How to get stains out of carpet is an age-old question that has plagued many a homeowner. The frustration that comes with it can cause many people to just ditch carpet altogether and go for an easier cleaning floor material, like tile or wood.

But for those of you who love the luxurious, soft feel of carpet beneath your bare toes, there is hope out there. The best place to start with any stain is knowing exactly what caused it. Then you can attack the problem head-on with one of our nifty carpet stain remover tricks.

Note: for each of these tips, be sure to use a clean, white cloth and always dab at the stain, don’t rub.

Coffee & Tea

You wouldn’t think it, but one of the best ways to get a stain out of your carpet from these beverages is to grab another beverage—beer! Pour a bit of beer right on top of the stain and then lightly rub into the carpet. Repeat a couple more times until all traces of the stain are gone.

Small Spills

There are a couple things you can do for small spills ,like juice from a sippy cup. First, shaving cream. Blot the stain with a clean cloth, then pat it with a wet sponge. Squirt a bit of shaving cream on top, and then wipe away with another clean, damp sponge.

You can also try using a bit of vinegar. Rub a small, light stain with a solution of 2 tablespoons salt and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Allow the solution to dry and then vacuum it up! This is also a solution you can use for how to get old stains out of carpet before completely ripping the carpet out.

Red Wine

Before you do anything to figure out how to get stains out of carpet caused by red wine, remember to always blot the spill first. You want to remove as much wine from the floor as possible; dilute any remaining wine with cold water using a clean cloth.

You can now clean the spot with a sponge and cold water. After this, sprinkle salt onto the stain and wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum everything up. Some stores carry carpet stain removers specifically targeted at red wine. You can also purchase one of these to have on hand for a spill.


Vinegar isn’t just for the kitchen or laundry room. You can use vinegar to clean up several different kinds of stains — including paint! That said, you’ll need to move fast, because dried paint is a much bigger problem. While the paint is still wet, mix a solution of 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar with 1 1/2 teaspoons laundry detergent and two cups of water. Pour the solution on top of the stain and then using a sponge, sponge away the solution and paint before it dries and sets in. Rinse everything with cold water.

Grease & Oil

Shaving cream can also work on grease and oil stains. Spray the cream on top of the stain, and then gently work it into the stain, allowing it to soak into the shaving cream. Let everything dry and then rub it away with a soft, damp cloth.

Another great carpet stain remover for grease and oil is to use cornstarch and milk. Mix the two together to create a paste, then apply it to the stain. Let the solution dry then vacuum it up! You can also just pour straight cornstarch onto a grease or oil stain. Allow it to sit for a few hours and then vacuum it up.

If the stain is caused by greasy food, you can mix 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol and rub it hard into the stain. Wipe away with a clean cloth.


Vomit can be a tough cookie to crack when it comes to a carpet stain. To tackle this particularly nasty mess, head to the store for a good carpet stain remover. Once back at the house, start by clearing away any solid matter from the mess using a fork or spoon (gross, I know, but important if you want to save the carpet). Next, grab a stain remover from the store and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. Then blot with a damp, clean cloth. You may need to repeat this process.

Dog & Cat Urine

These types of stains can be some of the most difficult to deal with, so you may need to invest in a wet vac or a store-bought remedy. Don’t use a steam cleaner as it can set the stain… and the odor. Instead, start by blotting the stain with a white cloth, then use a store-bought carpet stain remover specifically designed for pet messes. Repeat this process until the stain and smell are gone. You can also try to use a wet vac. Once you’ve used it on the stain, rinse the area with cool water.

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