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University of Illinois Extension


Treat stains as soon as possible after staining. The older the stain, the more difficult it will be to remove.

All stain removal methods should be applied prior to laundering washable garments. Stains that have been laundered and dried are almost impossible to remove.

Washable Fabrics

What you will need

  • Blunt kitchen knife
  • Liquid hand dishwashing Detergent
  • Ammonia
  • Enzyme product
  • Chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach
Caution: Never mix chlorine bleach with ammonia - fumes are hazardous.
Special notes about solution

Treat blood stains immediately. First run cold water through the stain. Then treat as below. If dried, pretreat with prewash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, liquid detergent booster or paste of granular laundry product and water. Launder using bleach safe for fabric. Old stains may respond to soaking in enzyme product. For a blood stain that is not completely removed by this process, wet the stain with hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia. Do not leave in this mixture longer than 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

Steps to Clean

  1. Scrape off excess material.
  2. Soak for 15 minutes in mixture of 1 quart lukewarm water, one-half teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon ammonia.
  3. Rub gently from back to loosen stain.
  4. Soak another 15 minutes in above mixture. Rinse.
  5. Soak protein stain in enzyme product for at least 30 minutes. Soak aged stains for several hours. Launder.
  6. If color stain remains, launder, using chlorine bleach if safe for fabric, or with oxygen bleach.


What you will need

  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • Detergent
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Steps to Clean

  1. All solutions for removing blood must be cool.
  2. Remove as much of the foreign material as possible by blotting with a white paper towel or scraping with a dull knife.
  3. Apply rubbing alcohol to a clean white cloth, white paper towel or cotton ball. If the spot extends deep into the pile use a blotting motion until the spot is removed or no color is transferred to the cloth. Do not allow the alcohol to penetrate into the backing as this will destroy the latex bond. If the spot is on the surface only, rub in one direction at a time. Never use a circular motion to remove the spot as this may destroy the texture. Stop if spot is removed. If not, continue with the next step.
  4. Apply a small quantity of detergent solution to the spot. (To make the detergent solution mix 1/4 teaspoon of a hand dishwashing detergent which does not contain lanolin or bleach with 1 quart of water) Use a blotting motion to work the detergent into the affected area. If spot is being removed continue applying detergent solution and blotting with a white paper towel until spot is removed.
  5. Rinse with tap water using a spray bottle, blot to remove excess moisture.
  6. Spray lightly with water, do not blot this time; apply pad of paper towels and brick and allow to dry.
  7. If there is still some stain on the carpet and blotting is not removing it, then moisten the tufts in the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let stand for on (1) hour. Blot and repeat until carpet is stain free. Light will cause peroxide to change back to water so no rinsing is necessary.
  8. Apply pad of paper towels and weight down with brick.


What you will need

  • Detergent

Steps to Clean

  1. Mix one (1) tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with two (2) cups of cool water.
  2. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution.
  3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the stain disappears.
  5. Sponge with cold water and blot dry to remove the detergent solution.