How to remove carpet stains such as red wine

carpet cleaning tips for stains

How to remove carpet stains is something we are asked often. For most stains and spills, the first thing you do is the most important in determining the end result. So don’t panic and grab the first carpet cleaning product you see! If in doubt, it might be best to leave the stain removal to Black Gold the carpet cleaning professionals. Many of the over the counter stain removers do more harm than good. They contain bleach and other chemicals which can damage your expensive carpet and may leave bleach marks on the carpet.  They also leave residue which attracts the dirt.

Please note, once stain removal has been attempted by yourself or another carpet cleaner, we cannot guarantee removal or predict the end result.

Our advice on how to remove carpet stains

  • The first step is to try to remove as much of the spill as possible, so use a clean white cloth or towel to soak up any spilled liquid on the carpet. A wet/dry vac might also be handy to extract liquid spills.  Also gently scrap off any solids.
  • For most liquid and food stains (excluding rust, ink or oil based stains) use a clean damp cloth to gently dab the stain. Do not rub or use too much pressure.  Once you see colour transfer from the stain on to the cloth, replace with another clean damp cloth. Gently keep dabbing the stain and changing you cloth until you have removed as much of the stain as possible.
  • The next best course of action depends on what caused the stain (see below)
  • Do not use any product containing bleach.
  • Time is also important as the longer the stain is left on the carpet, the harder it is to remove.
  • If the stain is still present call us at Black Gold Carpet Cleaning 0403 254 080

Red/Brown stain removal (Acids)

Water soluble acid based stains such as coffee, wine, soft drink, and water colour paints have a low PH level. The lower the Ph the more likely it is that the substance will leave a stain. This is because post dyed carpet fibers are receptive to staining from substances containing acid dyes. In the manufacturing process they need to be receptive as the acid dyes are what give the carpet its colour. When an acid based substance is spilt on carpet, the fibres absorb the acid dye. This then deepens or adds to the carpet dye colour and causing a dark stain to develop. Conversely, stains which are alkaline have a high Ph level and often leave a light coloured stain.

how to remove carpet spots and stains red wine

To neutralise acidic stains you can use a few drops of dish washing detergent mixed with warm water. Lightly mist liquid onto the stain (do not over wet the carpet). Then gently dab with a clean dry towel. Repeat until the stain has gone and make sure you dry the area well. Dish washing liquid is alkaline (has a high Ph) so it brings the stain back to neutral. To help remove acid based stains, you can alternate the dishwashing liquid with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with warm water and also lightly misted over the stain.

If this method fails to remove all traces of the stain, then an oxidiser such as hydrogen peroxide may help remove the remaining stain. We recommend you do not try anything stronger than 3% hydrogen peroxide which can be purchased at most supermarkets or pharmacies. Dab a little on the stain, wait an hour and repeat if necessary. Please make sure you test this product on an inconspicuous piece of carpet before applying to the stain to make sure it does not alter the colour of your carpet.

how to clean carpet stains coffee stain


It is very important to always dilute the dishwashing liquid and vinegar with water and to test them on an inconspicuous piece of carpet before spraying them on the stain.  This is just to be sure they do not cause more damage by removing dye from the carpet.  While these methods work well in most situations,  we recommend calling in a professional carpet cleaner for stain removal and they will know how to remove carpet stains of this nature.

PLEASE NOTE: These methods work well with most synthetic blended carpets, however natural fibres such as wool and silk are very delicate and need to be treated with care.  We do not recommend trying to remove stains on wool carpet by yourself as you may just make things worse.  Vinegar, if not well diluted can permanently discolour woolen carpet.  Some over the counter carpet cleaning products contain bleach and other chemicals not suitable for use on wool.

Protein Based Stains

Substances that contain living organisms such as vomit, blood, egg and milk require an alkaline protein spotter, however we recommend extreme caution when considering the use of these spotters as some contain ammonia which  is a poison and can cause respiratory problems.   Enzyme spotters are living organisms that biologically break down proteins so that they can become more water soluble.  These enzymes digest the proteins in stains caused by blood and other body fluids.

We recommend you call us to remove these types of stains rather than attempting to remove them your self. The spotters can be hazardous and require specialised handling.  They also need to be thoroughly rinsed from the carpet after stain removal and this is best done with an extraction machine.

Oil Based Stains, Ink and Rust

Stains such as rust, ink, paint, oil, grease, and other non-water soluble substances can only be successfully removed using non-volatile dry solvents. Do not attempt to remove these types of stains with water as you will only make the stain worse. Call us for help and advice. When you use these chemicals, make sure you use special precautions. We do not recommend you try to remove the stains yourself. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the chemicals from the carpet after stain removal and therefore an extraction machine is essential.

how to clean carpet stains rust

Mould Stains

Mould needs moisture and warmth to grow, and can Carpet stain removal mouldresult from water damage, spills, prolonged humidity or rising damp. We most commonly see mould on carpet due to water damage from storm water leaks left untreated or from mattresses placed directly on the carpet. Mould is a serious health hazard which requires urgent attention and is best left to the professionals.

Help is just a phone call away


All Black Gold technicians are stain removal specialists. We carry a wide range of stain removers for all types of stains, from coffee and red wine to blood, rust, ink and cordial.  We can also remove and sanitise pet stains and odours.  If you have any concerns or questions about how to remove carpet stains, please call us anytime to discuss your carpet stain removal.  We are very happy to offer advice over the phone: Mobile 0403 254 080.