What Kind of Stain is it?

Although that stain in your carpet could have a million different culprits, all carpet stains can be encompassed with three basic stain types; Organic, Inorganic, and Petroleum-based stains.


Under the umbrella of “organic stains,” we find the vast majority of stains in the common household. Here we find mud, coffee, soda, food, blood, feces, vomit, and other stains that are not from a man-made origin.

The solution to these organic stains is the use of water-based stain removers or an oxidizing agent, especially on some of the stains with coloring. Organic type stains are not only the most common of stains but also among the most simple to remove.


Also known as “man-made” or “synthetic” stains, inorganic stains can be on the more difficult side to remove.

Kool-aid, sports drinks, and other liquids with man-made dyes and coloring are the leading culprits of inorganic stains. Inorganic stains affect nylon carpeting more than other fiber types, but if treated in the proper manner, should be no issue regarding the stain removal.

To remove an inorganic stain, we need to put to use a specific stain remover that is meant for these types of stains. When used in conjunction with steam extraction and agitation, the inorganic stain will separate from the carpet fibers and lift away during the steam extraction process.

Inorganic stains, although more difficult, can be taken care of with a little bit of know-how and the right materials.


Just as you can probably infer, petroleum-based stains are from petroleum-based materials.

Oil, ink, and grease are among the products that cause a petroleum-based stain. These types of stains require extra time and attention if the stain is to be properly taken care of.

When a stain is identified as a petroleum-based stain, there are two basic routes to take for the stain removal.

First, there are dry solvent products which dissolve the oil-based soils through careful agitation. Additionally, there is an option to use water-based detergents with wetting agents (surfactants), that will further break down petroleum-based products and make for an easier extraction process.

Whether your stain is organic, inorganic or petroleum-based, it needs to be identified and properly treated. With a million and one different ways that your carpet can get stained, there is also more than one way to remove the stains in your carpet.

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