9 Common Items to Remove Carpet and Rug Stains

1. Ammonia Lift out stains from carpeting and upholstery by sponging them with 1 cup clear ammonia in 1/2 gallon

1. Ammonia

Lift out stains from carpeting and upholstery by sponging them with 1 cup clear ammonia in 1/2 gallon (2 liters) warm water. Let dry thoroughly, and repeat if needed.

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2. Baby Wipes

Use a baby wipe to blot up coffee spills from your rug or carpet; it absorbs both the liquid and the stain. Wipes can also be effectively deployed when attacking various spills and drips on your clothing and upholstered furniture.

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3. Beer

Getting that coffee or tea stain out your rug may seem impossible, but you can literally lift it out by pouring a bit of beer right on top. Rub the beer lightly into the material, and the stain should disappear. You may have to repeat the process a couple of times to remove all traces of the stain.

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4. Borax

Remove stubborn stains from rugs and carpets. Thoroughly dampen the area, then rub in some borax. Let the area dry, then vacuum or blot it with a solution of equal parts vinegar and soapy water and let dry. Repeat if necessary. Don’t forget to first test the procedure on an inconspicuous corner of the rug or on a carpet scrap before applying it to the stain.

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5. Cornstarch

Oh no, ink on the carpet! In this case a little spilt milk might save you from crying. Mix the milk with cornstarch to make a paste. Apply the paste to the ink stain. Allow the concoction to dry on the carpet for a few hours, then brush off the dried residue and vacuum it up.

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6. Salt

  • Argggh! Red wine spilled on a white carpet is the worst. But there’s hope. First, while the red wine is still wet, pour some white wine on it to dilute the color. Then clean the spot with a sponge and cold water. Sprinkle the area with salt and wait about 10 minutes. Now vacuum up the whole mess.
  • Did that football-watching couch potato knock his greasy nachos onto your nice white carpet? Before you kill him, mix up 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol and rub it hard on the grease stain, being careful to rub in the direction of the rug’s natural nap. Or better yet, have him do it.See more uses for Salt.

7. Shaving Cream

Your little one is very sorry for spilling a little juice on the carpet, so make it “all better” with some shaving cream on the spot. Blot the stain, pat it with a wet sponge, squirt some shaving cream on it, and then wipe clean with a damp sponge. Use the same technique on your clothes for small stains; shaving cream can remove that spot of breakfast you discovered you’re wearing during your once-over in the bathroom.

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8. Vinegar

    You can lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar:
  • Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
  • For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
  • For tough, ground-in dirt and other stains, make a paste of 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.
  • To make spray-on spot and stain remover, fill a spray bottle with 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Fill a second spray bottle with 1 part nonsudsy ammonia and 5 parts water. Saturate a stain with the vinegar solution. Let it settle for a few minutes, then blot thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Then spray and blot using the ammonia solution. Repeat until the stain is gone.See more uses for Vinegar.
  • 9. WD-40

    Don’t let ink or other stains ruin your fine carpet. Spray the stain with WD-40, wait a minute or two, and then use your regular carpet cleaner or gently cleanse with a sponge and warm, soapy water. Continue until the stain is completely gone.

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    Originally Published in Reader's Digest