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How to Remove Stains from a Rug

by Staff Writer

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Area rug

Things You Need:

  • Plastic container
  • White vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Cleaning products
  • Water
  • Old cloth
  • Sponge

When you have a stain on your area rug or carpet, you want to remove it as soon as possible so the stain doesn't become a permanent part of your home decor. This article explains how to remove stains from a rug with common household products. With this guide, you'll learn how to remove stains from nearly any contemporary rug, oriental rug or carpet

Removing Stains from Rugs:

  1. Basic method of removing stains from a rug: To take care of a stain, you simply have to blot the spot and dry. Gently blot the stain using an old cloth as soon as possible after the stain occurs. After removing the excess residue from the rug, you need to rinse the area with cold water and blot the area again, working from the outside in. Be very careful not to scrub, rub or wipe at the stain because these actions can damage the rug fibers or cause the stain to spread and become even more difficult to remove. Avoid using hot water on the rug as it may set the stain. After the stain is gone, use a dry cloth or paper towel to cover the area until it is dry. Finally, vacuum the area as you normally would.


    Remember, the stain removal process may need to be repeated more than once on particularly tough stains. Also, rugs and carpets are made of many layers, and the stain will sometimes rise to the top layer over time and need to be removed again. If a stain simply cannot be removed after repeated tries, contact a professional carpet cleaner. In many cases, these companies charge only a service call fee for removing a stain and are adept at removing hard-to-treat stains.

  2. Wax and gum: Use ice to freeze the wax or gum; then shatter it with a spoon. After shattering the wax or gum, vacuum before the pieces become soft. Blot the rug with a towel.

  3. Glue: Get a soft cloth or cotton ball, moisten it with rubbing alcohol and press it to the affected section. Once glue is moistened, wipe it gently and repeat process until the rug is clean.

  4. Urine: Try to absorb as much as you can with towels, and then blot with a cool, damp cloth. Spray or blot with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water. Apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of non-bleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, rinse, then blot dry.

  5. Ink: Use white vinegar for removal. In a plastic container, mix four parts vinegar to one part water. Dip a sponge in the mixture and then gently blot the stain. Alternately use the vinegar-soaked sponge and a dry cloth..

  6. Grease: Mix two parts dish detergent to two parts water. Dip the sponge in the mixture and blot the stain. Alternately blot with the sponge and a dry cloth.

  7. Wine and red or purple juice: Use laundry detergent to remove wine or juice from an area rug. In a plastic container, mix two parts laundry detergent with two parts water. Dip the sponge in the mixture and blot the stain. Alternately blot with the sponge and a dry cloth.

  8. Milk, colas, jelly, ice cream, mud, excrement and latex paint: Use a cleaning solution consisting of 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar (or non-bleach detergent) mixed with 32 ounces of water. Follow the basic method for removing the stain.

  9. Coffee, tea, chocolate, blood and vomit: You might want to try 1 tablespoon of ammonia mixed in with a cup of water. A solution of one part chlorine bleach to five parts water may also work but only on solution-dyed carpets and rugs.

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