How to clean a badly stained carpet

Updated April 17, 2017

Stains in carpets are rarely removed by professional carpet cleaners. Even though the carpet is cleaned overall by the professionals, stains are typically still there when they leave. The best way to get rid of stains is to spot-clean the stains first, then bring in the professionals to do an overall cleaning once the stains are removed. Or after the stains are removed, you can forget about the pros and do the overall cleaning yourself to save even more money.

Determine what fabric your carpeting is made of, and before you start any cleaning procedures, do a test on an out-of-the-way spot that won't show.

Mix together hot water and the washing powder. Mix until there are lots of suds. Add more powder if necessary to make suds.

Take the suds, not the water, and rub them into the stains with a piece of old towel or old carpet. Scrub in a circular motion. Repeat if necessary.

Blot up the excess moisture from the carpet by placing an old towel on the spot, then weighing it down with a few old phone books on top of the towel.

Rub a wet edge of a bar of naptha soap directly on the stain if the washing powder suds did not remove all the stain. Scrub the soap into the stain with a dampened cloth and let set for a few minutes. Scrub on the suds again, and blot up the excess moisture.

Clean the overall carpeting with the suds mixture once the stains are all removed. Vacuum with a clean wet vac when done, or wait until the carpeting has thoroughly dried, then vacuum with your regular cleaner.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing powder
  • Naptha soap
  • Water
  • Old towels
  • Piece of old clean carpet
  • Old phone books
  • Wet vac or vacuum cleaner
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About the Author

Susan Miller has been a professional journalist since 1990. She edited two weeklies for a chain of suburban newspapers and has written for the "Indianapolis Star," the "Indianapolis Business Journal" and several magazines, among other publications and websites. Miller studied design, photography and technology at Purdue University and Central Piedmont Community College.