Whether it’s your furry best friend running inside with muddy paws or a mishandled wine glass, everyone can agree that unsightly stains make you want to pull your hair in frustration—especially when they end up on your newly bought rug or runner.
Before you disrupt your monthly budget and shop for a replacement, consider these tips and tricks to remove the most common stains on your rugs.
Basic Stain Removal Tips
When it comes to stains, your response time can spell the difference between restoring your rug to its spotless glory or rolling it up, never to be seen again. The sooner you act, the easier it is to remove stains and lessen the odor that comes with it.
Most stains—from milk, beverages, or washable markers—can be easily handled with a quick rinse and a wipe with a damp towel. Here are some basic tips when cleaning up these stains on your rug:
Remove any physical debris before proceeding with the cleaning process, taking care not to use too much pressure.
Blot the area with paper towels or a color-safe cloth. Try not to scrub or rub to prevent spreading the stain and ruining rug fibers.
When using store-bought cleaning products, always perform a patch test first.
Always rinse the area with cool water.
For more tips on how to handle specific stains, continue reading below.
Wine Stains Pet Accidents
Coffee or Tea Stains Ink Stains
Oil or Fat-Based Stains Bloodstains
How to Remove Wine Stains
Crying over spilled milk may be a no-no but spilled wine is a different story. So how do you deal with this infamous stain?
“Salt. Just good old-fashioned salt,” says Kelsey Chesterfield of Gold Medal Wine Club. “As soon as the wine has left its mark on your favorite rug, shirt, or couch, make sure to immediately pour a good amount of table salt over the potential stain.”
Here’s how to remove wine stains with salt:
Start by pouring the salt on top of the stain. How much salt? “If you can still see red, you need more salt,” says Kelsey.
Once you have the salt down, let it sit for at least a few hours or overnight, if possible. This gives the salt enough time to soak up the stain.
Once it’s dry, use a vacuum to suck up the salt.
How to Remove Stains From Pet Accidents
No matter how cute and lovable your cats, dogs, and other furry buddies are, it won’t be enough to ignore the headache (and the stench) that their little accidents (whether that’s pet urine, poop, or vomit) cause. If you don’t have a washable, pet-friendly rug, here is the best way to deal with the stain and stench your pet leaves on your rug, according to Sadie Cornelius of CanineJournal.Com:
Blot the area with clean paper towels and apply pressure to allow them to absorb as much wetness as possible.
Use a pet stain remover or a DIY mixture of green dish detergent and water and spray onto the wet spot.
Rinse with cold water and blot once again until dry.
REMEMBER: Avoid using a steam cleaner for pet accident stains as the high heat will only cause the stain and odor to seep into your rug or carpet.
How to Remove Coffee or Tea Stains
Coffee stains on your rug can be particularly embarrassing as it can look as if your pet made a mess you weren’t able to clean thoroughly. To remove these unsightly coffee stains, give these steps a try:
Blot the stained area with paper towels or color-safe cloths.
Then, spray the area with a mixture of vinegar, water, and a non-bleach detergent.
Rinse with water.
Repeat the last two steps as many times as necessary.
If you’re using a store-bought stain remover, make sure to perform a patch test and follow the instructions to avoid damaging your rugs.
TIP: Another way to get rid of coffee stains? Beer, says Bryan Stoddard of Homewares Insider. “Gently apply the beer into the stain and after a while, the stain should disappear. If this doesn’t happen on the first try, repeat the process,” he suggests.
How to Remove Ink Stains
Ink or grease stains may seem like the end of the road for your rug, but there may be an easy DIY trick to help you get rid of the unappealing mark.
One way to do it is with isopropyl alcohol, nail polish remover, or anything with high alcohol content—including white wine and vinegar. Here is how:
With your cleaning agent of choice, dampen a clean white cloth.
Dab on the stained area carefully. Try not to scrub or rub as this will cause the stain to spread further.
Let it sit for a few minutes.
Rinse with water, then blot or vacuum the excess moisture.
To avoid damaging your rug or carpet more, make sure to perform a patch test before using any of the mentioned cleaning solutions.
TIP: Don’t have any alcohol-based mixture on hand? Mix milk and cornstarch instead. Apply the paste onto the stain and leave this for a few hours. Once dry, vacuum the residue.
How to Remove Bloodstains
Papercut. Your kid is scraping his knee or elbows. Kitchen knife mishaps. These accidents sometimes happen, leaving battle scars on your skin and blood stains on your rug. While bloodstains are known for being notoriously difficult to remove, if you act quickly, you may be able to salvage your rug. Here are some tips on how to deal with it:
Prepare a mixture of dish detergent and water in a spritz bottle and apply it onto the stain until completely soaked. Remember to use cold water instead of warm water to clean blood stains to prevent it from seeping into the carpet fibers.
With a paper towel, blot the wet spot until clean.
Rinse with cold water and repeat as many times as necessary.
How to Remove Oil or Fat-Based Stains
Though less visible to the naked eye, oil or fat-based stains can be just as challenging to remove. The trick? “Use shaving cream to remove oily stains,” suggests Bryan. Here’s how to do it right:
Apply a small amount of water to the stain with a sponge.
Then, apply the shaving cream down into the stain.
Clean the shaving cream with a clean damp cloth.
If All Else Fails, Try a Washable Rug
While these tips work 90% of the time, there’s always that possibility that you may have to call it quits with your stained rug. If that’s the case, it’s good to know that you can always opt for a rug that can hold exceptionally well to stains. Ruggable rugs are machine washable, stain, and water-resistant, so you’ll always have fresh, clean rugs all the time!