed.


If your first two attempts fail, follow the third line of action and:

  • Mix equal parts water and white vinegar.
  • Apply to the stain.
  • Rinse and blot until the stain is removed.

Coffee, Tea & Urine Stains

Coffee, tea and urine are water-based stains, but they require slightly different care than similar stains. If your carpet suffers from water-based stains, follow the first line of action outlined above. These should remove the majority of coffee, tea and urine stains. However, if these steps don’t work, you should move on to the third line of action. Avoid using ammonia on these types of stains.

Grease- and Oil-Based Stains

Stains from grease and oilbased substances require special care. Follow the care instructions on dry cleaning fluid to remove these stains. If this method doesn’t work, go through the three lines of actions outlined above. If stains still persist, you may need to hire a professional service to help you remove them. If you have purchased your flooring from S&G Carpets and More, you may still be under warranty. Review the carpet warranty here. Of course we will also be happy to provide you with stain-busting pointers if you visit one of our showrooms.

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