Carpet and Upholstery Stain Removal Guide | Rug Doctor

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Rug Doctor machines cannot be used for flooding purposes

Stain Removal Guide

How to Remove Upholstery and Carpet Stains

For over 30 years, Rug Doctor has researched the best carpet cleaning methods in order to provide homeowners with the right machine, products and information to achieve professional carpet cleaning results. In this guide you will find our stain removal and carpet cleaning tips that are designed to help you improve and maintain the beauty as well as extend the life of your carpet.

For most carpets the best cleaning comes from hot-water extraction. It’s the method recommended by most major carpet manufacturers and used by professional carpet cleaners. Continued, regular deep- cleaning not only removes allergens, dirt, and grime, but can add years of life to your carpet by removing the abrasive grit that harms carpet fibres

Rug Doctor's line of specialised cleaning products, includes our carpet cleaner, carpet stain remover, spot remover, odour remover and upholstery cleaner. Our cleaning products are suitable for everyday use in helping you keep your carpets and upholstery spotless. Use the following carpet stain removal guide to find the best solution for your specific stains.

Professional Carpet Cleaning & Stain Removal Tips:

  • Do not rub the carpet's surface – this will spread stain and distort carpet.
  • When cleaning liquid spills, gently blot thoroughly with clean, white paper towels. Do not press hard, allow liquid to absorb into the paper towels.
  • Always blot or clean toward the centre so as not to spread stain.
  • For solids, scoop up with a spoon working from outside of the spill towards the centre.
  • Use cleaning products according to the instructions found on the label.
  • Always test an inconspicuous area of carpet for colour-fastness before cleaning.

Pre-treatment and stain removal chart:

Use the recommended treatment to the stain and allow the problem areas to be prepared for removal by the carpet cleaning machine so that one-pass cleaning can be more effective. If the machine cannot remove tough stains in two passes despite pre-treatment, allow the carpet to dry and re-clean rather than risk over-wetting. For best results always have these pre-treatment products at the ready to effectively clean the problem area.

For stubborn stains it is best to use the upholstery / hand tool connected to the back of the machine. Use quick back and forward cleaning action movements while holding the hand tool firmly down onto surface area, spraying and extracting solution at the same time. You can extract excess moisture from the surface being cleaned by not engaging the hand tool solution lever. This will avoid over wetting and help with drying time.

Download a printable version of this carpet stain removal chart


 Type of Stain  Treatment  Special Instructions
 Beer Stain/Spot Remover  
 Blood Spot Remover  
 Butter or Margarine Spot Remover  
 Candle Wax Spot Remover Scrape off as much wax as possible with a spatula or spoon. If wax is deeply embedded, cover with a white cloth and apply iron on low setting to cloth. Wax will transfer to cloth. Any remaining residue can be removed using Spot Remover.
 Chocolate Spot Remover  
 Coffee Stain Remover  
 Cough Syrup Spot Remover  
 Crayon Spot Remover  
 Dirt, Mud, Clay, Grass Spot Remover  
Faeces (not urine) Spot Remover  
Food Grease Spot Remover  
Fruit Juice Stain Remover  
Gravy Spot Remover  
Gum Spot Remover  
Ice Cream Spot Remover  
Ink Spot Remover  
Jelly/Jam Spot Remover  
Lipstick Spot Remover  
Make-up Spot Remover  
Mildew Odour Remover Odour Remover destroys the mildew source. After treatment blot well and keep area dry. A follow-up cleaning should eliminate the stain.
Milk Spot Remover  
Motor Grease/Oil Spot Remover  
Mustard Alternate with Spot Remover and full strength vinegar A near permanent stain. Use our Spot Remover followed by full strength vinegar. Yellow dye stains from mustard may not be removable depending on your carpet or fabric type.
(Water Based)
Spot Remover Old or dried spots may need to soak for an hour or two.
Perspiration Stain Remover Use Odour Remover to eliminate smell by adding with cleaning solution to machine.
Salad Dressing Spot Remover  
Shoe Polish Spot Remover  
Tea Stain Remover  
Tobacco Spot Remover  
Tomato Sauce Spot Remover  
Toothpaste Spot Remover  
Urine Stain Remover Act quickly! Urine is highly acidic and will bleach some carpets which cannot be corrected with stain removing products.
Vegetable Oil Spot Remover  
Vomit Stain Remover or Spot Remover Use Odour Remover to eliminate smell by adding with cleaning solution to machine.
Wine Stain Remover or Spot Remover White Wine use Stain Remover and Red Wine use Spot Remover


If you need additional assistance, please contact our Customer Support Team.