Most Common Carpet Stains and How to Remove Them

There are many different types of stains that can occur on your carpet. From red wine to pet urine, there is no shortage of things that can cause stains on your carpet. 

The good news is that most stains can be removed with a little bit of effort and the right products.

Here are the most common stains that occur on your carpet and how to remove them:

Most Common Types of Stains on Clothes and How to Remove Them

Coffee and Tea Stains

These two beverages are probably the most common drinks consumed by adults. They also happen to be some of the hardest stains to clean up. These stains are caused by tannins in tea and coffee grounds. 

Tannins are found in most plants, but they’re particularly high in tea leaves and coffee beans. This makes them difficult to remove because they stain very easily, even before you drink them.

Pet Stains

Dogs and cats can get into all kinds of trouble when you’re not looking, leaving behind stains on your carpet that can be difficult to get out. If you notice that someone has an accident in your home, immediately clean it up as best as possible with a pet-friendly cleaner like Spot Shot or Resolve Pet Stain Carpet Cleaner. 

On top of this, remember to always keep an eye on where your pets are relieving themselves so that it doesn’t happen again.

Red Wine Stains

Red wine is a common stain on carpets and is one of the most difficult stains to remove. Red wine is usually caused by staining from both the juice and tannins in the wine. Tannin is a chemical that gives red wine its astringent taste, and can also stain carpets. 

Red wine can be removed with an enzyme-based cleaner or even club soda if it’s still wet. If it has dried, use a spot remover or carpet shampooer to clean the area thoroughly before cleaning with a carpet cleaner or steam cleaning machine.

Urine Stains

Urine is another common carpet stain, though it’s not as difficult to remove as red wine. Urine stains are often caused by pets who don’t like going outside, so you’ll want to check for your pet’s accidents immediately after they happen so you can clean them right away with an enzyme-based cleaner or a spot remover. 

If you don’t catch it right away and the urine dries on your carpet, it will be much harder to get out of your carpet because urine contains ammonia which makes it more difficult for cleaners to penetrate into the fibers of your carpeting.

Mold Stains

Mold is typically caused by water damage or flooding in your home, but can also develop from excessive moisture trapped inside your carpeting due to poor ventilation in your home’s air conditioning system. 

Mold grows best in dark places like basements and crawls spaces so be sure that you keep these areas well-ventilated at all times during the summer months so that excess moisture cannot build up inside them.

Blood Stains

One of the most common carpet stains is blood. Blood is a protein stain that can be hard to remove from the carpet because it contains iron oxide.

This means that blood does not wash out of your carpet with water alone, it must be treated with a special enzyme cleaner for best results.

Food Stains

Food spills are common household accidents that leave behind stains that are hard to remove from carpets. Food stains can be caused by grease, ketchup, milk, and other drinks that contain fats and oils. 

These stains usually occur when children spill their food on the carpet during mealtime or when adults eat fast food while watching television in the living room. 

Food spills should be cleaned up immediately because they can cause permanent staining if they’re left sitting on your carpet for too long.

Fruit Stains

Fruit juices can easily stain your carpet if you don’t clean them up right away after they’ve been spilled on your flooring material.

Fruit juice stains are typically caused by juice falling out of an open container or being knocked over by a child who wasn’t paying attention while walking through your home with an open drink in their hands.

Smoke Stains

A smoke stain is caused by cigarette butts or cigar wrappers burning on a carpet. The smoke leaves behind a dark brown or black mark that is hard to remove without professional help. 

The best way to eliminate these marks is to treat them immediately after they occur. If you wait too long, the damage will be more extensive and harder to get rid of.

Ink Stains

Ink stains are common on carpets because many people use pens and pencils while sitting on their couches or chairs. 

Kool-Aid Stains

Kool-Aid stains are a big problem for the carpet. The red dye in the Kool-Aid can be extremely difficult to remove, and the stain may not come out even after repeated attempts. If you have a Kool-Aid stain and want to remove it, try using hydrogen peroxide to blot up as much of the liquid as possible.

Then pour some detergent over the area and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before blotting it with a clean cloth.


Curry is one of those foods that stand out on your carpet. It’s usually red, yellow, or brown in color, so there’s no mistaking what caused it.

Curry stains can be tough to remove because they often contain turmeric which is an orange colorant that often stains permanently when applied to carpets or clothing. 

To remove curry stains from your carpet, first, try blotting up as much liquid as possible with paper towels or rags. Then mix one part vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle and apply it directly onto the stain until it disappears completely (you may have to do this several times).


Wax is one of the most common carpet stains. It can be caused by candle drippings, melting candles, or even a knocked-over candle.

It’s important to act quickly once you see wax on your carpet because it can take days or weeks for the stain to come out if left alone.

To remove wax from your carpet, start by wetting the area with warm water and blotting it with a towel. Then use dish soap and a soft scrub brush to gently scrub away any remaining wax residue from the carpet fibers.

Repeat this process until all of the wax has been removed from your carpet fibers. Finally, rinse with clean water and blot dry with a towel.

Ink Stains

Ink stains can be caused by pens, markers, and printers. The best way to remove ink is with an ammonia-based cleaner like Simple Green and a water mixture applied with a sponge or rag.

After letting it soak for 15 minutes blot up excess moisture with paper towels and allow it to dry before vacuuming up the remaining ink particles. 

Allow the area to dry completely before putting any pressure on it so that it doesn’t smear any remaining ink particles across your carpeting while drying.


It’s a fact of life that kids are messy. They get paint on their hands, clothes, and even on the floor.

To remove paint from your carpet, you will need a small container of mineral spirits and a few paper towels. Pour mineral spirits onto the paper towel and gently rub over the paint stain until it is gone.

Chewing gum

Remove chewing gum by using an ice cube or ice pick to pick up as much of it as possible. Then use a commercially available stain remover such as Goo Gone or WD-40 on the remaining residue with a soft cloth before rinsing with warm water.

Grease or oil stains

If you have grease stains on your carpet, apply baby powder liberally to absorb as much of the liquid as possible before cleaning with mild detergent and warm water.

For stubborn grease stains such as motor oil, you may need to use a solvent-based cleaner such as Carbona Stain Devils or Shout.

Related: Most Common Types of Stains on Clothes and How to Remove Them

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