How to Remove Pumpkin Stains from Carpets and Rugs


Alan asked: How do I remove pumpkin stains from the rug?

Whether it’s a jack-o-lantern accident or a pie spill at a holiday dinner, pumpkin can make a reminder that doesn’t leave. With some persistent cleaning these memories can become a thing of the past. Here is how to tackle these beastly stains.

You Will Need:

  • Carpet stain remover (ex: Resolve)
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar
  • Spoon
  • Soft cloths or towels
  • Paper towels
  • Heavy object

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Begin by using the spoon to scrape away as much of the pumpkin as possible.
  2. Next, apply a carpet stain remover to the stain and allow it to set for several minutes.
  3. If no stain remover is available, mix a small amount of dishwashing liquid with water in a small dish and blot it onto the stain using a soft cloth.
  4. Agitate the carpet slightly or blot it to work the cleaner into the stain.
  5. Continue blotting and reapplying the solution as necessary. It may be necessary to repeat the application process several times. As long as the stain is transferring to the cloth, it’s working!
  6. Change to a clean section of the cloth or switch to a new cloth periodically to avoid reapplying the stain to the area.
  7. Rinse by blotting with a clean cloth moistened with plain, warm water. It’s important to ensure that all of the cleaning products are removed.
  8. Moisten a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot it over the remaining stain (if any).
  9. Rinse again by blotting with a clean cloth and clean water.
  10. Apply white vinegar using the same blotting method.
  11. Rinse again with warm water.
  12. When the stain is removed and all of the cleaning products have been completely rinsed away, make a stack of paper towels and lay it over the wet area.
  13. Set a heavy object on top of the paper towels. The weight will help to press the water out of the carpet and into the paper towels. Allow it stay on the area for an hour or two.
  14. Remove the heavy object and paper towels and allow the area to air dry completely.
  15. When dry, vacuum the area to restore the original texture of the carpet.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • If the stain remains, try applying a grease/oil stain remover to the area.
  • Residue from cleaning products causes the area to become soiled again much more quickly. Ensure that all products are thoroughly rinsed out to avoid having an obvious “dirty” spot on the carpet.
  • If the rug is small enough, it may be easiest to treat the stain and toss it in the washing machine.


  1. Peter says:

    Would this work on the following situation? Our pumpkins were carved three weeks ago, left in the stairwell outside our apartment, and began to decay to the point where the hair growing off the inside walls ate a good portion of the pumpkins from the inside out. When management asked us to remove said pumpkins (at the threat of a fee), the pumpkins basically dissolved at our touch and we noticed that the mold on the bottom had formed circular markings on the carpet. Do you think your process could sufficiently clean the carpet so said mold pattern will go away?

  2. David says:

    How do we get pumpkin stains off of a hardwood floor?

    Look! We’ve answered your question! Yay!

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