How to remove common kid stains from your carpet

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
August 30, 2014
Pexels Photo 1095121

Raising kids will take a toll on your carpet. If you were considering purchasing new carpet I would strongly suggest holding off until all the little people in your house have reached a slightly more coordinated age.

While carpet mess will be unavoidable (seriously, it's not a matter of if it happens but when) there are steps you can take to treat accidents when they occur.

Below you will find some handy household hints to remove commonly occurring stains. Remember, the longer a stain is left to set, the harder its eventual removal will be. Click on a stain to jump straight to that section.

You will notice white vinegar pops up time and time again in the cleaning methods below. Like coconut oil (which has over 200 uses), vinegar forms the basis of many effective cleaning mixtures.

Removing baby poop from carpet

Diaper leaks are the worst, not only do you have to clean your baby, but the floor as well. A successful poop removal procedure will not only remove all of the stains but the smell as well.

You will need:

  • Liquid hand washing soap
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar (helps remove odor)
  • Sponge
  • Cloth
Ran Berkovich O6EebBVy05w Unsplash

What to do:

Using a spoon, carefully remove any larger chunks of baby poop. Pay attention as you do not want to push the poop further into the carpet.

To make your poop cleaner, simply combine water, vinegar, and soap in a bowl. Sponge this mixture into the poop covered carpet.

Now, using your cloth, blot at the poop until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the process of applying your poop cleaner and blotting until the poop is removed from your carpet.

If the poop has set into the carpet, use the above method before adding a drop of hydrogen peroxide and a drop or two of ammonia for a super-powered poop cleaner. Then simply sponge with cold water and blot dry.

Removing baby urine from carpet

If you have ever potty trained then you will know how easy it is for urine to find its way onto your carpet. While urine will not generally stain, it can leave a foul odor which you will need to treat.

You will need:

  • Vinegar (helps remove odor)
  • Water
  • Towel
Assorted color of towels

What to do:

The first thing you will want to do is blot away any excess urine with a towel before it gets a chance to sink too far into your carpet.

Then, combine equal parts warm water and vinegar in a bowl and sponge all over the carpeted area coated in urine. Blot with a damp towel to remove your vinegar mixture.

For baby urine that has dried into the carpet, add liquid washing soap to the mixture to help lift and remove all trace of urine. Afterwards, to remove soap residue, sponge with clean water and blot dry.

Remove vomit from a carpet.

Baby's can vomit without any prior warning. If it doesn't end up on your shoulder then chanced are the vomit is going to end up on your carpet. Let's take a look at how you can easily remove vomit from your carpet.

You will need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Spoon
  • Baking soda (or cornstarch)
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid hand washing detergent
  • Sponge
  • Towel
Black and red canister vacuum

What to do:

Start by carefully scraping off excess vomit with a spoon. Be particularly mindful of the scraping motion used. You want to lift the excess vomit off the carpet, not push it further into the carpet fibers.

With the excess removed, generously sprinkle baking soda onto the carpet and leave to stand for 15 minutes. The baking soda will help soak up any remaining liquid from your carpet. Once 15 minutes has passed, suck the baking soda out of the carpet with your vacuum cleaner.

Now for your vomit stain removing mixture. Combine one tablespoon of liquid hand washing soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water in a bowl. Sponge this mixture over the vomit stain and blot dry with a clean towel.

To remove any soap residue left behind, simply soap the area with clean water before blotting dry with a clean towel

Removing blood from a carpet

Accidents happen. Children come home with scrapes and bruises all the time. If you find that your child has dripped blood over your carpet, you are going to need to act fast!

Whenever cleaning blood from carpet, be sure to use cold water. Warm or hot water can actually cause the blood to 'set' into the carpet, making stain removal impossible.

You will need

  • Liquid hand washing soap
  • Ammonia
  • Sponge
  • Towel
person washing his hand

What to do:

If the blood on the carpet has dried and hardened, brush it with a soft bristle brush (or an old toothbrush) to help remove crusty deposits.

