How to get tough stains out of carpet

Domestic dirt

We’ve all been there. That dreaded moment when a splash of red wine, a drop of coffee, or an artistic toddler’s masterpiece threatens the pristine condition of our beloved carpets. But fear not! In today’s guide, I’ll be sharing with you two foolproof ways to tackle those tough carpet stains. And the best part? One of the methods utilizes the power of citric acid – a natural stain remover that you might already have at home. Let’s dive in!

What You’ll Need:

  1. Clean white cloth or paper towels
  2. Warm water
  3. Mild dishwashing soap
  4. Citric acid (available in powder form or you can use lemon juice)
  5. Soft bristle brush
  6. Vacuum cleaner

Method 1: Good Ol’ Soap and Water

  1. Blot, Don’t Rub: Begin by blotting the stain with a clean white cloth or paper towel. It’s crucial to blot and not rub, as rubbing can push the stain further into the carpet fibers.
  2. Prepare the Solution: Mix a few drops of mild dishwashing soap with warm water.
  3. Apply Gently: Dampen a clean cloth in the solution and gently dab onto the stain. Work from the outside of the stain towards the center.
  4. Rinse: After treating the stain, blot with a new cloth dampened with plain water to rinse out the soap solution.
  5. Dry: Pat dry with a fresh cloth or paper towel. Once fully dry, vacuum the area to restore the carpet’s texture.

Method 2: The Citric Acid Power

  1. Prepare the Solution: Dissolve a teaspoon of citric acid powder in a cup of warm water. Alternatively, use undiluted lemon juice.
  2. Test: Before applying, test a small hidden section of your carpet to ensure no discoloration occurs.
  3. Apply: Dampen a clean cloth with the citric acid solution and gently press onto the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Blot: Use a fresh cloth or paper towel to blot away the solution and the stain.
  5. Rinse and Dry: Rinse with plain water and pat dry. Vacuum as needed.

Commercially Suitable Cleaning Products:

  1. BISSELL Professional Spot and Stain: Designed for portability and effective spot cleaning.
  2. Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover: A non-toxic option for tough stain removal.
  3. OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner: Uses the power of oxygen to tackle even the most stubborn stains.


Getting rid of tough stains doesn’t mean you need to resort to harsh chemicals or professional services immediately. With simple household items and a touch of patience, your carpet can look as good as new!

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use any soap for Method 1?
It's best to use mild dishwashing soap to prevent any damage or discoloration to your carpet.
Is citric acid safe for all carpet types?
While citric acid is generally safe, always do a patch test on a hidden section of your carpet first.
How long should I let the citric acid solution sit on the stain?
Around 5-10 minutes should suffice, but ensure you don’t let it dry on the carpet.
Can I mix citric acid with other cleaning agents?
Stick to the method described to avoid any unwanted chemical reactions or further staining.
Why is blotting preferred over rubbing?
Rubbing can spread the stain and push it deeper into the carpet fibers, making it harder to remove.
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