How to clean every kind of carpet stain

14 April 2022 – 3 Minute Read

Coffee drinkers, toddlers with sticky fingers, muddy pets and guests with a glass of red wine in hand. They’re in almost all of our homes and all can lead to pesky carpet stains.

If you’ve got a carpet stain, don’t panic. Follow our simple tips to rid your home carpet or rug of the most common stains, including red wine, coffee, pet stains, ink and more.

How to clean red wine and coffee stains

Red wine and coffee are some of the deepest stains and can leave dark, unsightly marks on your carpet. To remove them follow these simple steps:

  1. Before you start cleaning, gently blot out as much of the wine as you can with a paper towel or a clean cloth – don’t rub it in.
  2. Mix a tablespoon each of dish washing liquid and white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
  3. Sponge the mixture on the stain using a clean cloth. Do this gently, a little at a time, alternating with a dry cloth until the stain disappears.
  4. Finally, sponge with cold water and blot dry.

If all else fails (especially on a cream carpet), mix one part washing up liquid with two parts bleach. Sponge it on and then pat dry, as above. Rinse well with cold water. It’s best to carry out a patch test in a hidden corner somewhere first to make sure this mixture isn’t too strong for your carpet. Don’t try this on a wool carpet.

How to clean ink and felt tip stains

Ink stains can fall into two categories, regular ballpoint pen marks or leaky permanent markers.

Ballpoint ink or washable felt tip ink often comes out quickly with soap and water. But if not:

  1. Spray the stain with hairspray (yes, hairspray. Really. The alcohol in it will dissolve the ink) and gently blot dry with a paper towel. Don’t rub it in.
  2. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  3. Vacuum the carpet to remove the hairspray residue.

To clean felt tips or permanent marker ink stains make sure you treat a marker pen stain as soon as possible, as some permanent inks really will be permanent when left too long. To reduce the ink stains as much as possible, follow the below steps:

  1. Lightly dab methylated spirits to the stained carpet area. 
  2. Blot dry with a paper towel and repeat until the ink colour seems to be lifting. 
  3. Leave for a couple of minutes and blot dry again with paper towels.
  4. Once the stain is gone, remove the remaining alcohol by pressing a wet towel against the area

For really stubborn ink stains, many textile experts recommend Amodex Ink and Stain Remover. Apply this gently with a small household brush or  toothbrush and then rinse thoroughly. Dry with a hairdryer to remove watermarks.

Remove muddy carpet stains

Muddy shoe prints, or paw prints, can be a common occurrence in the hallway, especially in winter. To get rid of mud stains on your carpet follow these steps:

  1. First, let the mud dry out.
  2. Remove as much mud from the carpet as possible by brushing or vacuuming.
  3. Mix one tablespoon of washing up liquid with two cups of warm water and sponge onto the stain.
  4. Blot with lightly dampened paper towels. Repeat as necessary until the stain has been removed. Rinse with clear water and blot dry.

How to get rid of candle wax carpet stains

Spilled wax or dripping birthday candles can make for unsightly marks on your carpet. Fortunately they are also fairly straightforward to remove. To remove wax from your carpet:

  1. Place a sheet of kitchen roll over the wax drip and iron in a circle on a low heat. Don’t let the iron stray on your carpet, or it can melt some fibres.
  2. Keep moving the paper around the affected area until all the wax has been soaked up.
  3. If it was a coloured candle, remove any resulting colour stain with a few drops of methylated spirits. Lightly dab on with a paper towel and blot until dry.

Stains still won’t budge? Book a carpet stain removal from a professional carpet cleaner near you .