Rug Cleaning: What to Do (and What NOT to do) When You Stain Your Fine Rug

Family eating pizza on a rugRug Cleaning: What to Do (and What NOT to do) When You Stain Your Fine Rug

Spills and stains happen. It’s every rug owner’s nightmare but it can’t be avoided. So what should you do in the event that something gets on your rug? And what should you NEVER do? It depends on the stain! The most common stains include food, mud, wine, grease, pet accidents, which we will cover in this blog. At-home rug cleaning varies from stain to stain.

What to do in the case of food or mud:

Do: Address it immediately. Remove any large particulates. The longer a spill sits on a rug, the harder it is to remove and the higher the likelihood it becomes a stain that could be permanent. Get a paper towel or clean rag and blot the spill as soon as you can.

Do: Mist the area with a clean spray bottle full of tap water. It’s important the the spray bottle not have the remnants of something else, like a harsh cleaner, in it. A spray bottle is ideal, but if you don’t have a clean one you can pour a bit of water over the spill.

Do: Blot or dab the stain as soon as you notice it and then again after spraying it with water.

Do: Blot until nothing comes out on your paper towel.

Do: Use paper towels. These are better at absorbing than cloths.

Do: Dilute and remove the stain gently.

Do: Proceed to dry the rug as soon as possible. Elevate the rug and use a fan, do not use heat.

Find out what to do in the case of wine stains.

What to do in the case of grease from lubricant or an oil by-product:

Do: Get out some rubbing alcohol.

Do: Saturate a cloth and rub it gently against the stain.

Do: Once the stain is gone, follow the procedure for food and mud listed above.

What to do in the case of a dog accident:

Dog urine can be acidic as well as colorful. The breed, age, time of day, diet, and body chemistry all affect the urine differently. In general, you can follow the same steps as you will for food and mud, with added steps afterward. After the rug has dried completely, odor or color may still remain

. Your rug may smell and have a yellowish stain, or it may just smell or just be stained. Placing the rug in direct sunlight or next to an air circulation fan can help dissipate the odor. If the urine is very acidic the smell will be strong.

If direct sunlight and circulation don’t work, try baking soda. Once you are sure the rug is 100% dry, you can try to remove the odor with baking soda. Use a generous amount over the stained or smelly area. Leave it for several days, depending on the strength of the odor. Make sure the rug is not wet, as baking soda will discolor a wet rug. After a few days, vacuum the rug completely.

If this doesn’t work, or to remove any discoloration from the accident, you need professional help. Professionals can perform color touch ups, as well as use live enzyme bacteria to effectively eliminate any remaining odors.


Don’t: Let the spill sit on your rug. The longer a stain sits on a rug, the more likely it will be completely absorbed by the fibers, making it much harder to remove. When you let a spill sit on your rug, the spill begins to migrate deeper and deeper.

Don’t: Rub the stain. Rubbing pushes the spilled particulates deeper into the body of the rug where it is harder to remove.

Don’t: Use chemical cleaners, especially those meant for carpets. These chemicals are far too harsh for delicate rugs, and can cause color fading, bleeding, and even damage to the fibers that could cause the rug to fall apart.

Don’t: In the case of a pet accident, do not try to remove the odor with baking soda if the rug is not 100% dry.

Always follow these guidelines when removing stains from your rug. If you encounter a stain you can’t remove, don’t worry! The experts at Behnam Rugs can remove almost anything, and we do it without using harsh chemicals or machines. We recommend that you avoid using spot removers on your rugs, as this makes our job easier.

We utilize hand washing methods passed down for generations from Old Persia, and use only organic shampoos and live bacteria enzymes that are 100% safe for fine, handmade rugs, including antiques. In addition, we recommend professional cleaning every three to five years to ensure your rug is in tip-top shape. Call 972-733-0400 to schedule professional cleaning.