How to Remove Food Stains From Your Carpet

How to Remove Food Stains From Your Carpet

It’s difficult to have a carpet for many years without a few stains building up on it. With kids dragging in mud from outside, un-potty trained pets, and a broken wine glass at a dinner party, rugs can quickly go from a beautiful accent piece to a stain-covered mess.  

Because you can’t treat a carpet like a piece of clothing and just throw it in the wash, there are different methods to clean each type of stain. If you are wondering how to get a certain food stain out of your clothing instead, check out our article: How to Remove Food Stains From Your Clothes.

Here is how to get some of the most common food stains out of your carpet.

Tomato sauce or ketchup

Tomato ketchup bottle

1. Scrape off any excess. Take a spoon and gently scrape or brush off any remaining ketchup or sauce. 

2. Mix together one tablespoon of dish soap with 2 cups of cold water.  

3. Gently blot the remaining stain with a white cloth soaked in this mixture. Make sure not to rub it because that can spread the stain.  

4. Blot the spot with a dry cloth to absorb the liquid.  

5.  Rinse the spot with cold water to remove the rest of the mixture.


wine being poured in bottle

1. Use a clean cloth to blot as much of the stain as possible.  

2. Pour cold water onto the stained area and blot some more.  

3. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap with a tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water.  

4. Pour some of the solution over the stain and use a white cloth to blot until it is gone.  

If you don’t have dish soap or white vinegar, you can replace #3 with: 

3. Mix one part water to three parts baking soda, until it makes a paste. 

4. Apply the solution to the stained area and wait for it to dry. 

5. Vacuum the carpet.

Coffee or tea

coffee beans falling from cup

1.  Lightly pour warm water over the stain and blot the area with a white cloth starting from the area surrounding the stain and moving inward. 

2. Mix together one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water. 

3. Apply the cleaner to the stain using a clean white cloth. Blot the stain from the outside towards the center . 

4. Blot the stain with a dry towel to remove the remaining solution. 

5. Rinse the area with cool water and blot again with a dry towel.  



1. Scape off any excess chocolate. 

2. Use a clean white cloth and carpet stain remover on the stain. 

3. If there is still a stain remaining, mix ¼ teaspoon of white detergent and a cup of lukewarm water.  

4. Pour this mixture onto the stain and blot from the outer edge to the center.  

5. Leave the area to dry.  

If you do not have white detergent you can also try this method using a clothing iron: 

1.  Scape off any excess chocolate. 

2. Vacuum the stain to remove any remaining dried flakes.  

3. Cover the stain with paper towels and set your clothing iron to the lowest, non-steam setting.  

4. Slowly move the iron over the paper towels to help the chocolate stick. 

5. Repeat this process until the stain has disappeared.



With a gum stain, it is important to remember not to try to pull the gum off the carpet with your hand, as it will only stretch and make it worse.   

1.  Find a thin piece of cardboard and cut a small hole in it in the shape of the gum. Put the cardboard over the spot – it will  act as a guard to protect the surrounding carpet. 

2. Put an ice cube inside a plastic bag and rub it over the gum until it becomes hard. 

3. Scrape the hardened gum off the carpet using a butter knife or spatula. 

4. If pieces remain, use a sponge to apply lacquer thinner or a citrus-based adhesive remover over the stain. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label.  

5. Blot or scrape the remaining gum until it is gone. 

6. If a stain still remains after you have removed the gum, mix one part mineral oil with eight parts liquid dry-cleaning solvent. 

7. Apply sparingly to the stain and press down with a sponge. You can remove the cardboard at this point to blot more easily. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.  

8. Rinse the area with some water and blot with a towel. 

Fruit juice

orange fruit juice splashing in glass

1.  Blot the stain with a paper towel or clean cloth. 

2. Spray room-temperature water onto the stain and blot the stain again. 

3. If a stain still remains, mix ¼ teaspoon of carpet shampoo with one liter of warm water. 

4. Apply this mixture to the stains and blot with a towel or cloth. 

5. Rinse with warm water and place a towel over the area with a heavy object over it to apply pressure.  

6. After a few hours, remove the towels and object and voila!


blueberries and rasberries on plate

1.  Use a dull knife or spoon to pick up any solids from the carpet.  

2. Use a paper towel or white cloth to blot the stain. 

3. Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 2 cups of lukewarm water, dip a cloth or sponge into the solution, and blot the stain.  

4.  Rinse the stain by blotting it with another cloth dipped in water.  

5. Lastly, use a dry cloth to blot away any moisture and then vacuum.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter

1.  Sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch, or another absorbent onto the stain. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and vacuum.  

2. Use a clean white cloth to sponge the stain with a dry cleaning solvent. 

3. Blot until the solvent is absorbed.  

4. Repeat this process until the stain is gone  

Another method is to 

  1. Get a stain remover solution like acetone. 
  1. Use an eyedropper to apply a tiny bit on the stain and then blot immediately to test if it will hurt the carpet. 
  1. If the carpet looks fine, dip a cloth in the acetone and blot the stain. 
  1. Rinse with water and pat it until it is dry.

Salad dressing/Olive oil

oil in cup with olives

1. Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda over the stain to absorb it. 

2. Use a toothbrush to work the powder into the carpet. 

3. Let it sit for a minimum of 15 minutes. 

4. Vacuum the powder. 

5. Take one tablespoon of dish soap and two cups of hot water and mix them together. Then add one tablespoon of household ammonia. Blot the stain with a sponge soaked in the mixture.  

6. Use a paper towel to absorb the solution.  

7. Repeat these steps until you can no longer see the stain.  


butter on board cut

1. Scrape off extra butter with butter knife or spoon 

2. Sprinkle baking soda, cornstarch, or other absorbent on the stain. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then vacuum. 

3. Blot the stain with a clean white cloth dipped in dry-cleaning solvent. 

4. If the stain is still there, mix one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with one tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water. 

5. Blot again with a new clean white cloth dipped in this solution. 

6. Rinse with cold water and blot until the area is dry.


It’s almost impossible not to eventually spill on a carpet. Life happens. But fortunately it is not so difficult to clean it. If you follow these instructions, your guests will be impressed with how great your carpet looks after having it for years. Just always remember that it’s easiest to treat a stain when it is fresh, so next time you drop your wine glass, don’t panic. Just grab your cleaning supplies and keep that carpet looking fresh.

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