Your DIY Guide for 7 Common Rug Stains

May 17, 2019 | Rug Cleaning

common rugs stains

You’ve spilled on your rug, what should you do next? Consider these at-home tips from the experts at Atiyeh Bros!

Spills happen… Whether it’s a pet accident, your kid spilling their afternoon snack, or your dinner guest knocking over a glass of wine; it’s inevitable that eventually something will be spilled on your rug or carpeting.

When spills occur on a textile like your rug or carpet, the best case scenario is that these surfaces have been previously treated with a fiber protectant; however that’s often not the case. As professional cleaners, a problem we often face is not only the original spill or stain, but the removal of anything put on top of the spill. Rug cleaners often refer to this as “first in, last out.”

The first reaction when a spill has occurred is to wipe it up using paper towels, napkins, or whatever one might have on hand. Unfortunately “wipe it up” does not always equate to “absorb it out.”

Wiping or rubbing does little to remove a stain and can even push the liquid further into the textile.

Our first (and best) recommendation is to protect your carpet before spills occur; Have your textiles treated with a stain shield product like our exclusive, Fiber Protector or 547 Fabric Protector. *One of the benefits of having textiles treated with this product is that when a spill does occur the liquid sits on top of the textile instead of sinking into the fibers. When a spill happens on something that has been pre-treated, you can simply use the “wipe it up” method.

When a textile hasn’t been pre-treated, place a folded towel on top of the spill, and apply pressure by standing on the towel or holding it down firmly (We do not recommend standing on furniture). After one side of the towel has been absorbed, flip the towel over and repeat. It’s better to use a cloth-based towel rather than paper towels, not only to achieve maximum absorption, but to remain both financially and eco-friendly! If you have a wet/dry vacuum, that works even better.

*(Disclaimer: Make sure to check with the manufacturer of your wall-to-wall carpeting before treating with Fiber Protectant. In some cases it will void the warranty.)


Textiles are soft and change can occur from too much agitation. Remember that absorption occurs from the downward pressure, not the agitation. Too much agitation can be detrimental.

Once you have tried absorbing as much of the liquid as possible, you may need to involve some chemistry to remove the remainder of the spill. Some of our recommended home remedies include water (not club soda), mild dishwashing detergent mixed with water, and vinegar (1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water).     

Below we’ve listed some of the most common spills/stains we hear about at Atiyeh Bros, and the best way to clean them at home!

Coffee/Tea Rug Stain: Incase the worst should happen before you’ve had your morning caffeine, absorb as much liquid as you can by applying pressure to the spill with a cloth. After absorbing, use a detergent solution, followed by a vinegar solution. Work from the outer edge of the stain using the solution sparingly. Blot up moisture with a dry cloth frequently as you go.

Wine Stain: If there was a little too much celebrating at your dinner party, absorb as much liquid as you can by applying pressure to the spill with a cloth, then treat the area with our product recommendation: Wine Away. Wine away is extremely effective at removing wine spills or stains, and is regularly used by our professional cleaning team. If you don’t have any Wine Away on hand, after blotting the surplus spillage, use a vinegar or detergent solution and work from the outer edge of the stain, using a little solution at a time, and blotting with a dry cloth frequently.

Urine: Potty training is hard, but cleaning up doesn’t have to be! Absorb as much liquid as you can by applying pressure to the spill with a cloth, then apply a detergent or vinegar solution and work from the outer edge of affected area; Use small amounts of detergent or vinegar solution at a time and blot with a dry cloth frequently.

Blood: Who hasn’t had a bloody nose before? Scrape up the excess with a blunt knife immediately (while still wet), followed by applying a detergent solution. Start at outer edge and blot dry. Follow with an ammonia solution and then blot dry again. (Be careful when using ammonia, ‘less is more’ as blood dries it often wicks back to the surface. Be patient and repeat this process if necessary.)

Oil: If your cooking project got out of hand, scrape up as much oil/grease as possible with a blunt knife immediately (while still wet). Follow with a dry cleaning solvent, then a detergent or vinegar solution. Blot dry with a cloth.

Wax: Scrape up with a blunt knife immediately (while still wet), then use a dry cleaning solvent followed by a detergent or vinegar solution then blot dry. Enjoy your romantic lighting worry free.

Chocolate: Scrape up the excess with a blunt knife immediately (while still wet), then use a detergent solution starting at the outer edge of the stain, and blot dry. Follow with an ammonia solution and blot dry again. Then continue indulging in your hot fudge sundae. 

There are many factors regarding successful stain removal including the type of textile, spill and cleaning method. Many store-bought spotting solutions use a high PH formula or often have a ‘bleaching agent’ ingredient which can result in color-alterations and more often than not, cause more harm than good.

When you are unable to completely remove the stain simply by absorption, our recommendation is to stick with mild solutions, as outlined above. If still unsuccessful, give us a call!

Hopefully this DIY guide can be a resource for you when dealing with your next spill or stain. If you have questions about anything not included in our guide, feel free to give Atiyeh Bros a call, we are here to help!