How to get red stain out of carpet

Domestic dirt

We’ve all been there. A splash of red wine, a drop of spaghetti sauce, or perhaps a mishap with a red crayon, and suddenly your beautiful carpet has a glaring red stain. Panic sets in as you wonder how to salvage the situation. Fear not, for I’m here to share with you two proven methods to get that pesky red stain out of your carpet. One might surprise you, and the other employs the versatile cleaning power of vinegar.

What You’ll Need:

  1. Clean white cloths or paper towels
  2. Cold water
  3. Dish soap
  4. A bowl or small bucket
  5. White vinegar
  6. A spray bottle (optional)
  7. An old toothbrush or soft brush
  8. Commercial carpet cleaner (for those who prefer this option)

Method 1: The Dish Soap Technique

  1. Blot, Don’t Rub: Using a clean white cloth or paper towel, gently blot as much of the stain as possible. Remember, rubbing will only spread the stain, so blot gently.
  2. Prepare the Solution: In a bowl, mix cold water and a few drops of dish soap. Stir until it becomes sudsy.
  3. Apply the Solution: Dampen another clean cloth with the soapy water and gently dab it onto the stain. Work your way from the outside of the stain towards the center.
  4. Blot Again: Once you’ve treated the entire stain, use a fresh cloth or paper towel to blot up any excess moisture.
  5. Rinse and Dry: Dampen a fresh cloth with cold water and blot the area to remove any soap residue. Then, using a dry cloth, blot up any remaining moisture and let the area air dry.

Method 2: The Vinegar Solution

  1. Blot First: As with the first method, start by blotting the stain with a clean white cloth or paper towel.
  2. Vinegar Mix: Mix equal parts of cold water and white vinegar in a bowl or spray bottle.
  3. Apply Vinegar Solution: Either spray the solution directly onto the stain or dampen a cloth with the mixture and dab onto the stain. If the stain is stubborn, use an old toothbrush or soft brush to gently scrub the area.
  4. Rinse and Dry: Once the stain is gone, rinse the area with cold water using a clean cloth. Blot dry and let the carpet air dry.
  1. Bissell Professional Power Shot Oxy Carpet Spot
  2. Resolve Carpet Spot & Stain Remover
  3. Woolite Carpet & Upholstery Foam Cleaner


Both methods are tried and true, but always do a spot test on an inconspicuous part of your carpet first to ensure no discoloration occurs. If you’re looking for a quick solution without the DIY aspect, commercial carpet cleaners are also effective.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to use vinegar on all types of carpets?
Generally, yes. However, it's always best to test a small area first to ensure no discoloration or damage occurs.
Can I mix dish soap and vinegar together?
While both are effective, it's best to use them separately to ensure maximum stain removal.
How long should I let the vinegar solution sit on the stain?
Usually, a few minutes are enough, but for tougher stains, you can let it sit for up to 10 minutes.
What if the stain doesn't come out after the first attempt?
You can repeat the process, or consider seeking professional cleaning assistance.
Can I use red wine vinegar instead of white vinegar?
Stick to white vinegar. Red wine vinegar could cause further staining.
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