How to Remove Stains from Carpet

If you have been keeping up with my posts then you know I have been taking a little break and living in the slow lane for awhile to enjoy summer downtime.  I have been puttering around, reading, doing small projects, organizing and even cleaning around the house.

I’m not obsessive about cleaning and I’ve learned ways of keeping my house neat and clean in a simple, stress-free way. I follow the “clean-as-you-go” method. :-)

The basic idea is that, instead of waiting for the house to get really dirty and then having to spend a lot of time cleaning it, I just clean a little bit at a time.

Bathroom mirror cleaning

For instance, when I see spots on the bathroom mirror when I am brushing my teeth, I reach under the cabinet with my free hand and spray window cleaner on the mirror and wipe with a paper towel.  Check…check… Teeth brushed and mirror clean.

Very affordable Kitchen makeover ideas that anyone can DIY

Or when I am making dinner and standing at the stove waiting for water to boil, I may grab a mop and clean the floor. Two things that I really don’t enjoy… cooking and cleaning are done in one shot. :-)

I never take a whole day to clean… like EVER in my life.

Multi-purpose room waiting for a makeover

A week after we got back from vacation and I was working out on my Pilates Reformer in a room I have rarely posted about, I saw a new stain on the carpet in the room and made a mental note to bring up the Spot Shot ® Pet Instant Carpet Stain & Odor Eliminator the next time I came upstairs.

In my previous house, I created a “Fitness Room” just for working out in. In the lake house, I don’t have this room anymore, but in its place is this multi-purpose room with wall-to-wall carpeting.

Carpet and rug cleaning tips

We call it the “pool room”, since the pool/ping-pong table takes up a large part of the room, but it really is a throw-all room with our fitness equipment as well as other junk we don’t know what to do with, but want to keep, hence why I consider it a bonus or multi-purpose room.

The previous owners left the pool table that turns into a ping pong table. I wasn’t so sure I wanted it, Ed did. After living here for a year and a half, I am glad we kept it as it has gotten plenty of use when we have family and friends over.

Paint chip crafts and decorative ideas - make a door screen using paint chips

I haven’t done much to this room, except give it a doorway curtain made using paint chips since the room lacks a real door. I posted about this over on My Colortopia. 

lake view

It is the darkest room in the house as it is on the side of the house where a row of trees keeps the doors and window in the shade most of the day.

Louvered doors waiting for some paint

The room is organized and usable, but I would like to make it over soon. There are two closets with louvered doors that I will eventually paint.

craft supply storage and organizing ideas

I use one of the closets as a place to store my crafting and creative supplies. The other is filled with boxes of family photos and luggage.

carpet and Rug cleaning tips

The walls are covered with dark 1970’s paneling that the previous owner painted white at some point. I removed the heavy draperies and rods, but haven’t done much else to the room besides place stuff in it and clean the ceiling fans and carpet.

The carpet is neutral and in good shape, except for a few stains of unknown origin that happen from time to time.

How to remove stains in carpet 1..2...3...

Like this one. I have always used  Spot Shot ® Pet Instant Carpet Stain & Odor Eliminator to eliminate carpet stains and spots. Even though I don’t have pets anymore, I found I like the formula for pets. It is non-toxic and I like the smell. If you are using it for pet messes, it does remove that odor, too.

When using Spot Shot products, I have a little trick I thought I would share with you so that once you get the stain out, the carpet looks like new and not like it has just been dampened.

Removing carpet stain trick
  1. Shake the can well and then spray Spot Shot Pet or the original Spot Shot over the stain, but spray lightly as you don’t need to saturate the stain.  Let it sit for about 60 seconds.
Carpet and rug stain removal hack

2. Use a white absorbent cloth, I use an old white washcloth to blot and absorb the stain.

Carpet and rug stain removal trick

3. If stain is not gone, repeat steps 1- 2. If stain is gone, blot over the area with cool water on a sponge or rag.  You want to make sure you remove all the cleaner from the carpet.

DIY tip to make a spot cleaned carpet look like new

After stain is gone, here is my favorite carpet stain removal TIP:  Use a plastic fork to fluff the wet carpet strands back to standing position.

