Iron Out Carpet Stains

7 Posted by - January 23, 2013 - DIY & Crafts

My sister pinned this thing about getting stains out of your carpet with an iron, and wrote, “I just tried this, and I guarantee hilarious results.” So how could I pass up an opportunity like that?

Image from

Image from

This is specifically meant for Kool-Aid stains, but I don’t think I’ve had Kool-Aid in my house for years. (Crystal Lite maybe, but not Kool-Aid.)

I do, however, have a stinky dog, as you’ll recall.

And I’m going to blame her for these unidentified carpet stains.


(I know you can’t see it very well, but it’s a little spot that looks suspiciously like a shitstain. She doesn’t poop in the house, ever, so it’s quite possible that it’s just gross doggy dirt or slobber, or perhaps not even her fault. I did spill an entire glass of Coke in there once, so, ya know…)

I dug my iron out of the very back of my laundry room cabinet (which was a feat, but not as impossible as prying my ironing board out from behind the washing machine, so it’s a good thing I only needed the iron for this one).


The post did warn against using blue Windex, but blue was all I had and I just figured a blue stain wouldn’t be any more disgusting than a brown stain, so you know, I wasn’t too worried about it, even if it were to fail.

I squirted.


And then I ironed.


At first, I was pretty sure nothing was going to happen besides that my towel would soak up a puddle of Windex. But, eventually, some nasty brown stuff started pulling through the towel.


But I could still see the stain, and I figured, as I usually do, that if some is good, MORE IS BETTER.


So I sprayed and ironed and repeated.


Yeah, all that nasty brown shit was in my carpet, which I occasionally do yoga and push-ups on. My face has no doubt touched it many times.

But you know what? Its not in the carpet anymore.



I got so excited that I ran around the room finding other little shitstains and spraying them and ironing them. I got to a particularly gnarly one and started grossing myself out with all the crap that came through the towel, but then I looked closer…


And I’m pretty sure that those are scorch marks rather than dirt. Oops.

And, in the interest of honesty, I’ll tell you it didn’t work on all the stains. This one wouldn’t come up completely.


But, I’ll tell you what, for a test that my sister promised would result in hilarity, I did not end up with a blue carpet or a house fire or even burny ammonia steam in my eyes. A minimally scorched towel is not really a fail when you’re me.

So what’s her story?

I emailed to ask her, and I promise to leave the explanation in the comments when I hear back… Stay tuned.


ETA: Joanna emailed me back, with pictures. Enjoy!

After reading your blog post, wish I had used blue Windex.  Here’s my story: 

Neve barfed squash and carrot juice (that toddler snack juice stuff that comes in the tube) all over the carpet in the den.  It was orange.  She was sick.  She was not actually barfing from the taste.

I got it the best I could with Resolve, but there was still some there.  I didn’t want to use my blue Windex, so I made the ammonia solution.  I sprayed liberally and ironed.  The steam made the whole downstairs unbearable for at least an hour, and I almost asphyxiated myself.  Plus, I also scorched the towel like you, and the barf stil didn’t come all the way up, although it improved.

I am attaching pictures, but they’re not very good.  I couldn’t get one of the billowing noxious steam.





Article Name
Iron Out Carpet Stains
Did you know you can get out some nasty carpet stains with Windex and an iron? You can. Results may vary. Funny stories of near asphyxiation included herein.

If you liked this post, please pin it on Pinterest or share it where you hang out most! Share buttons are below to make it super easy! Thanks!

  • Stephanie Erickson Tangen

    Just be careful not to melt your carpet…which is what I would do. Congrats for not having that happen!

  • Stephanie Caldwell

    a cliff hanger!

    • Rebecca Macdonald

      I have to admit, I’m only reading the comments to find out what sis said too. ;-)

  • Patty Hicks

    Bow WOW! So wish I had known this years ago. I wonder if it works with cat barf stains?

    • Melanie

      just dilute dawn dish soap in warm water. add a bit of peroxide (not too much or you could bleach out the carpet) and vinegar if it smells. apply and agitate from the outside in. then take a wet washcloth and pull out the soap. it should come up.

  • Zelaine

    Um, thank you, I think. I followed the link to the instructions and then read the comments over there to discover people talking about Awesome! cleaner, which I had, but had never thought to use on carpeting. So now you’ve got me cleaning the staircase carpeting and it’s actually lifting up the stains that nothing else has gotten out before. Reading your experiment was a win for me even though I totally didn’t do anything you tried.

  • Melanie

    I work for Stanley Steemer. We call that a heat transfer and we tend to only use that for stains like wax or red dye. The easier and cheaper way for you to do remove that stain would have just been Dawn diluted with warm water. You can easily melt the carpet that way and then have an iron shape burned into your carpet. I have seen that many times. Probably because of pins like this.

