How to Remove Just About Anything From Carpet

From simple to extreme, these solutions will help you get rid of almost every carpet stain you may encounter at home.

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How to get slime out of carpet
Family Handyman

How to Get Slime Out of Carpet

If you or your little one love slime, you’re bound to make a few messes with it. And it creates a wreck in your carpet fibers. But don’t worry, slime is primarily made up of glue and the majority of glue is washable. Plain old white vinegar will get slime out of just about everything. It might take some elbow grease and patience, but you can get slime out of your carpet!

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Painted Carpet HH
Family Handyman

Spilled paint on your carpet? Don’t panic, do this:

I used to think dropping a loaded paintbrush on the carpet meant replacing the carpet, until a former foreman told me this little tip. Pour some denatured alcohol onto a rag and scrub away the paint. Use a rag that is as close in color to the carpet, as the alcohol can transfer some of the rag’s color to the carpet. – Tom Gerdowsky

Need some denatured alcohol? Buy it from Amazon here

3 / 19
Family Handyman

Clean Up Pet Messes

Buy a handheld extractor or and of these best products to get dog pee out of carpet. It works much better than trying to absorb a mess with paper towels or rags. An extractor is made for sucking up liquids and, unlike a shop vacuum, is easy to clean. Check out these carpet cleaning tips for pet owners.

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nail polish on carpet
Maria Dryfhout/Shutterstock

Get Nail Polish Out of Carpet

Don’t panic if you’ve accidentally spilled nail polish on your carpet, we’re here to help! With our expert guide, we’ll show you a tried-and-true method for how to get nail polish out of the carpet. Plus, check out our secret cleaning tips from the pros.

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clean carpet
Family Handyman

Use a Putty Knife for Solids

Sink the edge of the putty knife into the carpet at the edge of the mess. Then push it forward to scrape the solid waste up and into the dustpan. While you’re at it, learn how to disinfect your carpet.

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HH ice remove gum stuck in carpet
Family Handyman

Remove Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is one of the most dreaded things to get stuck places — beneath your kitchen table, in your kid’s hair and yes, on your carpet. To remove gum from carpet, simply place ice on the gum for 5 to 10 minutes. It will harden and loosen the gum’s grip on the fibers, allowing you to scrape it off. Here are the 10 best ways to get gum out of things.

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spilled wine on carpet, wine spill

Get Wine and Pasta Stains Out of Carpet

Getting as much of the liquid and solids out of the carpet as quickly as possible is the single most important part of removing a carpet stain. But blotting and scooping can actually drive the stain deep into the carpet backing and pad. Instead, when learning how to remove wine and tomato sauce stains, reach for your wet/dry vacuum and vacuum up the spill. Here’s how to remove wine stains from carpet.

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fh02feb_02548_007 iron clean up carpet wax
Family Handyman

Remove Wax From a Carpet in 3 Easy Steps

Candle wax accidentally dripped on a plush carpet may look like a hopeless mess, but with a cool head, a hot iron, and a few tricks of the trade, you can get wax out of carpets.

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shutterstock_561916813 spilt coffee on carpet

Remove Coffee Stains

Blot the stain with a clean white cloth (dyed fabric can transfer color to the carpet), working from the outside in. Your goal is to move the carpet fibers, spread the cleaner slightly, and soak up the stain. Avoid aggressive blotting, scrubbing and stomping on the blotter. That just drives the stain deeper into the pile, backing and padding, making stain removal even more difficult. After blotting, use your wet/dry vac again to remove as much cleaning solution as possible.

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how to remove wrinkles from carpet
Family Handyman

How to Remove Carpet Wrinkles

Rent special carpet stretching tools and restretch loose or wrinkled carpet quickly and easily. We demonstrate the technique in four steps, so you don’t have to hire a pro.

11 / 19
oil stain in carpet
Kryuchka Yaroslav/Shutterstock

Remove Oil Stains

Oil stains can be challenging to get out of carpet because they spread and stick to the fibers. The best way to extract oil is to spread a thick coat of baking soda across the area where the stain can be seen and leave it there until the sides form a dry crust. Then, vacuum up the residue. The stain will hopefully be much lighter, or gone altogether. You may have to repeat this process to get the oil stain completely out of the carpet. Here’s how to remove oil stains from concrete.

12 / 19
carpet stain remover
Family Handyman

For Hard to Remove Carpet Stains

Spray carpet cleaner on the stain and scrub it into the carpet with a spoon. Dab it dry with a clean white towel, then let the carpet air-dry (it will appear slightly darker until completely dry). Light-colored carpets and dark stains may require several scrubbings.

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cut out carpet stain
Family Handyman

Literally, Make Carpet Stains Disappear

If the stain remains after cleaning reach for a carpet stain remover. If there’s no success with that you can always try to cut out the chunk and replace it. With a cookie-cutter carpet patch, you can cut out and replace the bad spot with an invisible replacement piece.

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clean carpet
Family Handyman

Don’t Stomp on Paper Towels

Using paper towels to blot up urine and vomit soaks up the surface liquid but still leaves a lot in the carpet. And stomping on those paper towels only makes it worse. That forces the liquid deeper into the padding and then into the subflooring. Instead, invest in a handheld carpet extractor. Don’t use a shop vacuum—the smell will linger in the filter and it’s much harder to clean than a small extractor. Hit the carpet as soon as possible and vacuum like there’s no tomorrow. Follow these tips to maintain a long-lasting carpet.

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dents in carpet
Family Handyman

Fix Furniture Dents in Your Carpet

You moved around the living room furniture and now you have four dents in the carpet where the sofa used to be. Carpet dents are unsightly, but here’s a quick and simple trick that will fix them with little effort and no expense.

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remove burnt carpet
Family Handyman

Fix Burned Carpet

You can patch a small hole, tear or burn in the carpet using techniques that will make the repair virtually invisible. You’ll need a small “plug” of carpet that matches the damaged piece. If you don’t have a remnant, you can steal a piece from inside a closet or underneath a piece of furniture you never intend to move. (This may sound extreme, but it’s a lot cheaper than replacing the entire carpet.) Here’s how to patch a damaged spot.

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Rescue wet carpet
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Rescue Wet Carpet

When carpet gets soaked, you have to act fast. The longer it stays soggy, the more likely it is to stretch out, discolor or get moldy. If a large area is waterlogged, a complete replacement may be the best option. But if only a corner or a small room is soaked, you can save the wet carpet with just a couple of hours of work.

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Reattach pulled-out carpet
Family Handyman

Reattach Pulled-Out Carpet

If you have carpet that has pulled loose from a metal threshold, fix it now, before the exposed edge of the carpet begins to fray. If the damage extends more than an inch or so away from the threshold, you won’t be able to make a good-looking repair.

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carpet deodorizer

Deodorize with Borax, Essential Oils and Baking Soda

An essential part of carpet cleaning is deodorizing—especially when you have children and/or pets! Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of borax (also known as sodium borate, an alkaline mineral salt with a powdery white appearance that’s most famous as a laundry washing powder) with 10 drops of essential oil and 2 cups of baking soda. Spread the mixture on the carpet, allow it to dry and then vacuum it up.

Here are 20 common household cleaning products you should never mix.