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How to Get Thanksgiving Stains Out of Your Carpet

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How to Get Thanksgiving Stains Out of Your Carpet

You did everything just right this year. You made sure to clean the carpets in the fall, so they would look their best during the holidays. You took special care to use placemats, have plenty of napkins on hand, and put coasters all around the house. What happens where there is an accidental mess? Two guests bump into each, a cup slips out of someone’s hands, or worse yet, the gravy ladle plummets right on top of your new Berber carpet. Breathe in and out slowly and keep reading. We have some useful tips to help you get the most common Thanksgiving messes out of your carpet below.


Use a paper towel to sop up the majority of the oily residue. Apply a laundry pre-treater or carpet cleaner with warm water and a sponge. Rinse with a warm rag or sponge. Let air dry. If any oil persists the following day, put a clean towel on the mess and use an iron to try lifting the oil from the carpet. Resistant stains may need professional cleaning.

Cranberry sauce

For this mess, you can use a mild laundry or dish detergent or vinegar and cool water. For vinegar use a tablespoon in a quart of cool water. For detergent, use half a quarter to a half teaspoon of non-chlorine cleaner in 32-ounces of cool water. Apply the solution liberally with a clean rag. Let it sit for about 20 minutes and vacuum up with a wet vacuum or dry towel. If this does not get rid of the stain, you can use a little rubbing alcohol on a sponge to dab at the stain says Good Housekeeping.


Almost everyone will want a hot cup of coffee to wash down the pumpkin, cherry, and apple pie you are serving at Thanksgiving dinner. A little soap and water should do the trick for coffee spills. If you have a mess of creamer with a little coffee, then it may be helpful to use some dry cleaning foam on the spot after your guests leave. In the meantime, you can rinse it with some cool water to keep it from setting.


Use salt or sugar substitute to soak up the oil in the butter. Let the carpet go overnight. The next day, vacuum up the dry mess and apply a little detergent or carpet cleaning solution. Gently rinse the area and keep applying new cleaner until the stain comes out clean. You can blot the spot dry and let the air do the rest.

Pumpkin pie

Remove the crumbles with a damp towel and leave a cool towel over the stain until you can get back to it. Use a tablespoon of detergent in half a gallon of warm water to spray and clean the area. Do not rub the stain. If a mess remains, you can add one tablespoon of ammonia to half a gallon of warm water and sponge it onto the stain. Dab at it until it goes away.

Red wine

You may feel like your floor is a goner when a glass of wine tumbles onto the carpet, but all is not lost. Grab a dry towel and use pressure to remove as much of the wine as you can. Use a cool, wet rag and rinse the rest. Apply another dry towel to the area and leave it lay until your guests go home. Next, use one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of dish detergent, and two cups of warm water to make a cleaning solution. Blot the stain and alternate using a dry towel to remove the wine. When all signs of the stain are gone, place a paper towel on the area with weight from books, a toolbox, or something else heavy and leave overnight. Toss the paper towel the next day and fluff the carpet.

Nail polish

You are getting ready for the party, and you accidentally knock over your favorite bottle of nail polish on the carpet. What do you do now? Guests are coming, and you are still getting ready. A little nail polish remover on a clean rag will get rid of the paint. Keep dabbing at the mess gently until you get it all up. A clean rag can help you sop up the liquid as you go. For messes that remain, give your flooring specialist a call.

Are you inviting smokers for Thanksgiving? What do you do when someone drops a hot cherry on your carpet and leaves a burn mark? This Old House says you can easily get rid of these problems with the edge of a butter knife. All you have to do is rub it gently over the area and vacuum up the mess. For large burns or deep marks, you may need to contact Accent on floors at 804-458-0048 for a free estimate for removal. If you have other messes you cannot get out, we are happy to come and inspect the area and help you get your carpets ready for your next holiday bash.