    • Denna aka The Faux Fae

      Sounds like they didn’t use the absorbent white towel between the iron and the carpet or they wouldn’t have burned their carpet I would think. I’ll try just the diluted dawn next time and see if it works as well for me. Tx!

    • Ara Leech

      But it was hugely successful, how can you argue with success.

  • Franziska Külbel

    Haha, I loved the part where you felt the need to clarify that your dog doesn’t poop inside your house… and then, you compared yourself to him by adding that you spelt coke there. Isn’t it curious how we defend pets and lower ourselves just because we love them so much :)?

    • D&DsMummy

      Maybe the brown stain was from the dog after all. Ours does something we like to call the “Butt Scoot Boogie”…you know, when the scoot halfway across the room on their ass with their back legs near their ears.

      • Becky

        At my house we’ve always called that “popping a wheelie”, lol

        • Grace Acosta

          It is both hilarious and gross to watch a pug do this! Unfortunately, it means that it’s time that I manually express her anal glands. D-:

  • Lauren

    You can also get up fresh paint splatter on carpet with windex. And I use shaving cream for dog vomit stains. Gently rub some shaving cream on the spot and let it sit for a bit and then wipe at it gently until it is gone and then vacuum the spot.

  • Denna aka The Faux Fae

    I also had great results with the iron on carpet stains but I used an ammonia / vinegar mixed with dawn I think. Can’t wait to hear what your sis says lol!

  • RealMomofNJ

    I admit I was excited about this post because I thought you would really throw Kool-Aid on your carpet and try to iron it out. Not to challenge your commitment to pin testing, of course, but I did anticipate some red juice.

  • Adria

    I tried this on a pink stain (possibly Kool Aid) that was there when I bought my house. Nothing came out of my carpet at all, and I almost died from the ammonia fumes. Wonder what you did differently?

  • Pintester

    An update: Joanna (my sister) has pictures of her fail to share. They do involve baby puke, so the weak-stomached may wish to turn away. She said she’d try to dig out the pictures tonight.

  • Ethne @

    This is genius. I spilled a large candle’s hot red wax all over my gray carpet one time and so my hubby went to good will and bought a used iron and used this method (without windex) to iron up the wax from the carpet. It totally worked, and though we threw away the towel, we kept the iron for future stain purposes. The is pre-pinterest, people, so we’re just flat out smart. PS, who among me was kinda hoping for a blue stain, purely on account of Pintester not following directions with blue windex and white carpet? No offense, but of all times for you not to follow directions, that one was not it, despite the rationale. Love you anyway.

    • blondemome

      fyi, next time you spill wax, try using a paper bag instead of a towel.

    • EmmaBeEmma

      Yep, I’m with you. I was totally expecting/hoping (sorry!) for a blue carpet stain. Then a fabulous art project with the results.

  • Jasi Lee

    oh wow, these comments make me want to install wall to wall linoleum.

  • Truffles8761

    Yo yo yo, Imma let you finish but hydrogen peroxide & water is the best stain remover there ever was. I shit you not. My dog had a foot injury which bled all over the house…the carpet, the floor, the cement porch steps, the walls, my clothes, and my white sneakers. My house looked like giant blood spinart. You would never know it, though, because my DIY stain remover is bangin’!

    • Grace Acosta

      “giant blood spinart” OMG, snarfed the coffee! I’m nominating you for comment of the week. :-D

  • Stephanie

    Or the thousands of wives… EWWW! :)

  • Katherine Horejsi

    Wow it looks like this stuff is a cure for all evils. Do you think it would lift hubster’s butt dent off the couch?

    • ToCheapToBuyIt

      The only thing I have found that works on the couch dent is my foot up the ass. Sorry.

      • Katherine Horejsi

        Just snarfed my coffee, now I have an opportunity to actually try this pin out. Of course I don’t have any blue Windex so…I might make myself a fancy pants cocktail then I won’t care about the carpet. Cool.

  • Diandra

    When I saw “stay tuned” I actually read it as “stay turd” which honestly didn’t surprise me. But then when I didn’t see a comment about a bad poo-pun, I realized I just had a reading fail. :( Now I am disappointed and upset that I apparently have shit on the brain. It’s all your fault, thanks.

  • Jules

    You do pushups? When you say pushups are you really just trying to get up after you pass out?

    • Pintester

      What? Don’t I look like I do push-ups? Wait… Don’t answer that.

  • Joanna Pendleton

    [Pintester Sister here. I just emailed in my story and pictures. I did try to upload pictures here, but they’re too big, and they’re not very good anyway (see below).]

    After reading your blog post, wish I had used blue Windex. Here’s my story:

    Neve barfed squash and carrot juice (that toddler snack juice stuff that comes in the tube) all over the carpet in the den. It was orange. She was sick. She was not actually barfing from the taste.

