how to remove carpet stains

In my almost 40 years I’ve had a LOT of jobs. Like way more than I should have. But, all of those jobs have taught me different things that I seem to catalog in the back of my mind and pull them out when needed. Like how to remove carpet stains. Nearly 20 years ago I was a vacuum sales girl, one that sold the kind you had to take out a second mortgage to buy. During training I learned a the one thing from that job that stuck with me. All of those sales peeps pull out a bottle of “magic” solution to clean the spots off your carpet and show you just how great their product is. Funny thing is, it’s not their product that worked as well as the “magic solution.” I was shocked to find out that solution was plain, basic Windex.
how to remove carpet stains

I’ve been using this trick for nearly two decades, and I’ve tested it on everything from a freshly spilled quart of black paint (oh, yes, I did!) to mustard, wine, chocolate milk and so much other junk that I couldn’t list it all. I’ve also used it on hidden stains that were left to sit before I stumbled upon them (like the one in these photos.) It works on nearly everything. It won’t work on gum or tar, or gunky junk – but it will work on liquid stains quite well.

remove carpet stains

It’s hard to see that stain – but you can see it’s there. Yuck.

remove carpet stains

First I spray the area down really well until it’s throughly wet, but not saturated. {If you have white carpet, please test an area first. I’ve used it on white rugs and never had a problem, but just use common sense and try a small spot before putting blue stuff on your white carpet, m’kay?}


Next, with an old (preferably bath) towel, rub the area really hard to help soak up the stuff. I rub the towel rigorously over the area for a few minutes, to get up the stain plus the wetness of the Windex.

remove carpet stains

See, yuck. It all comes up pretty well. If it’s really bad, then spray and wipe it all over again. Dark stains might take 3-4 rounds, but it will eventually all come up.

remove carpet stains

Once it’s all up, fold the towel 2-3 times and put it over the wet spot and stomp a few times to help soak up any wetness that may be left.

remove carpet stains

Then step back to let it dry completely & pat yourself on the back for learning how to remove carpet stains.

Want to learn more cleaning & organizing tips? My friends Angie & Carolina are also sharing them on their blogs, too!


About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.


  1. Wow…i have a stubborn stain in the guest room and I cannot wait to try this out…amazing!
    I wish you and your family and most happy and healthy New Year!!

  2. This is a great tip, Gina!! Thanks so much for sharing. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  3. Hummm, I think it works because it has ammonia. Is what I use to clean carpets, plastic… ammonia and hot water works really good and is very cheap. But thanks for the idea.

    • Donnalee says:

      Hey, everybody, years ago I ran across a “homemade” version of Windex that works amazingly well. The recipe is as follows: In a clean spray bottle: Combine 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia, NOT the sudsy kind, I know it’s hard to find, but definitely worth the effort. Add enough water (tap water is ok) to fill the bottle. Spray away. Also, it doesn’t have the blue dye that could stain light carpets.

  4. Whoa that’s pretty amazing! Rubbing alcohol does the same thing too. We had some stains on your carpet when we first moved into our house so we had a carpet cleaning company come out and clean them for us. The stains looked like they had gone away but slowly started surfacing again over the next few months. Well, I saw the rubbing alcohol trick on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. It worked like a charm!! (And none of the stains have come back.) It even worked on a stain that the carpet cleaning company couldn’t get out! I just put some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, wet it pretty good and used an old wash rag to scrub the stain out. You really have to put some elbow grease into scrubbing, but it’s totally worth it! You can store this in the back of your mind for when you don’t have any Windex!. =] Or if you’re like me and always buy the no-name brand Windex… I wonder if the no-name brand would work the same?? Have you tried that?

    Oh, and Happy New Year!

  5. Great tip. I’ve been staring at some stains wondering how to get them out. I will definitely try this.

    Love your blog. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful tips, crafts and decorative ideas.

    Happy New Year to you!!!


