How to Remove Stains From Carpet Fibres

updated: 16/03/2023

Time is of the Essence

The golden rule for all stains, no matter what they come from, is to get onto them quickly. A stain that has the chance to dry on will quite possibly “set” and be next to impossible to get out. Whether that prompt action is soaking it or washing it, just do it as soon as possible. When washing clothes or other items with stains, biological washing powder and warm water is by far the best method. However, if you have sensitive skin, you may find that biological washing powder is hard on your hands. Cold water washes are also much cheaper and consume less energy. Cold water washes and “normal” washing powder do a reasonable job, but really dirty things will need a heavy-duty wash or a soak. Warm water and toilet soap worked to a lather also works as a soaking treatment.

Apple Juice

Not too much of a problem, really. Wash as normal. I’ve never known this to stain. The same goes for most other natural fruit juices. If you have spilled it on the carpet, a professional carpet cleaning will be an excellent solution.


The pulp is not too bad when it comes to staining and it should just wash out with warm soapy water. The sap in the stone is another story and is very hard to shift – it’s something of a natural dye.


Avoid the problem in the first place and don’t cut the stone open. If you do, keep it away from clothes.

Ballpoint Pen

Not as much of a stain as it first appears when it leaks all over your pocket after you’ve carried it in there – this writer tried decorating denim jeans with ballpoint pen during university student days. It washed out in the regular wash, much to my disappointment. Methylated spirits can help really stubborn ballpoint stains on their way.


Very dramatic when it first goes on, but washes out surprisingly easy in just the normal washing load. This writer once tried dyeing tea towels in beetroot juice – it doesn’t work!


Use kerosene to dissolve the smears and scrape off as much as you can. Spot-soaking the item with kerosene for a reasonable period before washing also helps.


Use cold water and soap – hot water will set the stain (the same goes for other protein-based stains). Soak overnight if the stain is extensive, then wash in cold water.

Candle Wax

Use a paper towel to blot up as much as possible before it hardens. If you find hardened candle wax, scrape off as much as you can with your fingernails or a razor blade. A little will remain. Cover the spot, top and bottom, with paper towels, tissue paper or even toilet paper. Then iron the spot with a cool iron. This will melt the wax and it will soak into the paper (you may need to wipe the iron clean afterwards with fresh paper towels). You can wash out the remaining greasy residue in hot soapy water.

Dandelion Juice

Regular washing removes this.

Egg Yolk

As this is a protein, treat this in the same way as blood, using cold water and soaking if necessary.

Felt-Tip Pen

The child’s sort of felt-tip pen is water based (thankfully) and will wash out in the regular wash. Rub hairspray on permanent markers after soaking, then wash to shift them. Other alcohol-based products (including body spray, rubbing alcohol and meths) are also possibilities to remove permanent marker.

Grass Stains

Methylated spirits soaked onto the grass stain works well, followed by drying in the sun, as the sunlight bleaches the grass stain.

Need carpet cleaning Herne Hill? Call 020 7099 6964 for the best quote on your list. Fully guaranteed carpet cleaners.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.