To create your blood removal mixture, simply combine one tablespoon of liquid hand washing soap with two cups of cold water. Sponge the blood stain with the cloth, taking particular care not to spread the blood stain further.

Blot the soap mixture from the carpet with a clean towel. You should notice the blood lift off with the soap mixture. Again, sponge the soap mixture into the stain and blot dry. repeat until the stain no longer remains or blood is no longer transferred to the towel when blotted.

If your blood stain still remains, its time to pull out the big guns. Mix one tablespoon of ammonia with half a cup of cold water. Sponge the blood stain with the ammonia solution. Blot the stain dry with a clean towel until all liquid is absorbed.

Sponge with cold water and blot dry to remove any remaining traces of ammonia.

How to remove chewing gum from your carpet

Chewing gums and kids generally don't mix. If it doesn't end up being swallowed then it normally ends up somewhere that isn't the bin. Fortunately, chewing gum can easily be removed if it is spotted early and not trodden into the carpet.

You will need

  • Ice cubes
  • Butter knife
  • Old toothbrush
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Liquid hand wash soap
fresh lemon juice

What to do:

Place your ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag and place on top of the chewing gum. Allow the ice to sit for roughly 30 minutes, the chewing gum should now be rock hard. The harder the chewing gum is, the easier it will be to remove from your carpet.

Carefully slide your butter knife between the chewing gum and carpet fibers, using a prying motion to lift the gum off. Remove as much of the gum as possible in one solid piece. Rub ice over remaining areas of gum that have softened before and pry these off too.

If you have small pieces of gum still attached to individual carpet fibers, squeeze lemon juice into the area and work into the gum with a soft cloth.

Use the toothbrush to lift off the remaining pieces of gum by brushing diagonally up the fibers. The gum should get stuck among the bristles. Pull the gum off your toothbrush as you go to prevent brushing it back into the carpet.

Finish cleaning the area with a liquid hand wash and warm water mixture.

Removing mud and dirt from your carpet

Has your child wandered across your carpet with muddy boots? Fear not, mud is one of the easier substances to remove from carpet.

For wet mud and dirt, let it dry before you attempt to tackle it. It is going to take all your willpower to avoid cleaning up the mud from your carpet as it happens but please, resist the urge. Attempting to clean up wet mud and dirt can leave you with a much bigger and much harder stain to remove.

You will need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Sponge
  • Towel
Vacuum cleaner

What to do:

After the mud has dried, gently brush over it with a soft bristled brush (or old toothbrush) to dislodge the dirt. You will now be left with loose dried pieces of mud. Suck these loose pieces up worth the vacuum cleaner.

You now want to lift the remaining mud that is clinging to your carpet fibers. Combine liquid hand soap and water and gently sponge the bubbly mixture into the mud-stained carpet. The remaining dirt should lift off with the soap suds. Blot the area dry with a towel.

To remove soap residue, simply sponge the carpet with clean water before blotting dry with a clean towel.

Removing grass stains from the carpet

Have your kids been out playing ion the grass and have brought playtime indoors with them? Grass stains are notoriously difficult to remove as the grass contains pigments which dye whatever it comes into contact with that green color. Act fast if you discover grass stains on your carpet.

You will need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Laundry detergent
  • Ammonia
  • Vinegar
  • White towel

via GIPHY

The first thing you want to do is vacuum up any soil and other loose debris that may have snuck in with the grass stain. Hover the vacuum cleaner head over the carpet. Don't let the vacuum cleaner head come into contact with the carpet as you risk pushing the grass stain further into your carpet.

Next, combine a teaspoon of laundry detergent with a cup of water to make a super soapy mixture. Carefully drop the mixture onto the stain and blot off with your white towel. You should notice the green color transfer from your carpet to the towel. Rinse with clean water and blot dry to remove soap residue.

If the grass stain remains, apply an ammonia and water mixture directly to the stain and blot again. Rinse with clean water and blot dry.

