Common Rug Stains and How to Handle Them

 In Carpet Cleaning, Cleaning Hacks, DIY Projects, How-To's, Upholstery Cleaning

Many people use decorative rugs to bring in color and texture into an otherwise sterile room. Rugs can be an expensive investment and if they are not cared for and treated properly, tier fibers will begin to fray leaving them vulnerable to everyday stains and spills. It is important to know how to efficiently remove stains without damaging your rug and avoid costly repairs or replacements.

The first step in knowing how to properly remove a stain on your rug is to understand what category of substance the stain falls into. There are three main categories that we will discuss below and they are, water soluble, special water soluble, and fats/oils/wax. Once you know the category of the spill you are dealing with, you can then know the most effective way to treat it.  

As a general rule of thumb, never scrub a stain on your carpet or rug. Oftentimes, scrubbing will lead to damaged fibers which will absorb future stains easier and make the current stain harder to remove. It is also good to keep in mind that most carpet cleaning solutions are harsh and will have adverse effects on your rug in the long term. When trying to remove a stain, try using these tips before bringing in the harsh solutions:


  1. Take a dry rag and begin to apply pressure and blot the compromised area starting from the outside in.
  2. Pour clean water over the area and repeat the blotting process with a clean rag.
  3. If the stain is stubborn, follow our stain specific instructions below for advanced cleaning solution options.


Water Soluble Stains

Water soluble stains are easy to treat. Simply follow steps 1 and 2 that are listed above and then continue on to step 3 by mixing ¼ teaspoon of non-bleach laundry detergent in approximately 32 oz of clean water.  You may also substitute white vinegar for detergent and this will help to eliminate lingering smells.

Here are a list of substances that fall under this category:

  • Hard alcohol and beer
  • Urine or feces
  • Common food dyes
  • Ice Cream
  • Jelly
  • Milk
  • Dirt or mud
  • Most inks


Hard to Treat Water Soluble Stains

These substances can be extra stubborn and leave you feeling frustrated when trying to remove them delicately with the blotting process. To add extra power to your DIY carpet solution, you can add 1 tablespoon of ammonia per cup of water. Ammonia can be very harsh so it is a good idea to use gloves and check to make sure your rug can withstand this chemical. As a special note, ammonia can never be used on wool or mixed wool rugs.

Substances that will need extra treatment include:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee/tea
  • Vomit
  • Blood
  • Wine


Fats/ Oils/ Wax

Although these stains may seem intimidating, they can actually be the easiest to clean. Place 3 paper towels over the stain and heat your clothing iron on its warm setting. Iron over the paper towels on the affected area and the stain should lift or transfer onto the paper towels.


Steam Carpet Cleaning

Having your carpets and rugs steam cleaned regularly is just as important as routine maintenance that you perform on your car or appliances. It will keep your rugs looking like new and will reach deep down into the fibers to pull out residual dirt and leftover stains. For all of your carpet cleaning needs, please call Steam Pro today. We have a professional team who are experienced and will be sure they leave your carpets and rugs looking beautiful.

Recent Posts

COVID-19 - Steam Pro's Safety Precautions

1. Our technicians wear N-95 masks, gloves, and boaties. 2. Our equipment is fog sanitized between EVERY JOB! 3. We exercise social distancing as recommended by CDC and best practices.

Green Carpet Cleaning Products to UseLiving with Pets - Tips to Reduce Pet Odors