Spilled liquids, stubborn grease and old spots on carpeting make any room look nasty. To get rid of these blots, it is necessary to apply handmade recipes (like baking soda + laundry detergent) or just let the professional carpet stain removers do their job nice and neat.
Pros of using professional carpet-cleaning products:
- Work really fast, especially with fresh spots;
- The indoor look is getting better;
- The rug’s life can be prolonged;
- A healthier environment – there are “green” products capable of eliminating blots;
- Complete erasure of tough/old spots;
- The quick killing of all bacteria which come with a mess on a rug.
The most common types of carpet stain cleaning products:
The majority of special cleansers fall under one of 3 common categories:
- Oxidized and surfactant solutions with bleach – they will mostly cope with food leftovers and water-based blots. They can be also useful for oil-based spots and fatty spots;
- Enzyme-based products – can be “green” or made of chemicals (amylase, pectinase, protease, etc.). They are capable of breaking down certain tough spots into smaller molecules;
- Powder-based cleansers – this type is not very common. They may be effective for removing fresh and stubborn blots out of any rugs. Coming in powdery granules, these products may eliminate a mess along with unpleasant odors.
What liquids and materials leave the worst stains on any carpet?
Most carpet stain-removing solutions were designed to cope with tough blots. Remember – scrubbing can make a rug damaged. Also, it is strongly not recommended to apply any heat – such an approach will make blots setting.
Many users are wondering if these products are necessary since baking soda can eliminate most spots out of any floor surface. Yes, professional cleaners may not be necessary to cope with organic stains. However, some substances tend to leave blots that are more stubborn than the others:
- Blood – splashes of human or animal blood can be removed with cold water or 3% hydrogen peroxide;
- Paint – dabs of wet latex paint can be removed only with a special spot cleaner or detergent solution (preferably with ammonia);
- Pet urine – another job for ammonia cleaners and laundry detergents;
- Oil-based spots – use water-soluble products to cope with the most difficult cases.
The following review of 10 market’s best carpet stain removers will help to make the right choice for elimination of spots, blots, and dabs out of rugs, upholstery, and textiles.
Folex Carpet Spot Remover (32 oz) – The instant stain-cleansing product!
This universal remover will eliminate every kind of stain – from tea to blood, from old rust to stubborn grease and all types of soil.
- If to compare with other solutions, this Folex product will do for cleansing any colorfast rug (good for moistening with water);
- Great for eliminating tough spots from upholstery, rugs or clothes;
- Won’t cause any sticky leftovers after applying;
- Doesn’t require using a vacuum cleaner or rinsing;
- Completely non-toxic;
- Won’t induce allergy;
- Unnecessary to dilute;
- A convenient bottle;
- Not pricey.
- Not organic – so better wear rubber gloves;
- Won’t work with big oil/grease spots – they will probably return;
- Won’t remove chemical spots;
- Coffee stain or red wine may stick if not removed at once;
- Won’t recommend for use on natural materials.
This multi-purpose water-based solution is at the market almost 20 years in a row. It is a really popular product that is capable of removing any type of spot on your carpeting, upholstery or car mats.
Folexport FSR128 Folex Gallon Spot Remover – A whole gallon of the instant multi-purpose spot eliminator!
Most experts recommend using this particular product for eliminating stubborn dirt, old grease, dabs, blood splashes, cosmetics spots, food leftovers, ink, and red wine stain. It is called a multi-purpose solution for a reason.
- Includes exceptional components;
- An instant removal of a mess;
- A good volume;
- Free from toxins, bleach, petroleum, CFC, solvents;
- Completely safe any colorfast surfaces and deep pile;
- Safe from fire hazard;
- Doesn’t require diluting in water;
- Suitable for cleaning machines.
- Won’t hide any bad odors;
- Chemicals may cause mild skin irritation – better work in rubber gloves;
- A sticky bottle (not very good quality of plastic);
- May not work with urine leftovers.
This excellent solution will do the cleaning magic on fabrics, car rugs, upholstery, wall surfaces, and woodwork.
