How to Remove Red Dirt Stains from Carpet

Sandra asked: How do I remove Oklahoma red dirt stains from white carpet? I have 15-year-old, off white carpet in my house. The red dirt has stained the carpet, and it always looks dirty. I vacuum regularly. I tried most of the cleaning products from the grocery store including straight OxiClean and water. I have a Bissel steam cleaning machine. I cannot afford to replace the carpet. Thank you.

Red dirt stains can be a real nuisance to maintain. If you live in the southern states where this dirt is most prominent, you’re either in a constant battle with the dirt or have learned to live with the new colorings of socks and flooring. No need to allow your favorite surfaces to be damaged by this pigment-filled soil, use this method to remove the stains and restore your carpet to its former glory.

You Will Need:

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Old toothbrush


Steps to Remove the Stains:

  1. Start by vacuuming the floor completely to remove any loose dirt and soil.
  2. Spread a layer of Murphy’s Oil Soap over the stained area.
  3. If you are cleaning an entire carpet, rather than spot cleaning, work in small sections.
  4. Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to gently work the soap into the carpet fibers.
  5. Allow it to set on the stains for 15-20 minutes. Do not allow it to dry on the carpet.
  6. Rinse completely with clean, cold water. The Bissell steam cleaner will come in extremely handy for this. Simply spray water over the area and vacuum it away. If you are spot cleaning a stain, you can also blot the area with a clean cloth after moistening it with water to rinse.
  7. If the stains persist, combine one cup ammonia with one bucket of water.
  8. Pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle.
  9. Spray the surface of the carpet and scrub gently with a soft cloth. This mixture can also be poured into the steam cleaner and applied/removed that way.
  10. Once the carpet is completely rinsed, allow it to air dry completely.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If Murphy’s Oil Soap is not available, mix one tablespoon borax with one cup of water.
  • OxiClean and Lestoil are two other products that have proven helpful in removing red dirt stains.


Leave a Comment