The key to spot removal is getting to the spot as soon as possible. If the carpet is new or has a sufficient protector on it, all you need is some water to take the spot right out. If that doesn’t work, spot cleaner is your next weapon of choice. Many carpet manufacturers have a recommended spot cleaner to use on their product. If the manufacturer is unknown, your local IICRC-certified carpet cleaning service can be of some assistance. Products that are not specifically made for the carpet can cause irreversible damage.
To properly spot treat, begin with blotting the area with a clean white cloth or towel, working from the outside edges to the middle. DO NOT RUB! This can fray the fibers, giving a fuzzy look. Treat the area with the spot remover, following the recommended guidelines. Be sure to rinse the area with water to remove all cleaning residue from the carpet fibers. Absorb all the moisture in the area (since damp areas can collect dirt quickly). This can be done by placing several towels on the area then weighing them down with a heavy object. The dry white towels not only absorb the moisture, but help to draw out the stain.
Got a stain but no spot cleaner? Try a few of these homemade ideas:
- vinegar solution (one part white vinegar to one part water)
- detergent solution (one teaspoon of clear, non-bleach dishwashing detergent for every 32 ounces of water)
- baking soda (helps absorb grease stains)
- club soda (Mom always told you this will get out practically anything!)