Biokleen Bac-Out Stain + Odor Remover – An ultimate destroyer of rug’s stains and odors!
A good, if not the only, “green” remover of the worst spots on any rug or upholstery.
- A powerful “green” formula that can cope with most old spots and nasty odors;
- No diluting is necessary before applying;
- Safe for an environment and pets – exceptionally well for cleaning rugs in children’s rooms;
- May cope with the spots left by pets, red wine, laundry, diapers, etc.;
- Safe for chemical-sensitive people who have severe skin allergies;
- Doesn’t contain any ammonia or chlorine, SLS or DEA;
- Doesn’t have any artificial odors;
- No damaging effect on rugs;
- Compatible with a steam cleaner.
- Doesn’t have a trigger sprayer;
- Many users didn’t like the product’s aroma;
- Sometimes it can worsen the odor of a certain mess – like dog’s urine;
- Leaks in a bottle are possible.
The only really effective “green” solution made on a synergistic blend of enzyme-producing plants and citrus extracts is exceptionally great when it comes to erasing of very stubborn spots and smells. Bac-Out can become a nice and affordable solution for any house with kids and pets.
Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost (32 oz) – The most effective treatment for stubborn spots and odors!
The special bio-enzymatic formula can eliminate tough spots and save any environment from smells. Called Laundry Boost for reason, this solution will serve as a perfect additive to any detergent while brightening and whitening the dirty clothes.
- Good for washing dirty laundry in washing machines – does magic with underarm spots;
- Compatible with most laundry detergents;
- The chemical formula will work in cold and hot temperatures.
- It can’t be used in bedrooms and pet living areas;
- This product won’t be very effective as a single remedy;
- Have to stick to the instructions to make it work.
Nature’s Miracle line of products is aimed at delivering improved chemical formulas for removing pet spots on clothes, rugs, and upholstery. This product is specifically efficient when it comes to erasing vomit, urine, coffee, wine and blood splashes along with unpleasant smells. Beware – many fakes do not have a great formula of this particular additive.
Clorox Urine Remover Trigger Spray (32 oz) – A specific remedy for eliminating urine smells and stains on rugs!
Manufacturers thought of every detail that is why the solution is offered in a handy bottle with a trigger sprayer.
- Easier dispensing;
- The special liquid formula combines the power of hydrogen peroxide, stain-removing surfactants, and oxidizing elements;
- Can work with the toughest surfaces and deep pile rugs;
- Makes sure the urine spots don’t come back.
- Very powerful chemical formula – better work with gloves;
- The bottle can leak;
- Fakes are quite common;
- The product’s odor is “too perfume-ey”, according to some users.
Clorox Urine Remover is good for cleaning up any surfaces with the traces of pet mess and bad smells. Despite the chemical formula, it is safe for the indoor environment. Persistent spots will disappear after a gentle brush and a 15-minute sit of this cost-effective product!
Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator (64 oz) – A smart specific formula for erasing bio-based accidents!
Child’s urine, dog’s or cat’s mess, vomit, blood, diarrhea – all these biomaterials can leave nasty spots on rugs.
- Can deal with severe pet’s and dog’s incidents;
- Completely removes the toughest old spots and smells;
- Has a nice fresh scent;
- Effective enzymatic formula;
- Completely safe for home and pets;
- Don’t need to dilute with water;
- A good price/quality ratio.
- Won’t leave any nice fragrance after the use;
- When it comes to laundry – it is good only for pre-treatment;
- Not compatible with a steam cleaner.
The trusted brand for over 30 years presented the advanced dual-action formula for making any rug spotless. Any biological liquids will disappear from tile, rugs, linoleum, hardwood after a gentle brush with this solution.
Zero Odor Multi-Purpose Household Odor Eliminator – A 16-ounce destroyer of spots and bad odors!
When there is an emergency in a kitchen with a mess and smells, Zero Odor Multi-Purpose Eliminator can become handy.
- It may remove even embedded smells in rugs and upholstery, car and kitchen;
- Leaves a fresh scent with a slight “trace”;
- It can even cope with smelly shoes and car pee;
- Has a special spray nozzle;
- Exceptionally good for erasing airborne odors.
