How to Clean Carpet Spots

´╗┐General wear and tear along with spills and drips can all lead to carpet spots and stains. Cleaning these small areas is simple to do with a few easy steps. To keep the spot from looking worn or damaged, follow these guidelines when cleaning carpet spots and stains.

You Will Need:

  • Water
  • Bucket or spray bottle (depending on the size of the stain)
  • Soft cloths or paper towels
  • Vacuum
  • Cleaning product appropriate for the stain type

Steps to Clean the Spots:

  1. Begin by removing any solids or excess spill from the surface of the carpet.
  2. Moisten the area with a small amount of water. Unless you are sure it will not affect the stain, use cool water rather than hot. If the area is large, fill a bucket with water and dab it on with a wet cloth. If the area is small, a spray bottle works well.
  3. Apply the appropriate cleaning/stain removal product to the spot.
  4. Use a clean, soft cloth or paper towel to blot the area by pressing gently on the stained area. As you do so, you will see the stain transfer onto the cloth.
  5. Turn the cloth frequently to keep so you are always working with a clean section of the cloth.
  6. Reapply the stain remover and water as needed. Continue to blot them away until the stain is removed.
  7. Once the stain is gone, rinse the area by spraying it with clean water and blotting it away.
  8. Press clean, dry cloths over the area to dry. Apply consistent pressure until move of the moisture is absorbed from the carpet fibers.
  9. Allow the area to air dry completely.
  10. If the texture of the cleaned area appears different after cleaning, vacuum it to restore the original look.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • When selecting stain removers, take into consideration the type of carpeting and the carpet color.
  • Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the carpet while cleaning. This can push the stain further into the carpet fibers. The scrubbing motion can also damage the fibers which will make the area stand out even after the stain is removed.


  1. Spray Barbasol shaving cream on the spot and let it stand for a minute or two. Wipe with a damp sponge.

  2. The absolutely best product for cleaning rug spots is a two part system by Capture. You lightly spray it with a dirt-dissolving cleaner and then rub it in with a brush a semi-moist powder that sticks to the dirt. After a few minutes you vacuum it all up and the stain is usually gone, definitely lighter. Repeat if necessary. You can buy Capture at hardware stores in the carpet cleaning machine section.

  3. Spray the area generously with Windex window cleaner, scrub with a small brush like a toothbrush to loosen the food particles and use more Windex as needed to keep area wet. Blot with paper towels to remove all the cake and Windex.

  4. For tough stains on clothes and especially set in carpet stains, the product Kids-n-Pets stain remover works miracles. For carpet stains, apply the liquid to a dry white cloth and rub it into the spot. Pat dry as you see the stain removing with the clean side of the cloth. If the stain is really tough, pour the product directly onto the carpet and brush in a circular motion, later using a clean cloth to pat dry.

  5. Cat Richards says:

    Spray with enough hairspray to saturate the spot and let sit for a minute. Blot firmly with a folded up white paper towel or rag. If the stain still shows, spray it again and scrub lightly in a circular motion and blot. This removed a stubborn grease stain left by a construction worker’s boot; it also removed a chocolate stain from my light gray carpet.

  6. This worked to restore the cleanliness and original color to my yellow synthetic carpets that were deeply traffic stained. Use ordinary rubbing alcohol. Apply it liberally with a sponge to a area no bigger than your hand and use a light colored terry washcloth or paper towels to dab it up. Use a fresh portion of the towel as soon as you see the dirt appearing on it. You may need a light brushing with a toothbrush if stain is stubborn. Repeat as necessary. You may want to try this first in a area that is not critical to see how it works. Also useful to remove odors.

    If the stain is really tough, repeat and think of the rubbing up process as a free cardio workout.

  7. I love Simple Solution for almost any carpet stain. It can be found in any pet store, and not only does it clean up pet stains wonderfully, I have found that it is excellent in removing other stains from your carpet as well.

  8. What is rubbing alcohol exactly?
    Where in NSW Australia can I buy “rubbing alcohol”? Have asked around the shops and haven’t been able to find it.

  9. Thank you so much for this advice! I tried the Barbasol on my apartment’s carpet. There were these nasty, nasty food stains (down side of having carpet in the dining room – who’s idea was that anyway?). It worked WAAAAAAAY better than the Spot Shot, without all the nasty fumes! Thank you!

  10. I had a couple grease spots from wheels on my guitar amp that messed up my new carpet. I tried Resolve, vinegar, WD-40 and those three only slightly worked. I used the Barbasol and BOOM! Stains gone. I sprayed it on, worked it in with a brush, let it sit for about 3-5 minutes then wiped with a warm damp cloth.

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