Removing crayon from carpet

You wouldn't think crayon would be so difficult to remove from carpet. Unfortunately, as crayons are made from a water-repelling wax, it means that most of your cleaning products will also be repelled.

To see success in crayon stain removal you will need to get rid of that pesky wax. It is a slow going process, but fortunately, this is a stain that you can remove all traces of.

You will need:

  • Iron
  • Butter knife
  • Brown paper bags
  • Baking powder
  • Sponge
Red Tying carpet

What to do:

The first thing you want to do is remove as much crayon as possible using your butter knife. Try and get your knife as close to the base of the carpet strands as possible and gently lever upwards to remove excess crayon. If your carpet is tightly compressed, a scraping motion will do. Vacuum up any loose scrapings.

You now need to remove those small pieces of wax that are locking the color into your carpet. Fold your brown paper bag over a few times before moving an iron back and forth on medium heat over the bag. The crayon wax should begin to melt and transfer to your bag.

You will need to be careful when ironing as the melted wax can easily be pushed back into areas of the carpet that previously weren't affected. To get around this, change your paper bag as soon as the wax begins to melt and cling.

Once the wax is no longer transferring to your bag, sprinkle baking soda on the area to assist in removing any leftover color. Leave for an hour before wiping gently with a damp sponge. You can always remove excess baking soda by blotting with a wet cloth.

If the crayon has been worked into a large area of your carpet you will need to break it down into sections, repeating the above steps for each section.

Removing Permanent marker from carpet

Permanent markers are designed to be just that, permanent. While you may not be able to remove the stain from your carpet, you may be able to make it fade enough that it is hardly noticeable.

You will want to be very careful when removing permanent marker from carpet as you can easily spread the stain and make it worse. Please take your time.

You will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
Puppy lying on a carpet

What to do:

Firstly, look at the extent of the permanent marker in your carpet. Break it down into one inch sections, using the below process on each permanent marker section before moving onto the next.

Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball and dab at your one inch section. You should notice ink start to come off onto the cotton ball. When this happens, swap over to a dry, clean cotton ball and blot at the permanent marker.

By repeating this process (wet blot, dry blot, etc) you are minimizing the risk of spreading the permanent marker further into the carpet. Repeat until you have removed as much of the marker as possible from the carpet.

Removing glitter from carpet

Okay, you got me, glitter is not technically a stain. I included it in this guide because it can still be notoriously difficult to remove glitter from the carpet.

You will need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Tape

via GIPHY

Start out by vacuuming the glitter spill out of the carpet. Vacuuming will remove any loose glitter but you may still notice small pieces of glitter that are stuck to individual carpet fibers.

You can remove the remaining glitter by wrapping tape around your fingers, sticky side out. Now you need to get down on your hands and knees and pet the carpet with your tape covered hand. You will notice glitter sticking to the tape itself.

Keep using the tape until all visible glitter is gone. Replace the tape as it loses its stickiness.

Remove red wine from the carpet

So you are enjoying a glass of wine to relax after trying to introduce your fussy eater to new food. No one is judging, just keep in mind this helpful trick for if your wine ever finds its way onto the carpet. Remember, act quickly as time is of the essence.

You will need:

  • Paper towels
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Clean rag or towel
Trang Nguyen Drke6MEs8Gg Unsplash

What to do:

Lightly blot at the wine spill with a paper towel. Be careful to blot and not rub to prevent pushing the wine deeper into the carpet. Work your way from the outside of the wine spill to the middle to help keep the spill contained.

With the excess wine blotted up, you will now be left with a red wine stain. To make an effective stain remover, simply combine 1 tablespoon of dishing liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water in the bowl and stir well.

Dip your towel into the mixture and blot at the stain. Follow up with a dry towel, blotting at the now soapy stain. You should notice the red stain transfer onto the dry towel. Repeat, alternating with soapy mixture blotting and dry towel blotting until no more wine stain is transferred to the dry towel.

If you are still left with a stain, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your cleaning mixture and repeat the above steps.

Afterwards, sponge down with clean water and blot with a dry towel to remove any soapy residue.

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