- It contains bleach so can’t be recommended for any natural materials;
- Works well only with fabrics, may fail the elimination of spots on hardwood;
- May not work for the smell of rotten eggs;
- May diffuse with cat pee’s odor and deliver a horrible smell;
- A bit pricey.
The U.S. original product by Zero Odor won’t cause any allergy to pets or human inhabitants in a house. It is a fully biodegradable product capable of penetrating deep into fabrics. Irreplaceable for households and public facilities.
Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Remover (gallon) – The cost-effective cleanser with a powerful pet-odor-blocking system!
In many ways, the dual-action Pet-Block formula can cease the re-appearance of nasty spots and smells. A must-have product for big households, veterinary clinics, and animal shelters.
- A deep cleanse for removal of all mess traces left by pets;
- Powerful Pet-Block system that is safe for the environment and animals;
- It can dry fast to avoid any trace scent;
- Good for use on carpeting, upholstery, clothes, and floors;
- Can deal with deep-set blots.
- It is not compatible with most carpet machines or power washers;
- Won’t deal with spots on hardwood floors or leather furniture;
- May bleach a rug made of natural materials, so test before applying.
The whole gallon of Advanced Stain and Odor cleaner by Nature’s Miracle will be budget-friendly and efficient for any household or pet facility. Designed especially for cat’s and dog’s pee elimination, the solution is one of the best spot and odor destroyers.
Nature’s Miracle 3-in-1 Odor Destroyer & Eliminator (24 oz) – Delivers fresh linen and spotless carpeting!
Meet the triple advanced formula manufactured specifically for the toughest spots on fabrics and hard surfaces. The manufacturer claims that this household remedy can instantly eliminate airborne smells.
- Advanced bio-enzymatic components for eliminating the pet’s mess;
- Easy cleanup;
- Can cope with food spills and smells;
- Comes with natural scents or unscented formulas – to avoid any allergic incidents;
- Can be added to laundry detergent for washing dirty clothes.
- Can cope only with organic odors;
- Some users say it won’t deal with incense smells;
- Unsafe to use on wooden floors, cloth furniture, and leather;
- The unscented formula has a slightly floral scent.
Nature’s Miracle solutions are created with pet’s safety on the manufacturer’s mind. The quick and safe 3-in-1 formula may help remove practically any blot from carpeting or floors. It is a must-buy solution for rugs, tiles, kennels and hard surfaces that need to be erased from pet’s urine.
Bubba’s Rowdy Friends Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner – A special shampoo for erasing stains by hand and in cleaning machines!
This affordable cleanser is simple to apply, with a strong mint fragrance. Receive a professional level of carpet cleaning right at home. Clearly, an efficient product that may save any household from blots and unacceptable smells.
- Commercial level of cleansing for the price of a home product;
- Made for use in special carpet cleaning machines;
- Capable of revitalizing rug’s fibers;
- Good for removing all pet’s smells and blots;
- Very economical use – only 1 drop per 1 gallon of water;
- Can erase the heavy traffic zones;
- No pet allergies;
- Safe for kids and pets.
- Doesn’t create a lot of foam;
- Not suitable for steam mops;
- Won’t help with large area rugs;
- Not very good at masking strong smells.
Suitable for diluting in water and for the use in special cleaning machines, this Bubba’s product solves almost any issues with spots on any bathmat, rug, upholstery, carpeting, and even clothes.
Frequently asked questions about carpet stain removers
How to use carpet stain remover?
Most stain-cleansing products will help to remove the spots from rugs, mats and upholstered furniture.
Before applying any product, it is necessary:
- Vacuum or use a wet brush for cleansing the major dirt, hair, and dust. The pre-cleaning must end with a complete dry;
- Before applying, a cleaning solution must be diluted in very hot water (40oC), usually in the proportion 1 to 9 (check the label). A too concentrated solution won’t work;
- The solution must be whipped to have a lot of foam (until there is no water at the bottom). Foam provides a cleansing effect, not the solution;
- With a sponge, apply foam to the mess evenly. Avoid rubbing and leave foam until it is fully dry;
- Vacuum the rug once again;
- To get rid of any chemical leftovers, a wet brush can help;
- And, at last, the rug must be dried completely (up to 3 hours). For quicker evaporation, open the windows or use a hairdryer.