    I got it the best I could with Resolve, but there was still some there. I didn’t want to use my blue Windex, so I made the ammonia solution. I sprayed liberally and ironed. The steam made the whole downstairs unbearable for at least an hour, and I almost asphyxiated myself. Plus, I also scorched the towel like you, and the barf stil didn’t come all the way up, although it improved.

    I am attaching pictures, but they’re not very good. I couldn’t get one of the billowing noxious steam.

  • Crystal Kelly Yzaguirre

    I had a cat who I rescued and I think he was really old. Anyway one time I came home and there was a puddle of orange [yes, ORANGE] liquid shit by the door. I cleaned it up but there was an orange stain. So having done this before [with the ammonia solution] with excellent results all over my house for various stuff [I have a toddler and a ridiculously clumsy 10 year old step child..lots of stains] the end result was a less orange stain. So I think its safe to say this works but not on orange stains.

  • googtoyou

    Not me. If they don’t wipe well enough to avoid stains it’s their problem not mine. There is also a constant battle between my husband and I about whether or not the underwear gets folded. If he does it, the undies are folded neatly and put away in stacks. If I do it they are just getting thrown in the drawer. I had to fold my undies into neat little squares in basic training and all I have to say is never again.

    • Grace Acosta

      I thought my husband was the only one who does that. So weird!

    • Renee

      That is my husband too! I think it’s weird. Who needs folded underwear. He should be happy it’s clean.

    • Llama spit

      Exactly! It’s not like anyone is going to notice if there’s a wrinkle! Also, I generally just bleach the hell outta the underwear about once a month to remove the stains. If they wanted to keep the design, they should have done more to keep ‘em stain free. What I want to know is does it work on a couch?

  • Grace Acosta

    Today, you are my hero. I have a 13 year old pug, blue Windex, and an iron. Guess what I’ll be doing all afternoon?

  • Emily

    I used to see those shitstains, from my dog, on my carpet. I replaced the carpet with a darker shade.

  • Megan Clarke

    Dawn dish soap is the miracle cure at my house…I frequently used it at my mom’s house on stains caused by an accident prone younger brother (he once managed to drop a piece of pizza that somehow exploded on its way down all over the cream living room carpet).

  • HW

    Love the site. I tried this process with a mix of hot water and ammonia ( instead of Windex) and it worked! It removed coffee and blueberry stains. The main drawback is the intense ammonia odor.

  • ToCheapToBuyIt

    I have a huge blue stain from blue Gatorade vomit. At least that what the teenage boy said it was… I am gonna try it. STANLEY STEAMER COULDN’T GET IT OUT.

  • BeckyAPitt

    My question is who discovers these things? I’ve never been bored enough to play with stains, hot appliances, and random cleaning products but kudos to the curiously creative! Seriously shaving cream for stains? That’s awesome, but I envision some poor woman who rather unfortunately had carpet in her bathroom. Even more unfortunately, gave herself a nasty razor cut during a quickie leg shave in the sink. You know, your typical “I didn’t think I was going to get lucky now I’m bleeding from my ankle and discovering cleaning tricks” Friday night.

  • Melissa

    Umm….does anyone else find it strange that Joanna urged her sister to try this, hilarity guaranteed? “Lol! You’ll be asphyxiated! HAHA! Got ya sis!”

  • Kerry Tay

    I love that you are involving your whole family now in your pintesting…I wish I had a sister to test pins with!

  • Danielle Ramey

    I did this in both my kids room and it was hugely fantastic! I followed the Pintrest directions using part ammonia and part hot water in a spray bottle. Used thin white rag and my iron. It got up stains that had been cleaned twice by Stanley Steamer. One stain being a two year old coffee stain. I took before and after pics of a red stain and some brown stains in my sons room and people are shocked when hey see them. Possibly the best pin ever!

  • Nahee Patel

    Out of curiosity, would this work on a memory foam bed?
    I decided to shake an open bottle of Starbucks frappuccino on my bed.
    I don’t really enjoy having stains that look like skid marks on my bed, even if they are covered by bedsheets.

    • Pintester

      I’m no expert, but I’d probably steer clear of applying heat to a foam mattress…

  • Sarah McMullin

    I just attempted this and my results were identical to Joanna’s. The stench of steamy ammonia and a stain reduced by about 20%, so basically not worth it. I blame the fact that we have the cheapest, shittiest carpet known to man.

  • Aida Arias

    I have never laughed so hard!!!! Cried my eyes out!

  • lvnvn8ve

    I once spilled red nail polish on my white carpet. Windex took it completely out. No iron needed. That shit is amazing!

  • Shanny Reimer-Haider

    ummm good to know it won’t work on orange stains like one poster said; it’s safe to say that the goldfish that my mother stepped on 20 years ago with her bare feet isn’t going to come out of the white carpet for sure.

