ClickCeaseFive Common Fourth of July Carpet Stains and How to Remove Them
Blog Header Image

The Fourth of July is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends, but nothing can put a damper on the party quite like a fresh carpet stain. There’s no need to stress, thankfully, because at Kill Devil Hills Chem-Dry, we know all about how best to remove the toughest of carpet stains, and we are happy to pass that knowledge along to you. So, before you panic when you see that toddler wandering into the living room with a hot dog and no plate, check out these tips on how to remove common Fourth of July carpet stains!

The most critical thing to remember when removing any stain is that time is of the essence. The longer a stain remains in the carpet, the harder it will be to remove, so act fast! 

Potato Salad

The trickiest part about potato salad stains is that they are oil-based, due to the mayonnaise in the salad. If any of this yummy summer favorite makes its way onto your carpet, the first step is to remove as much excess salad as possible. Scoop up any chunks, and use a dull knife or spatula to scrape up as much of what is left behind as you can without rubbing or wiping the carpet, which will push the oil deeper into the carpet fibers. 

Once you have prepped the stained area, you can make your own DIY cleaning solution with 2 cups of warm water, 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent, and 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Soak the corner of a clean cloth in this solution, and begin dabbing around the edge of the stain. Again, make sure not to wipe or rub the stain, but dab to blot the oil out of the carpet. Avoid spreading the oil by starting at the edge of the stained area and working inward, rather than the other way around. Once the stain is gone, use the same blotting process to rinse away and remove the soap with plain warm water. Allow the spot to air dry naturally, without applying heat. 


Ketchup is another notorious Fourth of July stain, but if caught early enough it can be removed fairly easily. The same process described above can actually be used to remove ketchup stains as well, or you can try the following method:

Use a vacuum to remove the excess ketchup (if you don’t have access to a vacuum, a dull knife or spatula is a great option). Spray the stained area with a laundry pre-spray and allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes. Pull out the vacuum once again and use it to remove the pre-spray, and blot the rest with a clean towel and warm water. Be sure to blot well, as leftover soap will attract dirt in the future. 


Mustard stains are especially frustrating, because their bright color makes it impossible for them not to stand out. If, by chance, you do miss seeing a mustard stain and it becomes dried, begin by applying more of the exact same type of mustard to the stain. This will actually re-activate the stain and make it easier to remove. Then, remove excess mustard and use the same solution and process as described for removing potato salad. Then get back to enjoying your guests!


If a beer spills on the carpet, don’t sweat! Just grab a towel and soak up as much liquid as you can, ASAP. Then cover the entire stain with baking soda, and leave it alone for 24 hours. The baking soda will absorb the liquid and the odor, and will be easy to vacuum up the next day. 

Red Punch

Red fruit punch and other brightly-colored drinks are a fan-favorite among children and adults alike, but little fingers are prone to spilling. It’s not unlikely that serving fruit punch or any of its cousins will lead to a few slips and spills, but there’s no need to worry. If you do end up with a red stain on your carpet, grab a white towel or paper towel and use it to blot the stained area until absolutely no more color will soak up. Then use the soap and vinegar solution described above to blot and remove the rest of the stain. Make sure to rinse and remove all of the soap from the affected area, and allow the area to air dry.

Pie Spilled on Carpet in the OBX

Some stains are stubborn, and won’t budge without a little professional help. If you find yourself with a seemingly impossible carpet or upholstery stain this summer, give Kill Devil Hills Chem-Dry a call at 252-330-3540. We have all of the professional stain removal equipment and experience to remove even the toughest of stains! Call today for a free quote!