Bear in mind that most products that were reviewed above are also good for car covers, upholstery and textile doormats.
How do you get heavy traffic stains out of carpet?
No matter where your rug lies in a room, there are the so-called “heavy traffic” zones that people choose for walking paths. That is why these areas are usually much worn out and stained, especially if it is a doormat. Experts recommend cleansing such areas with the spot removing products that are good for dry cleaning, preferably not only based on water. Foamy removers are quite efficient as well.
In a case, there is no any special product in a house; it is possible to remove the traffic blots with a DYI shampoo made of a laundry detergent dissolved in water. Use a spray bottle with this “shampoo” and gently cover traffic areas on the carpeting, then scrub thoroughly with a new nailbrush and after the heavy work make the zone dry with paper towels.
How do you get dried coffee stains out of carpet?
Removing old coffee stains out of a rug is practically the same as cleansing the fresh blots. When applying a product or DYI remedy, it is more efficient to go from the spot’s edge to the center.
Keep in mind that such spots are easy to blur so scraping won’t work. Before cleansing, think over moistening the spot for a quicker result. After applying water, take a product (preferably with ammonia, unless the rug is made of natural wool). Use a moistened rag to bolt dry and moisten again with fresh water after cleansing. Repeat a few times, if required. The longer the pile, the harder it is to get rid of carpet’s spots left due coffee accidents.
Video Tutorial: How To Remove Carpet Stains
How do you get old stains out of carpet?
In this scenario, it is more cost-effective and less time-consuming to use simple solvents with hydrogen peroxide. Such products may cost less than $10 per bottle that they will do the job fine.
It is recommended to spray the removing solution on the old stand. In such way, the blot’s particles will be saturated quickly. After spraying, let the solution sit for 10 minutes and then brush the spot. To remove the leftovers of a peroxide mixture, apply a steam vacuum cleaner. Rinsing the rag well and letting it dry fully will also help.
What gets tea stains out of carpets?
If your tea ended up on a rug, then it is advised to remove a spot rapidly because most tea blends contain tannins. These tannins may leave nasty blots on upholstery and most fabrics. Such spots can be erased with a powerful detergent or acidic solution. Use white vinegar because it may work as a backup plan. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to remove tea out of a rug:
- Use a white rag to bolt the stain dry. It is worthless to rub the mess, press down and soak the excessive tea leftovers;
- Then pour a bit of water onto the tea spot, then blot up the liquid. Soak up with a washed rag;
- After a few tries, apply a remover according to the instructions. Test on a hidden area. Stain removers mustn’t be very strong or it will strip the rug’s color.
Can you use carpet stain remover on clothes?
Yes, some carpet stain removers will do a nice job for clothes as well. Bloodstains or red wine spots can be easily cleansed off favorite T-shirts with a soft brush and a gentle scrub including a solvent. Then rinsing with slightly warm water is required. Re-wash in soapy water again. However, most stain-cleansing products won’t help with colorfast colors or old rust residue on the clothes.
Tips on selecting and using carpet stain removers
- Make sure the chosen product is good for the carpet’s material. There are universal spot removers that will cope with any stains on wooly, nylon or olefin-based rugs. But there are some products capable of working only with certain materials. Carefully read the label to avoid damaging the fibers;
- Another reason to check the product’s label is the instructions for use. The products based on water, foam and dry cleaning chemicals react in various ways and must be used differently. It won’t be unnecessary to read the instructions or tips online;
- No matter what product is chosen, it is better to work quickly and efficiently. Especially, when it comes to old and dried blots. Fresh blots are simpler to remove but if there is no access to a vacuum cleaner, it is better to apply absorbent towels. Never rub the marks;
- Rugs made of thick yarn are harder to cleanse. So it is preferable to use more active and harsh removers for removing the blots from these rugs;
- Some mats with deep pile only can be cleansed with a combo of spot removers and steam cleaner;
- The contents of a chosen carpet stain remover do matter. Hydrogen peroxide may discolor fabrics. Ammonia is a better choice but it has a distinctive odor that may stick for hours. Opt for high-quality products with non-toxic materials that are odorless and gentle;
- Experts from the CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute) recommend different cleansing methods for various types of blots. There are remedies only for pet’s mess or tough spots or old blots, etc.;
- Use a new remover with caution. Testing a small, not very visible area with a new cleaning product will bring more use than harm.
