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How to remove tough carpet stains: from rust to red wine

Do you want to get rid of those tough carpet stains like red wine, ink, and rust? Here we provide some useful solutions for the toughest stains!


person spray carpet cleaner on a carpet

Carpet stains can give even a tidy home the appearance of being disorderly and messy. Many homeowners, therefore, find themselves asking how to get stains out of carpets so that rooms can look clean and fresh. But tackling carpet stains can be a difficult task, as certain types of spills stain carpet fibers more severely than others. Always be sure to follow your carpet’s care instructions to prevent any damage.

Removing rust stains from carpets

Rust stains can be particularly difficult to remove from carpets because of their unique chemical composition. Rust is made up of iron oxide, and certain store-bought chemical stain removers can actually set, rather than lift rust stains. Be sure to apply a carpet stain remover made specifically for rust stains to prevent them from getting worse. Rust stain removal gets the best results when you mix carpet stain remover with all natural ingredients to help break down the rust:

  1. First apply the rust carpet stain remover liberally over the stain with a sponge.
  2. Let it settle for about five minutes, then, rub with a sponge soaked in warm water. You should see immediate results.
  3. Next squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over the stain and pour salt granules on top. Let the mixture sit for about 24 hours.
  4. The next day, rinse the area by blotting with a wet towel and repeat if necessary.

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Removing shoe polish from carpets

Shoe polish stains can leave a thick, sticky and unsightly residue on your carpet if you do not act quickly. To eliminate shoe polish stains, follow these steps:

  1. Remove all loose shoe polish by scraping the stained area first. Remember not to rub the stain, but use a firm scraping motion to lift the top layers of shoe polish off the carpet.
  2. Sponge the area with water and carpet stain remover.
  3. Rinse the sponge in a bucket of warm water whenever you see that it begins to pick up the shoe polish.
  4. Continue until the stain has faded.


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Removing oil stains from carpets

Oil stains are quickly removed from carpets in this easy process:

  1. Place a paper towel on the stained area and blot continuously. Keep blotting until the paper towel is no longer picking up any oil.
  2. Pour rubbing alcohol onto the stain and blot with a clean white cloth.
  3. If this does not fully remove the stain, mix a small amount of dishwashing liquid with water and sponge directly on the stain.
  4. Rinse.

Removing ink stains from carpets

To remove black ink from your carpet:

  1. Dab the spot with a dry cloth to remove any obvious ink. Apply alcohol to a clean rag and continue to blot the spot. The alcohol should combine with the ink to loosen the stain.
  2. Or try the salt method. Cover the stain with a layer of salt, and allow it to sit for about 8 hours or overnight. Fully vacuum the area the next day, and the salt should lift much of the ink with it.

For a more in depth guide to removing ink stains from carpets, read here.

Removing red wine stains from carpets

Red wine carpet stains should be tackled as soon as possible to prevent a permanent stain.

  1. Use a clean cloth immediately to blot the stain. 
  2. Once you have done this, apply a commercial stain remover to your carpet, allow it to settle, and sponge out with warm water.
  3. For light carpets, try applying a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to the stain. 
  4. Allow the mixture to settle for about five minutes and then rinse with water.
  5. Vinegar can also be used on red wine stains. Simply pour some on the stain and add laundry detergent on top. 
  6. Let the stain soak and then gently sponge the mixture away with water.

Originally published