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Risk-Free Methods for Removing Stains from (Almost) Any Rug

Here at Rugs Direct, we understand better than most just how damaging a stain or spill on a rug can be. It’s easy to see why many people would jump straight for the chemical cleaners to fix the problem, but that may do more harm than good. If you want to avoid damage to faded colour or worn fibres, why not try one of the following non-toxic methods on your rug stains?

Note: this is not our advice on a fresh spill, and in any case, any stain should be seen by a professional so they can assess both the stain and the rug.

Method #1: White vinegar and warm water

White vinegar is known for its near-magical stain removal powers, and for good a reason! If you suffer a spillage or a stain from mustard, ketchup, wine, grease, sweat, grass, or any other stubborn substance, white vinegar can help.

Simply pour as much white vinegar over the stain or spill such that it’s covered entirely. Then wait for around 5 minutes. Get some warm water and rinse off the remaining white vinegar. You may need to repeat the process for stubborn stains, but it should be effective for most rug types.

Method #2: Baking soda and hot water

Here’s a method that’s fantastic for liquid spills and the resulting stains. Baking soda is well-known for its uses around the home, and here it proves itself once again. If you suffer a spill from something like fruit juice, coffee, fizzy pop, or anything else that may be sticky, baking soda can help.

As soon as the spill happens, sprinkle baking soda over it – enough so that you can visibly see it soaking up the liquid. Leave the baking soda to sit for an hour or so, then use hot water and a sponge to dab away the remainder. You should be left with a lovely non-marked rug.

Method #3: A pure H2O steam-clean

This method is the only one that requires any extra equipment, but other than a steam cleaner, all you need is simple tap water. Sometimes stains can be nothing more than dried-on food or grime, and all that’s needed to shift them is a direct hit of steaming hot water.

A steam cleaner loaded with no chemical cleaners, just water, is often enough to shift these stains and restore the original lustre of your rug. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, any water-based carpet cleaning vacuum will also do the trick here.

Method #4: Beer

From the normal to the slightly more extreme and yes it really does work. If you have ever spilt coffee or tea on your rug, like most, you may have thought it was near impossible to remove. Not true, here is the life hack for you BEER! Yes really, you can literally lift the stain out if you pour a small amount of beer on top, and rub it lightly, the stain should then disappear. As with all these methods, you may need to repeat this process to make sure all traces of the stain have gone.

Method#5: Shaving Cream

We all have or know that one child who always comes around and spills juice everywhere, now before we start banning our friend’s kids from our houses, give shaving cream a go! It’s as simple as blotting the area, pat it with a wet sponge and then proceed to squirt some shaving cream on it, then merely wipe it over with a damp sponge. This is also a great for use on grease and oil stains, however, work the cream into stain slightly more, leave to dry and then wipe over with a damp cloth.

Method#6: Salt

White carpet, red wine always a good idea, right? It is until you have a glass to many and subsequently the glass then becomes half empty following the spill all over, said white carpet. So, don’t panic, while the red wine is still wet pour white wine over the top to dilute the colour. After that continue to clean the area with a sponge and cold water, then sprinkle the spot with salt and wait for around 10 minutes. Now you want to hoover up the entire mess.

Salt also works wonders on greasy food stains, mix up a concoction of 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol and proceed to rub it hard on the stain. However, while doing this make sure to rub in the natural direction of the fibre of the rug.

Now for the time test! Ketchup, with this spill, time is of the essence as once it dries it is nearly impossible to remove. Grab the salt and scatter all over the spill, let that sit for a few minutes, and vacuum. You will need to continue to sponge up the excess and repeat the process until the stain is entirely gone.

Contact us for further advice

Note that if you have a very delicate rug or one that’s made of an unusual material, it’s best to check before you apply even these natural methods.


This article is only a guide and is a list of ideas that might help. If you have a stain or problem with your rug you should seek professional cleaning advice before you start with any of our ideas. We by no way warrant the use of our ideas to resolve your specific issue. So if you require more information, always consult a professional who can view both the stain and material of the rug. Call our team of experts anytime on 0845 838 8638.