What is a good carpet stain remover?
There are a few different carpet stain removers out there, and depending on the type of stain, some work better than others. To know if a carpet stain remover has what it takes, you’ll need to check its formula and read reviews to know for sure.
The characteristics of a high-quality carpet stain remover include:
- Hydrogen peroxide (3% or less)
- Enzyme-based formula for long-term stain removal
- Odor neutralization (for pet stains especially)
- Surfactants for quick lifting power
- Pleasant odor
- Oxidized cleaner
The type of stain and carpet also may affect the carpet stain remover that works best for you. There are a few carpet cleaners that we can recommend based on their formula, lifting power, and customer satisfaction.
Vanish Carpet Cleaner and Upholstery powder is an all-in-one fast surfactant cleaner that works on the majority of stains in your home.
Resolve Pet Carpet Cleaner Powder is the top choice for those who have tough pet stains such as urine. As an enzymatic powder, this formula dries up the stain and soaks up the urine so that it neutralizes the odor and anything left behind that would make your pet return to the spot.
Carbona Oxy-Powered 2-in-1 cleaner is a quick stain remover that comes with a brush. It works on all dirt, wine, food, and other drink stains quickly. You’ll see the stain lift right out of your carpet.
For those special cases, you might want to also try ChemDry Grease & Oil Carpet Stain Extinguisher or Mister Max Anti-Icky-Poo Odor & Stain Remover Combo.
Is Vanish good for cleaning carpets?
Vanish is a fast-acting shampoo product that works on most carpet types. It uses active oxygen and works on large areas of carpet that you might be cleaning by hand. However, the company sells both liquid and powder carpet cleaners. With the powder version, you can clean your carpets by spreading the powder over your carpets and vacuuming up the particles after some time.
In terms of stain removal, Vanish works for dirt and light stains, but it doesn’t have a good track record of removing more difficult wine stains. It could also be difficult to use these products to remove urine stains since it doesn’t use enzymes.
What is the best method to clean carpets?
There a few different techniques that home cleaners swear by when cleaning carpets. In some cases, it depends on the types of carpets. For example, some cleaners work best with “ColorSafe” carpets while other methods use a few different cleaners to ensure that the stain has been completely removed.
Here are a few methods to choose from:
This is the top method for cleaning carpets at home and commercially. Most carpet shampoos are foaming cleansers that attract dirt and eat through it. The foam dries on the carpet and starts separating the dirt and stain particles from the fibers. You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the cleaner and dirt. It’s important to pick the right shampoo for your carpet. If you have color carpets that react to hydrogen peroxide, then you’ll need to check the formula so that you don’t hurt your carpet.
Deep Pet Stains (Urine)
Before the area dries, you’ll need to soak up the stain with a clean towel, soaking up all the urine until it’s nearly dry. You can use a shop-vac to extract even more urine from the counter if handy. With this method, you’ll use an oxidizing cleaner or enzyme-rich cleaner mixed with one cup of warm water. You don’t want to use any cleaners with bleach, high amounts of ammonia or peroxide, or lanolin. These will stain your carpets. You’ll spray the stain with the solution and then wait, using a cloth or paper towel to soak up the cleaner.
As a final step for long-term clean and stain removal, you’ll need to use a powder such as baking soda or the Resolve Pet Cleaner powder to pull out the stain even further.