DIY tip to make a spot cleaned carpet look like new

This way the strands will dry straight up.  No smooshed area where you rubbed to remove the stain that can look as bad as a stain can.. and shouts out to anyone entering the room… “Hey, look here… where there was once a stain”.   :-)

DIY tip to make a spot cleaned carpet look like new

To keep up with my “clean-as-I-go”  house cleaning method, I took on a few other stains as I headed back downstairs along the hallway section of carpet…


…following the same carpet stain removal steps.

DIY tip to make a spot cleaned carpet look like new

I really should keep a can of Spot Shot Pet upstairs since it is where most of the carpet is in the house and will make my “clean-as-I-go” method even easier. :-)

Now I only wish I had a “paint-as-I-go” method that would make getting the “pool room” made over as easily as it is to clean.

Do you use the “clean-as-you-go” method to clean your house or do you like to schedule a time to clean it from top to bottom?

Try this DIY tip to make a spot cleaned carpet look like new.

This post is sponsored by Spot Shot ® Instant Carpet Stain Remover. All ideas, thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

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  1. Dust buster Guide says:

    “Thanks for sharing your simple and effective method for cleaning carpet stains! The ‘clean-as-you-go’ approach sounds like a stress-free way to maintain a tidy home, and your multitasking tips make it even more efficient. It’s great that you’ve found a balance between enjoying your summer downtime and keeping your living space clean. Thanks again for sharing your insights and tips on maintaining a clean and organized home!”

  2. Mark Allen Mckenney says:

    I love your house and yes I too keep a clean house but I hire someone too help me and I find the clean as you go method very effective.

  3. Brittany Gamblin says:

    How does yourpilayes reformer compare to being on the carpet vs the subfloor in your old fitness room? I’m trying to decide if I need to put new floor down or just put mine straight on the carpet…?! Thanks in advance!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Brittany –

      I have used my Pilates Reformer on carpet, subfloor and luxury vinyl plank flooring. It performs the same, the only difference, it is much nosier on the plank and subfloor. The carpet muffles the sound.

  4. Kelly Elko says:

    Great tip Diane! Perfect for my dog, kid and wine loving house!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      I don’t believe it that sweet Sushi makes messes? :-)

  5. Rosa Swan says:

    Hi,Diane i just love your work and i just love your doorway curtain .:)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Rosa – The paint chip door curtain does add lots of color to the otherwise plain room. It would be fun for a teens room and can even be used as a window treatment.

  6. Beth Fagundes says:

    Thank you for your posts! I love to read them! I am looking at buying a reformer much like the one in your picture. Do you have any sources for exercises to go along with it? I haven’t used one before.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Beth – Thanks for reading my posts. :-) I love my Reformer. It is my second one. My first one gave out after 10 years of 5 days a week use. I bought mine on QVC, but nowadays they are making them a bit different. If you are in the market to buy one, make sure it is sturdy. Some of the newer ones wobble…not good.

      Mine came with VHS tapes…tells you how long I have had it. You can buy DVD’s now. I would recommend starting with this one:

      1. Diane, I have the same reformer as you. It’s folded upright in the corner! I never got into a workout routine with it. I got rid of the VHS tapes long ago!

  7. I am also a clean-as-you-go girl since I have 2 young children (and one more coming hopefully today)! I have small chunks of time, but usually not huge chunks and my house stays relatively clean.

  8. Clean as you go is really smart. I try to encourage my dog to clean up while Im at work but he’s no more interested in cleaning than I am. I used to have a co-worker who would say “Im going to do this real quick” – she was one of the most productive people I’ve ever met. Somehow saying that made dreaded tasks seem less horrible.

  9. Debbie Klausing says:

    Speaking of carpet, our water heater bit the dust and leaked into finished basement, messing up our carpet. After endless shop vaccing water, we have removed part of the carpet that was wet and stinky. We will remove all 500 sq. ft. of it, and are not replacing it with more carpet, but something more waterproof. We are considering luxury vinyl plank although I am not crazy about it. There is residue on the concrete from tiles that were removed years ago before I lived here, so it is not advised to do a floating floor. Too much heavy furniture (pool table) to try to go with a finished concrete, which would be fun!
    I am overwhelmed right now!
    Any suggestions appreciated! Have you ever used vinyl plank or tile?

