Carpet Spot Cleaning Tips

Freshly cleaned, your carpet yarns are stripped naked and defenseless against soil, stains, wear and contamination’s. Spotting may be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain good results. By applying a protectant, such as Scotchgard or Dupont Teflon (the same they use on Stain Master carpets), you will defend your carpet yarn from soil, permanent stains, wear, permanent traffic lanes and early replacement.

The key to successful spot removal is getting to it as quick as possible. Make copies of this guide so you will be able to give copies to friends and family so they will be able to use it as well.

 

YOUR BASIC SPOT REMOVAL KIT

Keep the following items on hand so you will be prepared to handle fresh spills on your carpet: Neutral dish detergent such as Joy® or Dawn® (dilute 20:1); clear household ammonia; white vinegar (dilute 1:1); wet spotter such as Spot Gone®; dry spotter such as Dissolve®; paint thinner; hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) for bleaching; denatured or isopropyl alcohol; a good supply of white terry cloths; and a spotting brush. If you have pets, stock a bacteria/enzyme digester such as Liquid Alive®. A wet/dry vac is great to have as well.

 

THE 6 STEPS TO REMOVING SPOTS

  1. Catch it while it’s fresh, when chances of removal are 75% better. Don’t iron or hot-air dry until the stain is gone. Heat will set most stains.
  2. First blot up all the liquid and scrape up all the solids you can. On a large liquid spill you can use a wet/dry vac. Be careful not to spread the stain.
  3. Test any chemical you intend to use in a hidden area to make sure it won’t discolor or damage the surface.
  4. Apply spotter and work from the outside of the stain in, to avoid spreading. Blot, don’t scrub; strike with the flat face of a spotting brush if needed to help break up the stain.
  5. Rinse chemical spotters out with water, blot the area dry and feather the edges. Brush or fluff up pile or nap.
  6. On carpet and upholstery, put a thick pad of toweling over the spot, weight it down with books, and leave it there overnight to “wick up” any remaining moisture.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPECIFIC SPOTS AND SPILLS

Acid
Apply a solution of baking soda and water until acid has been neutralized. Then apply ammonia solution and rinse with cold water.
Alcohol
Apply detergent solution. Blot. Apply vinegar solution. Blot. Bleach with hydrogen peroxide if necessary. Rinse with cold water. Blot dry.
Blood
Scrape off dried blood and apply cool detergent solution. Blot. Apply cool ammonia solution. Blot. Rinse. Blot dry. If stain remains, apply rust remover or bleach with hydrogen peroxide.
Candle Wax
Scrape off all you can. Ice cubes will make it brittle for easier scraping. A hot iron (on low heat setting) over a damp cloth will melt and absorb remaining wax. Apply dry-cleaning solvent. Blot.
Candy
Scrape off all you can with a dull knife. Sponge with detergent solution. Blot. Rinse. Be sure all traces of sugar are gone. Sugars left in carpet will cause a rapid re-soiling problem.
Chocolate
Scrape off all you can first. Sponge with dry-cleaning solvent. Blot. Sponge with detergent solution. Blot. Rinse. If stain remains, treat with hydrogen peroxide.
Cigarette Burns
If the burn is slight, rub with dry steel wool or if you feel confident, trim the damaged tufts. If the burn is bad, take a razor blade and scrape some fibers from a hidden area and use super glue to patch the burn with the fibers.
Coffee
Blot with detergent solution. Rinse. Blot with vinegar. Rinse. Air dry. If stain remains, sponge with dry cleaning solvent. treat remaining stain with hydrogen peroxide. Coffee is a very difficult stain, and can in many cases be permanent.
Crayon
Scrape off all you can. Just as with candle wax, use a hot iron and a damp cloth to melt and absorb the remaining wax. Apply dry cleaning solvent. Blot. Apply detergent solution. Rinse. Blot dry.
Grass
Apply detergent solution. Blot. Rinse. Blot. Apply ammonia solution. Blot. Apply vinegar solution. Blot. Rinse.
Greasy Foods
Apply dry cleaning solvent. Work to center to avoid ring. Blot. Apply light detergent solution. Rinse. Blot dry.
Gum
Use aerosol gum freeze or ice cube to harden the gum and make it brittle, then strike and break into pieces. Scrape them up with a dull butter knife. Remove residue with dry cleaning solvent.
Ice Cream
Don’t wait. Blot up all you can immediately with a dry cloth. Apply ammonia solution or protein digester. Rinse. If area is large, extract afterward.
Ink
Sponge with detergent solution. Rinse. If stain remains, saturate with cheap hair spray and blot. Always work from the outside in to avoid making the spot bigger.
Jam/Jelly
Apply detergent solution. Let sit to soften. Blot. Apply vinegar solution. Blot. Rinse. Blot dry.
Lipstick
Scrape off all you can, taking care not to spread the stain. Apply dry cleaning solvent and blot repeatedly until color is gone. Apply detergent solution. Blot. Apply ammonia solution. Blot. Rinse.
Mildew
Dry-brush to remove as much as possible. Sponge area with disinfectant solution. Blot. Sponge with ammonia. Rinse. Treat with hydrogen peroxide.
Mud
Allow to dry and vacuum or brush off as much as possible. Apply detergent or ammonia solution. Blot. Rinse. Blot dry. If stain remains, apply dry cleaning solvent. Blot dry.
Mustard/Ketchup
Apply vinegar solution. Blot. Apply detergent solution. Blot. If stain remains apply rust remover or hydrogen peroxide solution. Blot. Do not use ammonia or alkaline cleaners.
Nail Polish
Blot acetone or non-oily nail polish remover through the stain into a clean absorbent pad. No acetone on acetate, modacrylic, silk, or wool. Use amyl acetate from a pharmacy. Flush with dry cleaning fluid. Air-dry.
Oil
Apply dry cleaning solvent. Work to center to avoid ring. Blot. Apply light detergent solution. Rinse. Blot.
Paint/Varnish – Oil-based paint or varnish: if fresh, flush with mineral spirits. If dry, carefully soften with lacquer thinner (test first for fabric damage) then flush with appropriate solvent.
Pet Stains
Blot out all liquid possible by placing a clean towel on the spot and standing on it. Apply bacteria/enzyme digester according to directions. When dry, remove any remaining stain with Urine Stain Remover. Carpet pad may need replacement if contaminated.
Rust
Rub with steel wool or rust remover. If you use professional rust remover, be careful not to get any on your skin. Don’t apply it to glass, porcelain or enamel surfaces. Rinse. Blot dry.
Shoe Polish
Gently scrape off all you can, being extra careful not to spread the stain. Blot dry cleaning solvent through the stain into a clean absorbent pad. Sponge with detergent solution. Blot. Sponge with ammonia. Rinse. If stain remains, try alcohol, then hydrogen peroxide.
Soft Drinks
Blot up all you can. Blot with detergent solution. Rinse. Air dry. If stain remains, soak with glycerin for 30 minutes and rinse.
Tar
Scrape up all you can, then remove residue by blotting with paint thinner or dry cleaning solvent. Blot with detergent solution. Rinse. Blot dry.
Vomit
Scrape up as much as possible. Apply bacteria/enzyme digester according to directions. When dry, remove any remaining stain with detergent solution. Rinse. Blot dry.

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