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Stains can come from just about anything and, unfortunately, they can force their way into our lives with something as simple as a sauce spill. When addressed right away, many potential stains can be treated right away. However, there are some options in certain settings that allow you to treat discolorations that have been in your home for years!


Dirty pets and kids, red sauces, wine spills, and an endless list of other things could all be causes of stains on your carpet. Some stains build up as dirt over time through general use, where some appear after an event like a spill or a muddy dog running inside. How can you get your carpet looking clean again?

If a spill just happened, it’s best to address the accident right away before a stain has time to set in. To do so, treat the area with a stain remover and follow the provided instructions. If you don’t have a stain remover, these simple mixtures could help get the mess cleaned up.

Some of these solutions also work for older stains, so if you’re having a hard time getting an old discoloration out of the carpet, give one of these a try.

  • Salt and Vinegar: Mix 2 tablespoons of salt into 1/2 cup of white vinegar and let the salt dissolve. Apply the mixture, wait for it to dry, then vacuum it up!
  • Vinegar and Cornstarch: This works well for old stains and dirt that has been ground into the carpet for a long period of time. Make a paste that includes 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Let this mixture sit for 2 days on the discolored area, then remove it with a vacuum or a rag.
  • Vinegar, Laundry Detergent, and Water: This mixture works well for paint spills and juice stains! Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar, two cups of water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of laundry detergent. Let it sit for a couple of hours, then clean it up!

Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn ceiling is known to catch all kinds of dirt and can easily turn yellow from smoke or water damage. It’s best not to paint over popcorn ceiling because this makes it incredibly challenging and expensive to remove if you or a future resident ever decides to take it off. However, painting is also the easiest solution to cover up stains if you don’t mind the popcorn texture.

If you do decide to clean the stains, however, here’s how!

  • Use some bleach. Mixing 5 parts water with one part bleach to help any yellowed colors return to their original white. Just make sure the ceiling is not too wet! This could cause the texture to dissolve.
  • Rid of the grease. If you have any popcorn textures in your kitchen, there’s a high chance it has gathered a lot of grease and may be discoloring your white ceiling. Use a damp rag (again, be sure it isn’t too wet) to collect any grease then if there is still a stain, use the method above after the ceiling has completely dried. A dryer sheet that is warm and slightly damp can also pick up grease quickly.


Other than visible stains, there are also stains that could leave a smell like pets or smoke from fire damage or past and current smokers. Luckily, while it may take some time, smells can be gotten rid of!

Wipe down walls, floors, furniture, and the ceiling with rag that has been dampened with vinegar. You could also try and let everything happen passively. Simply open a window (to get rid of the smell temporarily) or set out a few bowls that are filled with charcoal or baking soda to absorb the smells on a more permanent level. You could even sprinkle some baking soda throughout your carpet to absorb the smell. Afterwards, just vacuum it up!

Another great way to clean up your home is with a professional carpet cleaning! Learn more on the Valley Restoration website.