How to remove curry stains from carpet

Updated February 21, 2017

Often containing a mix of red pepper, coriander and cumin, among a large variety of other spices, curry can be used as a gravy or sauce or as a side dish served with rice or bread. It is most often associated with Asian and Indian cuisines, but is served around the world. Most people will find colourful curry stains nearly impossible to remove from carpeting. Knowing the tricks to removing curry stains from your carpet can prevent permanent damage.

Mix 2 c. warm water, 1 Tbsp dish detergent and 1 Tbsp white vinegar in a bowl.

Soak part of a clean white rag or towel in the water-detergent-vinegar solution. Dab onto the stain, then blot with a clean, dry part of the rag or towel to soak up the liquid and stain. Allow to dry completely before applying any other cleaning solution.

Apply rubbing alcohol in the same way as the vinegar mixture. Blot, then soak up the alcohol and stain. Allow to dry completely before applying any other cleaning solution.

Mix ¼ c. ammonia with 1 c. warm water and apply to the stain. You can also mix in ¼ c. dish detergent for stronger cleaning power, if needed. Dab ammonia mixture onto the stain; add more ammonia mixture every 5 minutes. Continue for 30 minutes.

Dab cold water onto the stain, then soak up the water and ammonia mixture. Repeat if necessary to remove the stain.


Do not rub or scrub the carpet, as this can affect the "lie" of the carpet fibres. Use a blotting motion only. Spot test cleaning solution on a hidden part of carpet first to ensure there is no discolouration or damage to the carpet.


Only use ammonia on light-coloured carpet, as ammonia can have a bleaching effect.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Dish detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Clean white rag or towel
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Ammonia
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About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.