Steam cleaning is a good way to remove dirt and freshen up your carpet. However, it may not always work to get out tough stains. With this method, you’ll need a specialized steam cleaner that can use hot water of 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This hot water is sprayed on the carpet at a high pressure, allowing dirt particles to lift up as the carpet loosens. The cleaner sucks up the loosened dirt into a tank.
The water is typically mixed with a carpet cleaner especially made for steam cleaners or even for a particular stain, such as a pet stain odor remover.
Can you use vinegar to clean carpet?
Plain white vinegar is useful to have at home, especially for cleaning. Since it’s very acidic, vinegar has a high antimicrobial content that will loosen dirt and cleanse the fabric. You should use a small amount of vinegar on an inconspicuous part of carpet before moving forward. White vinegar is able to get out most fresh stains, particular dirt and food spills.
Is steam cleaning bad for carpets?
Steam cleaners provide a deep cleaning of carpets. It’s the only method that is able to clean the majority of stains and problems from carpets using high pressure and hot water. However, it can strain carpet if it’s done too often on a weak blend. While there are some rumors that it causes mold, this generally doesn’t happen as long as the machine works correctly and the carpet isn’t soaked through to the foundation or carpet subfloor.
How can I clean my carpet without a carpet cleaner?
There is a way to clean carpets manually using baking soda or dish soap. You’ll also want to have a toothbrush, bristled brush, towel, and a bucket.
You’ll need to fill the bucket with warm water and keep your bristled brush cleaner ready. If it’s a wet stain, you should blot the area to soak up the moisture, then vacuum the entire area to get rid of any other dust and dirt particles. You’ll need to use the baking soda next, sprinkling it over the stain until it’s completely covered. If you only have dish soap, then use one tablespoon for every 6 to 8 inches of stains.
Using the bucket, fill it with warm water. You’ll use the brush to scrub the stain with the warm water. However, you should make sure that it doesn’t soak through to the subfloor. It should just be wet enough to scrub away the stain. Once the area dries, you can vacuum again to suck up the dirt and cleaner particles.
Does carpet steam cleaning remove stains?
This varies depending on the strength of the steam cleaner, what cleaner agent is used, and what type of stain it is. There are some stains like wine and blood that take a lot more scrubbing and time to get out than your typical food or dirty carpet problem.
Steam cleaning does a great job of providing an overall clean, and it can lift up certain stains after multiple passes. There are some enzymes that can be applied to your carpet before steam cleaning to make it more effective as well.
Does baking soda get stains out of carpet?
Baking soda works as a deodorizer, and it’s typically used to soak up urine stains from pets. It can freshen up your carpet’s fabrics while also getting rid of stains and odors in most cases. You’ll only need to sprinkle it over the stain and then wait 15 minutes before vacuuming.
Most stains require that after covering with baking soda, you add a spray of hot water on the area, then wait for it to soak in before you vacuum. However, for stains that are grease-related, you’ll want to blot up the grease with a towel first, then you can sprinkle baking soda over the stain and leave overnight to break up the grease. You may need to do this a few times before it fully cleans the stain.
Why do my carpet stains come back?
Most stains that come back are a result of wicking, which happens below the surface of carpet fibers. This means that the stain has penetrated beneath the carpet fabric, and it’s soaked into the pad. If you excessively rinse a stain, for example, it can actually soak into the pad and make it worse. You can use a shop-vac or a steam cleaner to try and reduce these issues.
Why does my carpet smell worse after cleaning?
If you have cleaned your carpets again and again but still notice a smell, it’s likely that the carpet pad has been stained beneath and is soaked with urine or whatever the offensive smell may be. To avoid this, it’s best to dry up any stains first and avoid using a ton of water to rinse the carpet afterwards. It could also mean that there is a leak that is constantly wetting the area and bringing the old stains back up to the surface.
Despite the commercial promises on a label, there is no universal carpet-cleaning solution. Some products are better than the others, and that is why they were gathered in this review. However, before applying any cleanser for a rug or upholstery, it is better to check how the chosen product can eliminate certain types of blots or dabs.