The top 3 carpet stains and how to get rid of them with household products

Carpet stains can be a real pain. Whether it’s a spilled drink or a discreet (and possibly smelly) wet patch lurking in a dark corner, it can be a frustrating and back-breaking find, leaving you on your hands and knees scrubbing desperately for a couple of hours.

But did you know scrubbing is actually the worst thing you can do, and that different stains require slightly different methods of removal?  Here’s your handy home guide to the top 3 stains and how best to get them out without wrecking your carpet.

The general rule

Scrubbing the carpet is a big NO-NO, because you can either ruin the carpet fibres or let the spill saturate the carpet pad underneath (which makes it almost impossible to get out fully). Instead, you need to repeat this mantra: blot the spot!

The one constant with any stain is to first blot (or dab) as much of it out as possible. This means using a towel, kitchen roll, or whatever material you have handy to soak up the stain, working from the outside to the centre. Once done, dilute the stain gently with cold water and blot again. Then you’re ready for the next stage.

Drinks (fruit juice, tea, coffee and wine)

All these drinks have the potential to create some of the worst stains possible, no matter what colour the carpet. Thankfully, they can all be treated in more or less the same way.

After your initial blotting, create a magic ‘spritz mix’ of white vinegar, washing up liquid, and water:

  • Use 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid.
  • Fill the rest with water.


Then give the bottle a shake and spray the stain thoroughly, before leaving it to soak for about ten minutes. After which, blot it dry—then rinse with water and repeat if needed—until the stain disappears.

For wine there is an alternative process if you don’t have vinegar, but do have some baking soda. This involves making a paste with 3 parts water, 1 part baking soda, then applying it to the stain, leaving it to dry, and then vacuuming it up afterwards.


Bloodstains are often thought of as the worst stains, but thankfully they’re not as bad as you’d think—especially if you know how to deal with them.

Speed of treating the stain is essential to removing as much of the stain as possible, but following these steps (and repeating as much as needed) should enable the removal of even those old stubborn stains:

  • Undertake the blotting process, making sure to use cold water NOT warm or hot. Blood coagulates the warmer it is, so cold water is essential to being able to soak up as much blood as possible.
  • Get that handy spray bottle and add 2 teaspoons of washing up liquid, before topping up with cold water. 
  • Spray liberally on the blood stain, soaking it and the carpet immediately around it.
  • Using a dry cloth or paper towel, blot the stain to try and transfer as much of the blood as possible from the carpet.
  • Pour on some more cold water and repeat where necessary, until the stain is gone.


Dog urine

This is one for all those dog lovers out there. Just like us, you love having them around—curling up to us on the couch, sleeping on our feet in bed, or just milling around looking cute.

But until they’re fully housetrained, chances are this will be the stain you have to deal with the most. So here’s how to remove any sign of those little accidents, take care of that smell, and most importantly help prevent your dog returning to the spot to try again.

  • As quickly as you can, soak and blot the urine stain with paper towels or a disposable cloth. You’ll need to press as hard as you can to soak up as much of the urine as possible, so consider using an old shoe to really tread it in.
  • Create a spritz mix, but this time using equal parts white vinegar and water to fill the entirety of a spray bottle (you’ll need quite a bit).
  • Spray the stain liberally, the blot as firmly as you can (the vinegar will help cancel out the ammonia in the urine, which should prevent the dog being able to find the smell again).
  • Repeat until any sign of the stain or smell has gone, and the patch of carpet is dry again.


Got some tough, old stains you need professional help with? Or want a pet-friendly cleaner who’ll be able to keep your house tidy, as well as let the dog out to go to the toilet while you’re at work?


Maria Millgate