Blot the stain with your towels. Do not rub yet, as you could spread the stain. Continue blotting until your towels come away clean.
Spray warm water from the squirt bottle onto the stain. This is a good method to keep from over-moistening the area. You want to avoid getting the carpet padding underneath wet, as that could lead to mildew.
Rub the stain gently in one direction with a sponge or washcloth. Do not rub too hard or scrub back and forth, as this could damage the carpet fibers or work the stain deeper into the carpet. Continue rubbing gently until the stain has been lifted from the carpet. If this does not work, go to step 4. If the stain is removed, move on to step 5.
Mix one of the listed optional cleaning agents (vinegar, rubbing alcohol, detergent, or ammonia) with the water in your squirt bottle. The additive will depend on the type of stain. Use the vinegar (equal parts water and vinegar) or ammonia (1 tsp. to 1/2 c. water) solutions on water-based stains such as graphite, felt-tip pen marks or latex paint. The detergent solution (1/4 tsp. to 1 qt. water) is excellent for greasy stains, such as ink, makeup, dye or nail polish. Spray on the stain and rub gently as you did in step 3. Rubbing alcohol can be helpful on greasy stains if the detergent solution does not quite do the trick. It can be applied on its own, but apply the alcohol with the washrag rather than directly to the carpet as you will not need much. Rinse off any cleaner you use and blot with water.
Dry the carpet by blotting with paper towels, and continue blotting until all the moisture is removed.
Things You Will Need
- White towels (paper or cloth)
- Sponge or washcloth
- Spray bottle
- Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, detergent or ammonia (optional)
- Do not use any detergent containing bleach, as this will discolor your carpet.
- Do not use ammonia on any stain created by an acidic substance like coffee; this will damage the carpet fibers.