Frugal Living: Super Easy, Super Cheap Carpet Stain Remover


We all have them…those little or not so little stains on our carpet that seem to repel any cleaner and seem to attract more dirt as time goes on. And of course, these stains are never in an inconspicuous area of the carpet or the house.

Having a house full of boys, my carpets take a beating. Despite having them take their shoes off at the door, my carpet still has little patches of dirt, oil, crayon, or whatever happens to get ground into the carpet. Sometimes when I look at the boys’ socks after taking their shoes off, I think their shoes would be cleaner than their socks! Ahh, boys!

Last week I found “The Miracle Carpet Stain Remover” technique on Pinterest. After reading countless success stories about the technique, I decided I needed to try it out! I have a stain (probably car oil mixed with dirt) on our bedroom floor right in front of the bathroom door. It is a high traffic area so I have had no luck in removing the stain. I have used various carpet cleaners ($$) with zero success. Once I apply the cleaners, it seems to attract more dirt and eventually the stain re-appears. At this point, I am willing to try anything!

So here is the cast of characters for this Miracle Carpet Stain Remover:

  • Ammonia
  • Hot Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Iron
  • White towels

In your spray bottle add one part ammonia to one part water…so half the bottle is HOT water and the other half is ammonia. Spray generously onto your stain. I pretty much soaked the stain and then also sprayed around the stain since it seems the dirt had crept outside the stain area.

Once it is soaked then lay down the white towels. Now, keep in mind you will need a good supply of the white towels. Wash cloths work well too or those bar towels at Walmart which come in a pack of 12 for $3-5 bucks would be perfect. You don’t want to use colored towels just in case the color bleeds or transfers onto the carpet.

Take your hot iron (I set mine on the cotton setting) and begin ironing away. Be careful because sometimes there will be hot steam coming up and you don’t want to burn yourself. Press down firmly but keep your iron moving slowly so you don’t scorch the towels. Once your towel is full of dirt (and believe me, you’ll see it!) change to a clean towel. Keep doing this until your towel does not fill with dirt and grime. It may take a couple of times. But even after the first ironing, you will see the stain lifting right up!

Once there was no more dirt soaking into the towel, I let the area begin to dry. This is important because you want the area to thoroughly dry before walking over it. If it is still damp, then it will attract the dirt and you won’t be successful. Fortunately, my stain was in a spot where the sun hits so I completed my cleaning just in time for the afternoon sun to come shining in and help speed up the drying process. A fan would help as well.

So far, I am really pleased at the results of this stain removing technique! As you can see from the after picture, the stain is removed and it doesn’t seem to be reappearing even with heavy traffic over it. I would highly suggest trying this method if you have carpet stains. I read many different comments about it working on very old stains as well as new stains. It’s definitely worth a try!

Aside from it working very well, I also like the fact that it is a very frugal option for stain removal. Instead of investing in expensive bottles of stain remover which may or may not work, you simply fill half a bottle with ammonia which is super cheap and the rest with water. Can’t get much more frugal than a hand full of pennies! Or imagine how many pennies you’d be handing over if you hired someone to come in and spot clean your carpets!

Give it a try and let us know your results!



Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, and sticking to a budget in her blog archive. And be sure to check out the Missoula Save it Club.


Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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