Carpet stain removal guide

How to remove carpet stains depends on whether your carpet is made of wool or synthetic materials

But before you get started with your carpet stain removal, please be aware that some spills will contain chemicals that can discolour or damage the fibre or dyes in your carpet.

If you’re not sure what caused a stain in your carpet, and how best to remove it, please contact a professional carpet cleaning company for help.

This carpet stain removal advice is offered in good faith, but no responsibility is accepted for any loss or damage arising from these suggested treatments.

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Quick carpet stain removal tips

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Deal with any spills and stains immediately! And scoop up any solids right away, using a spoon or a knife – taking care not to push the substance any further into the carpet.

Here’s your handy carpet stain removal guide from Bill Hayward Flooring+Plus, the Auckland carpet experts.

Blot any liquid spills right away with paper towels. But never rub wool carpet when it’s wet, as rubbing it will damage the pile of the carpet and also deepen the stain.

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For all carpet types: never apply excess water or other liquid to soak it.

Use any stain removal liquids sparingly and blot up the liquid as you go.

Wool carpet stain removal guide

Different stains need different cleaning solutions. Below you’ll find a list of cleaning solutions for wool carpets that cross reference against the stain. Most stains need a number of different treatments for best results. Please note that these treatments are only for wool carpets – different guidelines apply for synthetic carpets (scroll down to see these).

Stain treatment guide for wool carpet

StainStep 1Step 2Step 3
Alcohol: beer and spirits12
Bleach114
Blood12
Butter, cooking oil, oil and grease42
Candle wax104
Chewing gum54
Chocolate42
Coffee or tea126
Egg214
Faeces2314
Floor wax and furniture polish42
Grass and mud11
Gravy and sauces72
Ink – ballpoint92
Ink – felt tip42
Lipstick42
Milk or cream24
Mustard2
Nail polish84
Paint – acrylic/water based12
Paint – oil based4
Rust614
Salad dressing24
Shoe polish42
Soft drinks, including cola & fruit juice12
Soot114
Tar124
Tea126
Tomato sauce12
Urine – fresh11314
Urine – old stain1314
Vomit236
Wine – white12
Wine – red126

Cleaning solutions for wool carpet

These cleaning solutions cross-reference with the numbers against each stain.

  1. Lukewarm water – but be sure to blot up as much excess moisture as possible using paper towels. (Paper towels absorb much more liquid than a cloth or towel.) Then gently squeeze the lukewarm water onto the stain, and blot it up again with a paper towel.
  2. Wool detergent (1 teaspoon) with white vinegar (1 teaspoon) in 1 litre warm water.
  3. Clear household disinfectant.
  4. Dry stain remover product.
  5. Chill with ice cubes in a plastic bag; scrape or pick off the solids.
  6. White vinegar (1/3 cup) mixed with water (2/3 cup).
  7. Warm water.
  8. Nail polish remover – must be lanolin-free.
  9. Surgical alcohol.
  10. Place paper towel (or other absorbent paper) over the wax and apply a hot iron to the paper. This will melt the wax – and the paper towel will absorb it.
  11. Vacuum clean.
  12. Mineral turpentine.
  13. Specialised urine removal product.
  14. You will need a professional carpet cleaning service to assist.

Synthetic carpet stain removal guide

Stains in synthetic carpets are treated differently to those in wool carpets. Below you’ll find a list of cleaning solutions for synthetic carpets that cross reference against the stain. For the best result, you will need to do all of the treatments listed, and in the order that they are specified.

Stain treatment guide for synthetic carpet

StainMethod
Acne medication1, 3, 6, 5, 4, 8
Alcoholic beverages3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8
Bleach3, 4, 8
Blood6, 3, 4 (cold), 7, 8
Candle wax2, 1, 8
Charcoal9, 3, 7, 8
Chewing gumFreeze with ice, then chip away. Then: 1, 8
Chocolate3, 5, 4, 7, 8
Coffee/tea with milk/sugar3, 5, 4, 7, 8
Cosmetics, including lipstick2, 1, 3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8
Crayon1, 3, 8
Food3, 6, 4, 8
Fruit juice and other soft drinks3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8
Furniture polish – water based3, 4, 1, 6, 7, 8
Furniture polish – solvent based2, 1, 3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8
Grass2, 1, 3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8
Grease1, 3, 4, 8
Ink2, 1, 3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8
Milk1, 3, 6, 5, 4, 8
Mud3, 4, 8
Mustard3, 5, 4, 7, 8
Nail polish2
Oil1, 3, 7, 8
Paint3, 6, 4, 7, 8
Plant food3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8
Rust5, 3, 4, 7, 8
Shoe polish2, 1, 3, 6, 4, 7, 8
Tar1, 7, 8
Tomato sauce3
Toothpaste3, 5, 6, 4, 8
Urine – dry3, 4, 5, 6, 8
Urine – wet3, 6, 5, 4, 8
Vomit3, 6, 5, 7, 8
Wine4, 3, 5, 7

Cleaning solutions for synthetic carpet

These cleaning solutions cross-reference with the numbers against each stain.

  1. Dry cleaning fluid – available from the chemist. It’s called carbon tetrachloride.
  2. Nail polish remover.
  3. Mild detergent liquid (2 teaspoons) mixed with water (2 cups).
  4. Lukewarm tap water.
  5. White vinegar (1 cup) with water (2 cups).
  6. Household ammonia (2 tablespoons) with water (1 cup).
  7. Dry stain remover.
  8. Professional cleaning is advised.

Do you need more help with carpet stain removal?