Saturday Special: Getting a Set-in Stain out of Carpet

So, you already know I’m humbled, right? Well, let me just tell you how humbled of a homemaker I am. 

This week, my daughter got a popsicle stain on the carpet.

She had just had her tonsils out. She was supposed to be eating it in the kitchen.

But the phone rang.

And I looked away.

When I hung up, there it was….big and orangethe stain glared at me from the carpet. It wasn’t just a drip. She had decided she didn’t want the popsicle. And the whole thing melted right there in front of the coffee table.

You know how everyone is supposed to be either a fighter or a “flighter”? (At least that’s what I learned in psychology 101.) Well, I’m the “flighter.” When conflict comes, I’d rather “fly” away from it than stay around and fight.

So I sprayed the big orange puddle with some stain remover, agitated it a tad and….worked until it was all gone forgot about it

Yes, I forgot about it. (I think it was a defense mechanism, right?)

My husband found it the next day. I was embarrassed. But even more embarrassing? No matter what I put on it or how hard I scrubbed, I just couldn’t get that stain out!

So…what else is a humbled homemaker to do? I googled. I googled and I googled and I googled (and was motivated by the idea of how expensive either a professional cleaner or new carpet would be). 

And then I found it…a solution! 

Better yet–I already had all I needed to beat this stain!

So here’s what worked for me. I do not suggest this at home. Why not? Because I don’t suggest leaving a popsicle stain overnight.  

Better yet, I do not suggest ever, ever letting your kid in the living room with a popsicle. Or–ever, ever talking on the phone while your child is awake (at least if you are as easily distracted as I am!).

But if you DO find yourself in a situation with a big set-in stain, these instructions might come in handy: 

  • some type of stain remover (see below for suggestions)
  • an old (or cheap) iron
  • an old towel
  • spray bottle of water


  1. Pour a generous amount of stain remover over the stain. 
  2. Fold a towel in half and cover the stain.
  3. Fill the iron with water, plug it in, set it on low-medium (not too hot–don’t want to burn the carpet!) and place it on top of the towel.
  4. Allow iron to steam the stain away! Check on it OFTEN, but don’t press as if it were ironing clothes. Just let it sit there.
  5. Rinse the clean area with warm water.

Now this is where I would usually say “Easy Peasy!” but, really, it takes TIME. In fact, I had to do it two nights in a row.

But my stain is gone. And it was totally worth it. 


  • I used Crunchy Clean‘s pure oxygen for my stain remover. I mixed 1 tsp. with two cups of water. Yes–all it took was 1 teaspoon! Pure oxygen is like Oxiclean but without the fillers. I normally use pure oxygen to soak my diapers. 
  • Alternative stain removers include: 1/4 cup oxiclean with 2 cups of water, 3 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part Dawn dish soap, 1 tsp. of any other pure oxygen cleaner (like Nellie’s or Country Save) in 2 cups of water…or (not recommended because of the toxins) any conventional stain remover. (Whatever you use, test a small area of the carpet first!)
  • I strongly suggest using an old or cheap iron because it is very likely fibers from the towel will stick to the plate of your iron.
  • I strongly suggest using an old towel (and make sure you fold it!). Your towel will get iron burns on it. Make sure the towel is thick enough not to burn the carpet! Carpet burn is an even worse problem than carpet stain!

Do you have a remedy for getting tough stains out of carpet! Please share it in the comments! 

If you liked this post, you may also like my post on homemade disinfectant wipes

I linked this post up on Growing Home!

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I’m linking up with: Make Your Own Monday,

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  1. says

    You’ve got a fantastic blog here! Thanks for linking up or I might not have known you existed! And of all the homemaking headers I’ve seen, you’re takes the cake…lol! It’s awesome. Do you have a follower option, or am I just missing it?

    I haven’t had any major stains on my carpet yet (Charity eats her popsicles in the bathtub :-) but I’ll edfinitely bookmark this because it’s bound to happen one of these days!

  2. says

    Thanks for the kind comment, Jacinda! Thanks a ton for doing the link up! I found your blog through the Raising Homemakers link up! They were my first two link ups to enter! :)

    You can subscribe via google reader, here: Thank you for asking! I need to make that more prominent! Please let me know if you have any other suggestions, as I’m a new blogger! It’s great to find other like-minded mamas!

    Good idea to make her eat in the bathtub! haha :)

    Thanks for the compliment on the header…my hubby designed it!

  3. says

    This is a great blog; great information! Some may find that the stain re-appears after time or a ‘mark’ in the area where the stain was removed from. Should this happen; it is a good idea to seek the help of a professional carpet cleaning Company. They will offer advice and will provide a maintenance programme to ensure the results are long-lasting.
    Mark Dykes recently posted..Choose Your Professional Carpet Cleaner WiselyMy Profile

  4. Makes Pennies Scream When Pinched! says

    Just wanted to let you know, had mysterious orange stain in my bedroom (could have been kids, cat, or husband, but not me!) that looked and acted like it had been there for a while… my solution. I Windex-ed and scrubbed with a scrub brush (making sure I moved in clock- and counter-clock-wise circles), and then vigorously rubbed with a towel to pull up moisture. That was two months ago. Stain hasn’t returned. *Warning: Windex can bleach material so it was scrub for thirty seconds, rub for thirty.

  5. says

    Before selecting any cleaner, you must have an idea about the chemical composition from the product as sometimes while
    removing the stains, area surrounding the stain gets discolored which can
    not look nice. In a very property and then there are usually kids, carpets obtain dirty effortlessly using meals debris as well as other spots.
    At the same time frame, experienced Bristol carpet
    cleaners stake care in utilizing only eco friendly products.
    carpet cleaning yelp recently posted..carpet cleaning yelpMy Profile


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