  • TanyaJean

    Note: Make sure the iron is completely on the towel. I didn’t, and ended up with melted carpet instead of stained. Neat..

  • Renaye

    I normally don’t comment, but I just had to say YOU ARE FREAKIN HILARIOUS!! And a note- my husband and I own a carpet cleaning and restoration company. The iron trick is what we use for red stains. Most professional carpet cleaners charge extra for this quick fix, but we throw it in for regular price. I mean, it takes 2 minutes to get a few stains out! We use straight ammonia in a spray bottle, douse the stain, and iron with a super hot iron. Pulls it right out! It smells to high heaven, but it works!

  • Gold Coast Carpets

    Simply amazing, really appreciate for sharing these tips, will be very helpful to get rid of carpet stains.

  • Margarita H. Barfield

    Why are we not suggesting professional cleaners? The purpose for this limitation is that these items contain substances, which are not excellent for rug wellness. So, keep from using these items as much as you can.Fort Lauderdale carpet cleaning

    • Manda

      Because professional cleaners come with a “professional” price. With three kids under the age of 6 plus all the rug rats my friends bring over, it would be cheaper to just replace the carpet every five years than call a pro every time I had a Kool-aid stain that needed sucking out.
      Oh, wait. I nixed the whole thing by having wood floors…..

    • Lauren

      Rug wellness? I’ll be sure to send mine to a chiropractor after I clean myself. It would still be cheaper than professional carpet cleaning.

  • Eleni

    Would this work on the marker and crayon stains on my couch that never want to come out?

  • Bev

    Thank you for the cleaning tip… I have an old smelly dog and I thought the spots were poo marks as well…gross !! It turns out these stains is saliva but she has been banished from the bed room. Tried using windex and iron method and a lot of the spots came out!! The rug is a blue grey so I am hoping when the spots dry there will not be any blue residue. I am going to replace the rug when the old girl leaves this world but she is 16 and still going strong.

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  • celeste

    Instead of blue windex, try spraying the stain with white vinegar. Worked for me on a barbeque sauce stain.

  • Cassi

    Like another poster said, I normally don’t comment either, but I had a top-notch crack-up after reading this post that I found randomly looking for cleaning solutions…”it’s a little spot that looks suspiciously like a shitstan” …”I got so excited that I ran around the room finding other little shitstains and spraying them and ironing them”

    comedic gems, i tell you, comedic gems. thanks for that

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  • LIsa

    Great post, going to try this on the cat barf which is VERY hard to get out of the carpet. One note on the Resolve, I had a carpet cleaner tell me that the chemicals in it actually sets in what is left of the stain making it harder to get out. So perhaps the use of that first made the rest of the stain harder to get out. He also said the residue that is left traps dirt and dust which will eventually make the spots show up again. This from a guy that managed to get blue finger nail polish completely out of the carpet – I trust him!

    • thatpandabitca

      Oh jeeze I -knew- it! Damn you, Resolve! It never worked out for me. >< Way to go with the blue nail polish though, I wonder if there was magic involved.

  • Miss Natasha

    Peroxide works with this method too. That’s the first way I’d ever heard of it/tried it.

    • thatpandabitca

      Oh I love using peroxide for stains.

  • Jessica

    Thank you for your post, this was the only thing I found to clean up Orange Mio Water. For the stain that did not come out using this method, try using Oil Eater. Just spray it on the stain and rub it out. Though I’m sure ironing it with a towel will work also. In fact, everytime I shampoo my carpets I pour some Oil Eater into the water with the carpet cleaning solution and the carpets haven’t been cleaner. Another great use for it is to clean the floor of the shower.

    • thatpandabitca

      Where do you get Oil Eater?

  • Dawn

    Omg! Shitstains! My husband and I were in tears as I was reading what you had wrote:) Thank you for the tip and the laugh:)

  • Alison

    Amazing! I had red oil from an oil lamp on my light grey carpet for over a year and the stain came right up with the windex!

    The first spots I was testing and didn’t leave the heat on long enough so there are still faint, pink stains that I will try to get up at a later date.

    So, my input would be leave the heat on just long enough that you don’t burn your carpet.

  • Catherine Alston

    LOVE THIS and thank you for sharing this solution. Yep, I had stains that a professional carper cleaner couldn’t resolve. Now, I soaking my white towel in a solution of Oxiclean and water . . . . stay tuned.

  • Amy Bruno

    Thanks for posting! I tried multiple things to get my dog’s (oddly) red-colored vomit out of the carpet — and this was the only thing that worked!

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  • C Quella

    I haven’t tried this, but my daughter spilled chocolate milkshake on her bedroom carpet at college and she couldn’t get it out. When I visited and the stain had been there for months and the carpet was stiff, I first cleaned it with a little warm water and Dawn and then vinegar – with a bit of scrubbing it came right out.

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