Some stains can be easily treated or pre-treated by you at home. Be sure to test all suggested solutions in an inconspicuous place first to ensure color fastness and that damage does not occur. These suggestions are for carpet and not upholstery unless specifically stated. Remember, use blotting rather than rubbing for all stain removal. When you rub the stain, you are only embedding it more into the carpet strands.
Bloodstains should never be treated without a professional’s advice. If you try to treat a bloodstain yourself, it will most likely set it permanently. Never use hot water to remove blood since hot water sets the stain.
You can lift out greasy stains or simply dirt by using baking soda right after it happens. Pour baking soda over stain and allow it to dry. Simply vacuum up the baking soda.
If you don’t have baking soda, but still have a greasy stain than use undyed shaving cream. Make sure it makes contact through all layers of carpet or upholstery. Allow it dry and vacuum it away.
You can also use dish soap to cut through a greasy stain such as spaghetti sauce. Make sure the dish soap gets into all the layers of carpet or upholstery.
Have an oil stain? Blot excess oil away. Mix rubbing alcohol (70%) and table salt in a 4:1 ratio and apply it to the area. Then rub the stain away. Small batches are better than large batches. You can add 1/2 tsp of dish soap for harder stains. Make sure you do not add more soap. Pour in spray bottle for a quick method as well as storing for future use. Blot out all moisture until it is dry to the touch. Do not let this sit on the carpet since alcohol is a solvent.
Red wine stains are daunting. Immediately blot excess wine up by using a paper towel or microfiber rag. Try standing on the rag covering the stain to pull up as much wine as possible. Pour a generous amount of salt (any type of salt) on the stain. Press the salt into the stain. Let sit for 10 minutes and vacuum away the salt.
Pet stains caused by urine is a common problem. Simply blot, not rub, as much of the urine as possible. Use paper towels when possible. Try standing on the stain for added pressure. Once you have blotted out as much moisture as possible, soak the area with club soda and carpet shampoo or enzyme cleaner. Let stand for 5 minutes then blot up using rags or paper towels. I also recommend using Woolite Advanced Pet Stain and Odor Remover + Sanitize® for urine and fecal matter.
Sticky stains such as gum can be easily lifted by putting an ice cube on the spot. Hold the ice cube on the spot for 30 seconds and then simply put off the gum. For gum that is embedded in the carpet strands use WD-40® or Goo Gone®. Spray ample amount of WD-40® on gum. This will dissolve the stickiness. Scrap off gum gently without fraying strands with a palette or old butter knife. Since WD-40® will leave a grease stain simply follow with a mixture of dish soap and water. The dish soap acts as a de-greaser. If you have a carpet safe degreaser on hand use that instead especially if it is designed for mechanics such as:
Gojo Natural Orange Pumice Industrial Hand Cleaner®
Zolex Water Activated Hand Cleaner for Working Hands®
Fast Orange Xtreme Fresh Scent Pumice Hand Cleaner®
ZEP Cherry Bomb Heavy Duty Pumice Hand Cleaner®
Use mechanic's soap sparingly then rinse thoroughly with water in a spray bottle.
Stubborn stains that will not come out - Try using a clothes iron and using a water-vinegar solution. Set your iron on the lowest setting and do not let it come in contact with the carpet. Make a solution with 3 parts water and 1-part vinegar. Apply the solution on the stain and let it stand for 7 minutes. Place a terry cloth or towel over the area and then iron the stain out. Between the pressure and heat the stain will lift out onto the towel.