Basic Home Spot Removal Guide
The key to successful spot removal is making sure you address spills before they have a chance to set, creating permanent staining. If you want to keep your carpet looking its best, you can keep a few items on hand that will allow you to make quick work of accidents that take place between your normal carpet cleanings.
You can pick up these items at any large grocery store:
- Neutral dish detergent such as Joy or Dawn
- Clear household ammonia
- White vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Denatured or isopropyl alcohol
- An electric iron
- Lots of white terry cloth towels
- Spotting brush (like a toothbrush or veggie scrubber)
- If you have pets, stock a bacteria/enzyme digester such as Liquid Alive
- Having a wet/dry vacuum on hand is always useful
A list of common substances that can cause staining are listed below with instructions on how to spot treat for spills. Be sure to give us a call as soon as possible if you have a problem that is not easily treatable. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to save your carpet from unsightly stains!
Make sure you don’t use large amounts of liquid! You don’t want to soak your carpet pad. Concentrate on blotting the stain up as quickly as possible with as little extra fluid as you can get away with. Keeping lots and lots of white towels in your stain kit is essential; using clean, white towels in each stage of clean up will let you know when you’ve soaked up as much of your stain as possible.
- Carefully blot the spots so that they don’t spread.
- Using your spotting brush, some lukewarm water, and a gentle dish detergent scrub the spots, trying to keep the area from spreading.
- Blot dry with a clean rag.
- Put a very small amount of ammonia on spot and allow it to sit for a few moments.
- Clean again with detergent and clean water, then blot completely dry.
- You’ll need a cup of lukewarm water, clean rags, gentle dish detergent, and hydrogen peroxide.
- Mix a very small amount of detergent – four or five drops will do – with ½ cup water and ½ cup hydrogen peroxide.
- Using the sponge, soak up the cleaning mixture and push it into the stain.
- Use clean, dry rags to blot it up as much as possible, then repeat the process as many times as needed until the wine has been cleaned from your carpet.
Red food dye (found in red popsicles, Kool-Aid, punch, etc.)
- Blot up the spill with a towel as quickly as you can.
- Using dish detergent (5-6 drops in ½ c water), quickly scrub up as much of the spot as you can. Use a towel to blot up as much as possible.
- Use a sponge to dribble ammonia mixture (dilute it 1:1 with water) on the stain
- Cover the spot with a clean, white towel, and with your iron on the lowest setting, run the iron back and forth over the towel, warming your carpet and causing the stain to wick up. Make sure you continually move the iron so you don’t melt your carpet, and keep it on a low heat setting.
- The towel will continue to soak up color as long as it remains in your carpet. If you have to repeat the process with the ammonia and then the iron a few times until your towel is no longer soaking up pink coloring, do this. Eventually you will not see any new color on the bottom of the towel.
Vomit, feces, and urine
- Clean up as much as possible using a damp cloth
- Using your spotting brush, some lukewarm water, and a gentle dish detergent dilution, scrub the area.
- Blot dry with a clean rag.
- 8:1 solution of water to white vinegar or ammonia dribbled on the area will help with odor. If you’re dealing with pet urine, use your enzyme treatment.
- Blot dry
Of course, it's a good idea to call a professional and have those spots and stains thoroughly cleaned when they happen, instead of leaving any residual material to set in your carpet.