  6. Generic Windex works too. When I shampoo my floor, I carry a bottle of “Windex” around and pre-treat spots. When I get to them with the shampooer, up they come. If it is a really tough stain, I may respray and shampoo again. The toughest stain I had was red Kool-Aid where my youngest grandson had spilled by the recliner. It took several attempts but it finally gave up; the carpet looks great again. I sometimes give the bottle to DH and let him spray the hallway and bedroom where coffee and soft drink get dribbled as he carries his drink to the back part of the house. Even he is impressed with the results.

    Happy New Year to all….and be safe.

  7. I have never heard of using Windex on carpet. My eldest just moved out and I need to spot-clean his carpet. I will be trying your cleaning tip tomorrow. Thank you, so much!

  8. Because of the wild and rough crowd I hang with, coffee of all things got splattered on the carpet last night, New Years Eve. So thankfully I can try your tip for removal, cuz I don’t wanna hang with a different crowd, who knows the new crowd might actually be rowdy!

  9. I will try this, I I had a puppy , and before I got him trained I had spots every where . Bought a shampooer , stains still come back. I will try this in the am!!!! Thank you for sharing

    • Ammonia based cleaners are the worst thing to use with animals, they will smell it as another animal has marked the spot and they will then “remark” the spot claiming their territory.

  10. I learned many years ago to use windex on pet stains (a tip that our carpet cleaner friend gave me), but it never occurred to me to use it on other stains. Thanks!! We tore the carpet out of most of the rooms on the house we recently bought becuase they were so bad, but there is a stain on the carpet in my sewing/craft room that I’m definitely going to use this on. Thank you for the great tip!!!

  11. Wendy de boer says:

    I have been spaying my word floors down for years with windex and the and it’s amazing!

  12. I have recently moved in a unit that has a few bad carpet stains.With all these positive comments from a much lower cost than the professional cleaner I most certainly will gives this a try before pulling up the carpet
    many thanks Shirley

  13. We were gifted a SHITzu. Pardon the sailor talk but the damned thing LOVES to poop in the kids playroom (then he eats it ). Very stubborn/gross/cute dog. What a problem, especially since we are getting ready to list our house! Anyhooo…. rented a steam cleaner. twice. no dice. Several times I have put down baking soda to get rid of that wet carpet/dog smell that won’t go away and the carpet was still badly stained. I just googled the ‘be all end all’ solution– one was a pretreat of baking soda, then a vinegar/dawn/ water solution.. then I saw THIS! :o) I have a costco sized bottle of Windex– so I sprayed away and perFEctioN!! I’m commenting because I thought I’d point out that sprinkling baking soda first (did it already), letting it set, then vacuuming it up to “PRETREAT” the carpet and then the windex thing may be the magic recipe! The carpet looks wonderful!! THANKS!


  14. This is the best idea I have seen on pintrest!!
    I’m have migraines and I’m limited to products I can use basically everything which is tough when you have a 3 ya old boy who somehow gets stains every place you can think of. Windex is my own to cleaner for a lot of things an now you have saved my poor carpet from the vengeance of a toddler!
    Thank you for sharing!

  15. Be careful putting Ammonia down if you have pets. Their urine has ammonia in it and it will draw them to it like a magnet. That of course means more stains.

  16. OMG!!! Thank you! I just spilled a glass of red wine on my off white carpet and was in the middle of a major meltdown when I goggled your solution. It came right up and you can’t even tell where I spilled the wine…… Thank you thank you

  17. Resolve doee a fantastic job. Not much scrubbing, either. Just work on the dampened stain with a brush, and then vacuum.

  18. jessica says:

    I want to vouch for this method. I am a mother of three and tragically have endured a 1980’s cream coloured carpeted dinning room. The only difference was instead of stepping on the towel I ironed it. It ruins the towel but it pulled up stains I thought were set for life.

  19. the spray cleaner Comet works wonders for carpets as well! 😉

  20. WoooWWWW!!!!! it really works!!! just tried it! wow! thanks!


  1. […] How to remove carpet stains by The Shabby Creek Cottage […]

  2. […] How to Remove Carpet Stains (The Shabby Creek […]

  3. […] They will also fully train their staff and that can be a real advantage. Not everyone knows home remedies on how to remove carpet stains. So get back to what you have found is truly important. Get back to spending your time snuggling […]

Speak Your Mind