How to Remove Unsightly Stains From a Commercial Carpet

Posted By The Clean Team On
How to remove unsightly stains from a commercial carpet

We underestimate the rigorous undertaking our floors go through every single day, even if the waiting area isn’t filled with clients waiting for meetings or people coming to look around the store. Simple everyday foot traffic takes a toll on the flooring. 

Many commercial businesses will use carpets either throughout, or in high-traffic areas, to add durability to the floors and prevent them from looking worn out faster.

The commercial cleaning of these carpets may seem easy enough. However, what happens when someone drops something that can be a little trickier to remove, such as food or printer ink?

Understand Your Carpet

Before looking at ways to clean your carpets and how to remove those stubborn stains, you should understand what your flooring is made of and why this can cause issues with stain removal. 

Residential carpets are made from a variety of materials for different feels and aesthetics in the home. Commercial carpets need to have a certain level of durability and function, so they are often not as appealing to look at as the ones in a home. 

Commercial carpets are made from artificial fibres, such as nylon, polypropylene, polyester, and acrylic. These materials are a great choice in high-traffic areas as they provide the resilience required for a longer-lasting vibrant look.

Regular Maintenance

Never underestimate the power of regular maintenance. In the case of carpets, this means regular vacuuming. By vacuuming once or twice a week (even daily if foot traffic is high), dirt and grime are removed before they can be ground in and made near impossible to get out.

A monthly deep clean with shampoo helps to keep the carpet fresh and retain its bright colours and appeal. This regular maintenance also allows you to watch for signs of wear and any stains that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Types of Stains

When it comes to our day-to-day life, there are several things that we interact with that can cause stains. Some of these are harder to deal with than others. Such items can be broken down into three categories:

  • Water-based: Drinks are the culprit here. While plain tap or bottled water is safe from the stain-causing list, drinks such as juice, coffee, or tea will cause dark stains, which will stand out more on lighter-coloured carpets.
  • Oil-based: While less common in office settings, these can be readily found in industrial areas. Grease, oily-based substances, and even makeup will all leave a residue when dropped. 
  • Protein-based: Depending on the workplace setting, some protein stains will be more common than others. Protein is found in foods, blood, and even vomit.

How to Remove Stains

Once you know your carpet and what stains you can encounter, you can be better prepared to remove them before considering replacing the entire carpet.

Each stain needs to be handled differently to ensure it has the best chance of being removed fully.


Most spills can be easily cleaned up with a paper towel. The trick is not to scrub it initially until you know the nature of the spill. For water-based spills, blotting will draw out the majority of the chemicals, eliminating the stain. 

Should the spill contain tannin (a chemical found in teas and coffees), then after blotting, the area should be scrubbed with a mix of warm water, dish soap, and vinegar to break down the tannins. This makes it easier to pull out the fibres before rinsing with cold water.

Baking Soda

Not only is this common household item a pantry essential, but it is also a wonder at removing oil-based spills.

A dry solvent should be used if available, as this helps to absorb the oil or grease, preventing it from soaking into the carpet. When not available, however, baking soda will do just as well.

Sprinkle the baking soda over the area and allow it to sit for approximately 10-15 minutes. Then, vacuum the area, and the stain will go away.

Cold Water

Some protein-based spills will only wash away with very cold water. It’s important to do this as soon as the spill happens, as some proteins will change the carpet fibres themselves, making it harder to remove if left for too long. 

For tricky protein-based materials such as blood, hydrogen peroxide helps lift it out of the fibres so that it can be scrubbed away before being washed with cold water.


The acidity of vinegar helps to destroy protein molecules. Therefore, protein-based spills will clear up better when vinegar is used in combination with water and, on occasion, dish soap.

Pressure Washing

For extremely stubborn stains that may have been left a little too long, don’t be afraid to break out the professional-grade carpet shampoo and pressure washer. There isn’t much that can’t be removed with this combination.


Wax and gums are less common contaminants in commercial carpets. If you need to remove them, keep in mind that they adhere to the fibres, so blotting or scrubbing will not work. 

First, you should make the wax or gum hard. Freezing it with ice until it’s fully hardened will make it easier to remove with a butter knife or plaster knife.

Your Carpet Cleaning Professionals

Many of these stain-removal hints and tips are great when there is no professional cleaning crew on site. Your staff can quickly remove a spill and prevent a stain so that there is no unsightliness for clients and customers to witness.  Remember to always test a small inconspicuous area to be sure you are not going to cause more harm or damage to the carpet.

Working with a professional commercial cleaning service means that stains won’t keep you up at night, as they are dealt with quickly and with the right cleaning products so they don't worsen or spread.

RBC Clean is that professional team, drawing on the skills and experience needed to make your entire commercial space shine with a level of cleanliness to be envied by your rivals. 

Call us at 1-855-493-9259 or contact us here today, and see how we can help your carpets remain stain-free and vibrant.

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