How do I Choose the Best Carpet Stain Remover?

Sheri Cyprus

Choosing the best carpet stain remover means carefully reading product labels. Not all carpet stain removers are created to work on the same types of stains or carpet fibers. The goal in finding the best carpet stain remover for your needs is to choose one that will remove the stain without damaging or fading your carpet.

Glass of red wine spilled on a white carpet.
Glass of red wine spilled on a white carpet.

First, figure out what kind of carpet stain you have. If it’s greasy, such as automotive or cooking oil, there are specific carpet stain removing products available for grease-based stains. If the spot is acid-based, such as a urine or coffee stain, then using a type of remover made for grease stains is likely to give you a poor result. Oil-based carpet stain removal products dissolve stains whereas acid-based ones change the chemical quality of the spots in order to remove them.

A professional carpet cleaner.
A professional carpet cleaner.

If you’re not sure what the stain is, look for an all purpose type of carpet stain remover. It’s important to test all types of carpet stain remover in a corner or other out-of-the-way place on the carpeting. Otherwise, you could create a faded spot that may look worse than the carpet stain itself.

If you try one carpet stain remover and get some, but not all of the stain out, you may want to use the same product again and apply it with a stiff brush. Remember to test the brush and remover in an out-of-the-way spot, as you may damage the fibers of the carpeting through heavy scrubbing. If the carpet fibers will be damaged by brushing in the stain remover product, don’t use a brush.

Some wool fiber carpets are delicate and shouldn’t be scrubbed hard or saturated with harsh chemicals. Blotting on the carpet stain remover may work best on wool carpeting. Some carpet stain removers specifically instruct on the label not to use the product on wool. Be sure to read all the text on product labels to avoid buying and using the wrong carpet stain remover for your carpeting.

For the best chance of successful carpet stain removal, always try to remove stains as soon as possible. The longer stains are left to soak deep into carpeting, the more difficult they are to remove. Having several carpet stain removers on hand that suit the carpeting fibers in your home can mean being able to remove stains on carpeting in a timely manner. Your supply of stain removal products should include spot removers for both acid and grease stains.

Always try to remove stains as quickly as possible for the best chance at successfully removing a carpet stain.
Always try to remove stains as quickly as possible for the best chance at successfully removing a carpet stain.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


@OeKc05 – There are some stain removers made for use on wool carpets. My friend has a foam carpet cleaner that says it is safe for wool.

I think that foam is better than liquid when it comes to wool. It can shrink when exposed to water, so the less moisture in the product, the better.

Also, don't use anything with a bleach or a brightening agent in it on your wool carpet. It will cause faded spots right away, and the color of your carpet will be ruined.

If you still have trouble finding a wool carpet stain remover, try calling a carpet cleaning service. They probably charge less for cleaning one little stain than for cleaning your entire carpet.


Is there a certain type of carpet cleaner or stain remover that I should use on my wool carpet? I keep seeing labels that say “not for use on wool,” but I have yet to see one that says it is made specifically for wool.


I buy products made for pet stain removal from carpets. My old dog has a leaky bladder, and even though she is on medication for it, she sometimes can't control herself.

I like knowing that the stain remover I'm using is made especially for pet urine. That means that it is more likely to get the stain out than an all-purpose stain remover. It also helps with eliminating the odor, which is very important to me.

Post your comments
Forgot password?