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Carpets offer a certain type of comfort and softness that most people seek in their homes. If you live in an apartment, you might appreciate carpets even more because they dampen the noise from your neighbors. Besides those benefits, the obvious reason for carpeting is because of the look it can give an apartment or home. As much as it can contribute to the style of your residence, it can also take away from it. When your carpet is dirty and plagued with stains, it can diminish the freshness of your space. However, if you learn how to clean carpet stains properly, you won’t ever have to sacrifice the design of your home.

The earlier you clean a stain, the better chances you have of getting it removed. Sometimes, you don’t get the chance to take care of the stains as soon as they present. You may have missed the stain, or you moved in while they were already there. It certainly feels like living with someone who refuses to move out of your space. It’s painful to look at, but you’ve learned to live with them. Fortunately for you, you can say goodbye to old stains for good in a few simple steps. Whether you live in a house or apartment, these carpet cleaning tricks will still be helpful. So, if you’re ready, keep reading to discover how to clean carpet with year-old stains.

What Can Pose a Challenge

There are factors that can affect the removal process. Some of these factors include the type of stain you’re removing and the carpeting material. You’ll encounter carpet stains that are water-soluble, such as a stain from an alcoholic beverage. You can also have oil stains or stains from various other substances. Water stains are generally easier to remove compared to others. If you’re unaware of the source of your stain, it may make it difficult to target it with the right solutions.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Dish detergent

Household ammonia

Hydrogen peroxide

White cloth (to prevent color transfer)

Spray bottle

Scrub brush

Cleaning Steps & Techniques

After gathering everything, you need for cleaning the carpet, move on to the techniques. Following these methods will show you how to clean carpet by hand using a few steps.

1. Vacuum the area.

how to cleaning a carpet

Vacuum the areas you’re targeting before getting to work. This step ensures you remove trapped dirt and debris, which can make the subsequent steps much more efficient.

2. Prepare a cup of hot water and one tablespoon (tbsp) of dish detergent.

carpet cleaning

If the origin of your stain is unknown, it is best to use hot water. Mix the solution in a spray bottle for this step of your cleaning. Proceed by covering the stained areas with the solution.

After every inch of your stained carpet is soaked with the solution, use your scrub brush to get into the bottom layers. Blotting the stains will not work to remove the stains in this case since they are older. However, you should be gentle when scrubbing to avoid damaging the material.

Repeat this process as many times as possible. You won’t be able to remove all the stains, but you will prep the area enough for the subsequent steps. After you complete this process, remove the soapy residue with a wet towel.

3. Mix your household ammonia with hydrogen peroxide.

cleaning stains

The next key step is mixing equal parts ammonia and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Spray this solution all over the areas you just cleaned. Following this step, place a damp cloth over the areas you sprayed and let it sit for approximately an hour.

Caution: Before, using this step, it is important to note that ammonia has a high pH; therefore, do not use it on natural fibers, such as wool, as it can be damaging. Although ammonia is a common cleaning agent, it can be toxic to humans and pets alike, so exercise caution while using it. It is a good idea to wear gloves and protective face gear, especially when mixing chemicals. Additionally, hydrogen peroxide has the potential of bleaching your carpet. It is always a good idea to test a small area of your carpet with the solution before proceeding.

4. Blot the area.

how do you clean carpet

Using the same damp cloth, blot the area. The stain may still be there, in which case you may need to repeat step 3 or leave the solution on a little longer. The severity of the damage will determine how many times you will need to repeat this step.

5. Allow to air dry, then vacuum.


The last step in cleaning a carpet is simply letting the area dry before vacuuming once again. Avoid stepping on these areas while the drying process is still ongoing to prevent re-introducing dirt.


Carpet flooring is a favorite in many households, but cleaning can be challenging. The best way to remove stains is to take care of them as soon as they occur. However, you can face situations in which you don’t have the opportunity to clean the stain promptly.

Old stains can be stubborn and harder to remove. Although, a difficult task, the right products, and methods can be helpful when removing these stains. If you don’t know what created your carpet stains, the steps above will help you learn how to clean carpet stains that won’t go away.