Stress Free Guide on How to Clean Liquid Spills on Rugs and Carpets.

Oh no! In seemingly slow motion, you’ve just watched your careless kiddo drop a half-full cup of his favorite grape juice on the floor; right onto your beige, dining room rug.


… or in this case, spilt juice. Take a deep breath and remember that the key to lifting a stain is addressing it when the spill is fresh, before the stain has had time to set in. The following instructions will help guide you through any type of spill and will work on both rugs and carpet.


Determine what the spill is. Treatment of the spot will be different depending on the material.


Instructions for spot cleaning almost any kind of food or drink spill:

  1. Remove/scoop up solid materials if there are any.
  2. Blot! Do not scrub! Gently press with a white cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the spilled liquid as possible. Remember, you are pulling it up not pushing it down. It is also important the cloth or paper towels are white so they don’t unexpectedly transfer any dye to the rug.
  3. Apply a solution of (1:1) vinegar and water. Add a touch of baking soda or a mild detergent for tougher stains. This should be gently sprayed over the area until the spot is completely wet but not soaked. Do not use any bleach or detergent with bleach as this can weaken the fibers and possibly mess with the dyes.
  4. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to do its work.
  5. Once again, blot the spot with a white towel. At this point, you may gently scrub the rug but be careful not to damage the fibers with too much elbow grease.
  6. If the stain is getting lighter, repeat. Steps 1-5.
  7. Be sure to allow the spot to dry completely so no mildew or mold sets in.



Special instructions/tips for particular spills:

Removing Pet Stains from Antique Rugs

Oil, Mud, and Grease – Start with a detergent and water solution, then use vinegar.


Wax and Gum – Use ice to make the spill more solid and break the spill into pieces to pick up. It will require a bit of patience and effort to get the pieces worked free of the fibers without damaging the rug.

Ink – Spray with an ammonia solution (1:1) and blot dry before using the vinegar solution.

polish in carpet

Nail Polish – Start by dabbing with polish remover. Work from the outside in. When the polish is gone, use a vinegar solution on the stain.


Pet Messes – Clean just as you would for a food spill but be sure to disinfect afterwords.



If the stain is not fresh:

  1. Vacuum over the spot to be sure to remove any solid materials.
  2. Apply a solution of vinegar and baking soda. This should have the texture of a thick paste. You will use an old toothbrush or soft cleaning brush to work the paste into the fibers of the rug.
  3. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to do its work.
  4. Rinse by blotting with another white cloth that has been soaked in room temperature water.
  5. If the stain is getting lighter, repeat. Steps 1-4.
  6. After the spot has completely dried, vacuum over to pull up any leftover baking soda.

For more information on rug issues and cleaning, Click here!



Protect your rug:

Before starting any cleaning process, you will want to know how your rug responds to the chemicals you will be applying. It’s a good idea to test any cleaning solution or mild detergent on a hidden area of your rug before cleaning with it. You should apply the cleaning agent in the same method you would on the spill. If the rug reacts in any unexpected way, switch to a milder cleaning agent.



Steam cleaning:


It is possible that you might have the opposite of a stain after spot cleaning. You might see one super clean spot that leaves the rest of the rug looking a bit … spent.  Steam cleaning is a great way to get the rug looking uniform again. You can use the vinegar solution in a steam cleaner or look into other commercial products.



Why vinegar?

White Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can be used for almost anything.  It removed odors related to food, pet accidents, and age. Vinegars acidity means that it is antiseptic, anti bacterial, antimicrobial, and can even kill mold. It’s also completely safe. We put it in a variety of foods and it is both pet and baby friendly.  It does not damage plumbing or the ecosystem. It’s all around one of the best cleaners to have on hand for any reason.


We, at PlushBlog hope that this was helpful to you. If you have some kind of spill that we did not take into consideration, please leave a comment below or drop us a line at  Also, be sure to share this with anyone who might find it helpful!




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