Use This Genius Trick to Remove Stubborn Spots From Your Carpet

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated October 6, 2021
Smiling woman petting her dog in living room
Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

Remove carpet stains for good with just a few tools and some soda water

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Plush carpet can bring a cozy touch to any room, but keeping it clean can be a huge chore. Spot cleaners can actually make stains worse, but there are other ways to refresh your rug. Try this easy trick using soda water to remove spots from your carpet for deep stains and spots that seem to keep reappearing.

Difficulty: 1/5

Time: <1 hour

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Wet/Dry Vacuum

  • Towel

  • Empty Spray Bottle

    • Wet/Dry Vacuum

    • Towel

    • Empty Spray Bottle

    • Soda Water

  • Soda Water

1. Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum

Vacuum over the stain or older spot with the wet/dry vacuum.

2. Spray Soda Water Into the Stain or Spot

Fill the empty spray bottle with soda water. Then, thoroughly soak the stain with the soda water. Spray about the same amount of soda water as you would carpet cleaner to cover the spot or old stain.

3. Blot With a Folded Towel

Fold the towel a couple of times, then place it over the stain. Using your foot, press into the towel firmly and twist slightly. Flip the towel over, and use your foot again to twist the towel into the stain.

4. Repeat as Needed

Whether it’s a fresh red wine stain or a reappearing stain from years of using spot cleaners, the deepest stains might require a few rounds of the soda water treatment. Repeat steps one through three until the stain has completely lifted from the carpet.

Why Spot Cleaners Aren’t a Permanent Fix

Spot cleaners for carpets might work in the short term, but they can be the cause of those reappearing stains. This problem is thanks to the processes of soiling and wicking.


Soiling happens when you don’t thoroughly rinse away cleaner from the carpet. The residue becomes sticky, trapping dirt and debris and creating a reappearing spot on the rug.


If a liquid seeps into the back of the carpeting, it will create a deep, set stain. When you spot clean, you’ll only be cleaning the surface of the carpet. As those in your home walk over the carpet, the deep stain will wick back up the fibers to the surface, leading to a recurring stain.

Cost to DIY vs. Hire a Pro to Remove Carpet Spots

Woman cleaning carpet with spray bottle and cloth
Photo: Africa Studio / Adobe Stock

Cleaning carpet stains requires some elbow grease, and while soda water and a spray bottle are affordable materials for this easy, one-ingredient trick, a wet/dry vacuum is more of an investment.

DIY Carpet Cleaning

If you already have a wet/dry vacuum, this cleaning tip is cost-effective and a great solution if you have just a few stubborn spots. For heavily soiled carpets, you’ll save time by hiring a local professional carpet cleaner.

  • Wet/dry vacuum: This is the most costly investment for deep cleaning recurring carpet stains. Smaller models may cost $50 to $100, while full-size wet/dry vacuums can cost up to $400. Note that regular vacuums are not designed to clean up liquids and pose an electrocution risk. You should only use wet/dry models. 

  • Towel: Simply grab an old towel from the linen closet to clean up carpet stains, such as blotting paint splatters on carpets.

  • Soda water: If you don’t already have some in the pantry, you’ll spend about $1 to $5 on soda water, depending on the size of the bottle or multi-pack you choose.

  • Spray bottle: You can find empty spray bottles in the cleaning aisle at the grocery store for $1 to $5.

Hiring a Carpet Cleaner

Carpet cleaning professionals can quickly tackle old, large, or persistent stains (like that hard-to-remove spaghetti sauce stain on your carpet), and this service may even cost less than doing it yourself if you don’t already have a wet/dry vacuum on hand. The average cost to hire a carpet cleaner is around $177, but it can vary based on square footage, the number of rooms, or the type of cleaning.

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