Top Tips on How to Get Old Stains Out of Carpet

How to Successfully Complete DIY Pet Stain Removal from Carpet and Upholstery photo credit - katja-rooke

Unsightly carpet stains can be a real nuisance! They’re tough to get rid of. Especially those old, dried-up blots that have been lingering forever. For starters, it’s tough to tell what caused a stain when it’s so old.

But hey, I’ve got great news! There are tried-and-true methods that will make your carpet blot-free again. The answer isn’t rocket science. Tossing out your beloved carpet and grabbing a new one? No need!

Gather these before we begin:

  • White vinegar
  • Clean white cloths
  • Cool water
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dish soap
  • A spray bottle

Identify the Stain

What type of blot are you battling? That’s often the tricky part. You might guess from its color or texture, but it can be dicey. Luckily, most common household stains dissolve in water.

Water-soluble splatter includes berries, sodas, food coloring, ice cream smears, jelly drips, mud tracks, washable ink spills, milk accidents and even some paints mishaps! Water doesn’t work for all though.

Certain stains are unique and require a different approach – like blood spots, chocolate traces, coffee splotches, mustard marks, wine dribbles and vomit residues… I know – yuck! These special cases need specific cleanup products. You might need to call professional instead.


​Fill up your spray bottle with cool tap water and lightly mist over the stale stain. Be careful not to drench your carpet; just enough moisture to wake up the stain will do. Too much water could lead to mold and mildew problems later on by seeping under the carpet onto the padding and floor beneath. After spritzing it with water leave it alone for 30 minutes.


For regular run-of-the-mill water-soluble stains combine equal parts white vinegar, dish soap and water to create a cleaning solution. The tough dirt might need an extra kick from hydrogen peroxide though. Pour a little of your chosen solution onto the stain without soaking it completely and gently scrub into the fibers with a clean cloth.

Didn’t work first time around? No worries! Simply rehydrate and repeat until you see results.


Finally remember to dry out any remaining dampness using either another clean dry cloth or if handy use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.

See? Housekeeping doesn’t have to feel like climbing Mount Everest! With these tips under your belt even an ancient spill doesn’t stand a chance against you. Chances are you’ve got all these tools at home already which means less trouble for you. So next time someone accidentally drops their breakfast cereal or popsicle on your perfect carpet, don’t sweat it – we’ve got this covered!