  10. I’m always cleaning something because I’m always noticing something that needs to be taken care of but I do like to do a biweekly house cleaning that takes me a good portion of the day (I allow myself to dilly dally if I want to!) because I like to feel the whole house is spin n span all at once! Of course it’s all down hill from there for the rest of the 2 weeks till next housecleaning day! I vacuum and spot mop in between as needed. M mother would turn in her grave knowing I don’t clean every week, but since its just me and my husband (end the dog) now I figured I’d give myself a break. If my neighbors who have housecleaners that come biweekly can live that way (and not do a thing to touchup in between/perish the thought they should mop their own floor?) I figured I can ease up a bit! I am my mother’s daughter for sure- I love a clean house! It’s both a blessing to have learned from her, as well as a curse!

  11. I clean as I go, too but I also made note cards with 3-4 cleaning “projects” for each weekday. Most of the time I can get everything finished in about an hour so I start in the morning and am finished by lunch time. My Monday list is: wash towels, put them away, vacuum the upstairs, and dust the master bedroom. By Friday the house is clean so I can enjoy the weekend. Of course now that I’m retired, I could let it go and do it all at once but that’s just too overwhelming for me!

  12. Laura at Duke manor farm says:

    Oh my. Love that paint chip door. Brilliant!!!

  13. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    I will rethink Hot Spot, been any years, but did not like it one bit. Back then, it left a residue that collected dirt, big time!

    I admit I used to keep everything so spotless, NOT now! I get overwhelmed now!

    Your advice is always the best!

    1. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

      What I’ve got is Spot Shot!

  14. Linda Weeks says:

    Oh, that’s funny – I was just doing that very thing when I said, well, time to take a break and check the email! I have vacuuming going on, then started washing the kitchen floor, then I said since I have the mop out anyway, I should do the bathroom floor too, and then finish vacuuming, and even did one window that wasn’t in the sunshine…. somehow I think you do it smarter than I do, but hey, so long as I get it done, right?
    Your place looks prettier everytime I see it! Good work!

  15. Elaine Williams in Baltimore, Maryland says:

    Diane you said” Two things that I really don’t enjoy… cooking and cleaning are done in one shot.” Try cooking and cleaning with wine! Works for me. Sometimes I even put it in the food. ;-) Tee hee

    Actually I too clean as I go- we have two very large English Labs – a yellow and a black – I swear we keep Swiffer in business. Had I known I was going to have these two boys I would have invested in Swiffer stock!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      HA! Elaine – you made me smile big time! YES…wine is the only way I get the cooking done. :-) Just stocked up over the weekend, too…so I am prepared. Swiffer makes cleaning floors a breeze. I love mine!

  16. I do the clean as I go in my kitchen, especially. When cooking, I have a sink full of soapy water to wash prep utensils and dishes as I go. They get washed and put in the wire drainer to be put away as soon as dry. I also make myself run the little sweeper as the last thing when meals are finished and if needed, a quick mop. I keep a mop that uses wet disposable sheets in my garage just outside my utility room. Takes only a minute to clean up dirt from shoes and boots coming in from outside. I too hate cleaning but it has to be done. But not all at once.

  17. Would love to know what colour paint was used
    for the blue cabinet and bench. I have an armoire
    That would look beautiful in the blue.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Helen – I wrote about both the turquoise corner cabinet and bench a few years ago. The color on the cabinet is called Pacific Coast by Glidden. You can find all the details in this post as I did layer the color to get the color and look I was after. Both pieces were shown in BHG Christmas Ideas magazine a few years ago, too.

      The bench – the paint color is called Caribbean Sea. You can see the post here:

  18. Been using the “clean as you go” method for years…like all the 40 years of our marriage :-) That way I never have to say “Oh, I can’t do__________ today because it’s my house cleaning day.” Also, since we now have most of our home in white or off-white (and 3 dogs!) my motto is “If you see the dirt, you clean the dirt.” White walls, light carpeting, white cabinets, white trim, actually make that motto easier to follow :-)

    Love your light, bright home and your blog :-)

  19. love your clean as you go method…… I am going to think of you when I do this in my home.