Eventually, your beautiful carpet will experience a tragedy: something will be spilled or dropped on it, creating a mess and threatening to stain it. Sometimes our stain treatment methods aren’t adequate, or we find the spot too late, and the carpet becomes stained.

While just about anything can create a stain, we’re more likely to spill or drop some things than others. In this article, we’ll cover a handful of these common stains and how to remove them. With any luck, these methods will work for you and return your carpet to its original, beautiful look.

Grease, Oil, and Fat

Stain treatment professionals frequently advise using water on a spill or stain to help rehydrate and dilute it, but this doesn’t work for grease, fat, and oil since they repel water. Luckily, there are two ways to remove grease, oil, and fat stains from your carpet. 

First, you can try using baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain until the spot is adequately covered, and then let it sit. How long it should sit is based on the size of the stain and how recent it is. It may only need to sit for a few minutes, or it may need to be left alone for a few hours. Once the appropriate time has elapsed, vacuum up the baking powder. 

You may also want to blot the spot with a rubbing alcohol-dampened cloth. Do not rub or push the spot too hard, as this could cause the stain to spread or embed itself into the carpet. 

If successful, there should be no sign that something was spilled. If this method was unsuccessful or you would like to use something else, you may want to consider a dry solvent cleaner. If you choose to use this second method, simply follow the instructions provided on the bottle.

Common Carpet Stains and How to Remove Them

Pet Accidents

Even house-trained pets sometimes have accidents. Unfortunately, they tend to do so on your carpet. The first step to cleaning up these stains is one of the most unpleasant: you must remove the offending product. 

Pick up and dispose of any solid objects, and use a towel or cloth to soak up any liquid. If you want a premade cleaner, find an enzymatic cleaner and follow its instructions. The upside of enzymatic cleaners is that they will remove the stain and any odors at the same time. If you don’t have one around, however, there is a slightly more intensive cleaning process you can undertake. 

After the solid objects or liquids are removed, mix some water with dishwasher soap or laundry detergent and spray it on the spot. Let it sit for a bit, then blot it dry. Now, mix some water and vinegar and spray it onto the spot as well, then blot dry again. If the smell remains, spread some baking powder on the spot and vacuum it up once the smell is gone.

Tea or Coffee

One of the saddest messes we can make is when we spill our morning coffee or afternoon tea onto our carpet. Luckily, the cleanup is simple. As expected, we start by soaking up the liquid with either a paper towel, washcloth, or towel. 

Once that’s done, you could use a few different mixtures, such as water and vinegar, water and laundry detergent, or a combination of the two. Make sure the detergent you use doesn’t contain bleach, or you’ll have a whole other situation to deal with. Spray this solution onto the spot, wait a few minutes, then blot it up. 

Continue this process until the stain is gone. If a smell persists, the old, reliable baking soda will take care of it. Sprinkle, let it sit until the smell is gone, then vacuum it up.


Whether your replacement printer ink had a mishap, your pen leaked, or your favorite ink pot tumbled over the edge of your writing desk, ink can seem like one of the more intimidating stains to remove. However, as long as you act quickly and don’t panic, it’s not as hard to remove as it seems. 

Grab some rubbing alcohol or vinegar and pour a bit on the stain. Let it sit for up to an hour, then gently dab the spot. If the stain has lightened, repeat this process. If there is little to no change, you may need to consider using white wine, nail polish remover, or hair spray in place of rubbing alcohol or vinegar. No matter what you use, the steps are the same: pour, wait, blot, and repeat until the stain is gone.


Chocolate is another sad mess to make, as it means you dropped your delicious treat. How you clean up the resulting mess depends on whether the chocolate is solid. 

For solid chocolate, remove it either by picking it up or scraping it off with a dull butter knife or something similar. If the chocolate has melted, place a bag of ice on top of it until it hardens, then scrape. Vacuum up any remaining crumbs or flakes. If there is still a stain, mix some dishwashing soap with warm water and either spray it on or apply it to a cloth and gently work it in, starting with the edges and heading toward the center. 

Let this sit for a few minutes, then blot it up. If everything has gone well, your carpet should now be clean.

Tips to Consider

There are a few extra tips to consider when implementing these methods. First, use white cloths where possible. Colored towels have dye that could seep into the carpet and cause a new, more difficult-to-clean stain. Second, never rub or press too hard on colored stains. 

If you spill water, pressure is the key to drying the spot, but doing so on a colored stain will push it deeper and make it harder to clean. Rubbing could cause this as well and will also spread the stain, creating a much bigger mess. Finally, the most important tip is to remain calm and act quickly. 

If you act fast enough, the stain may not be able to set into the carpet, meaning you can wick it up into a towel without any further steps needed. Even if this isn’t the case, by acting quickly, you can prevent the stain from setting in and make cleaning it a much simpler and faster process.

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