General Procedure 



  1. Treat spills and stains immediately. The longer the spot remains in the carpet, the more difficult it will be to remove. Remove spots before they dry. 

  2. Blot up as much of the spot a possible using a clean absorbent white towel or paper towel. If the spot is solid or semi-solid, scrape up with a spatula or rounded spoon. Be careful not to damage the carpet fibers. If the stain is solid, vacuum away as much as possible.

  3. Next pretest any spot removal agent in a inconspicuous area of the carpet to make certain it will not damage the carpet fibers or dye.

  4. To remove the spot, apply a small amount of cleaning solution to the stain or to a white absorbent towel and gently blot away the spot. Do not use a very soapy solution as it will be difficult to completely remove and the residue left in the carpet will resoil more rapidly. Keep applying solution to a fresh area of the towel and continue to blot until the stain is completely removed. Work from the outside of the spot toward the center, being careful not to spread the stain around.

  5. Do not brush or scrub the spot as this may cause carpet fiber damage.

  6. Repeat step 4 as long as there is a transfer of the stain to the towel. You may have to use another spot removal agent if the spot is not completely removed by the first agent.

  7. After you have removed the spot as much as possible, rinse area with water and blot dry. Next, apply about a 1/2 inch layer of paper towels over the spot and weight down with a book or other heavy flat object. Change the paper towels when they become saturated and allow spot to dry overnight. Remove towels and gently brush the carpet pile with your fingertips to raise the pile. The idea here is that any remaining spot should absorb into the paper towels and vanish from the carpet. This procedure is also good for a spot that reappears after you have removed it. Sometimes it might take two or three applications.

  8. The keys to remember: act quickly, do not let the spot dry if possible, use small amounts of cleaning solution - do not overwet, always blot, do not rub or brush, work from the outside in toward the middle of the spot, and be patient. Some stains respond very slowly, and some stains cannot be removed due to the fibers and dyes. Professional help may be needed. But take heart - most spots can be removed if cleaned immediately. 

Spotting Solutions
Be prepared and always have some cleaning solutions on hand. The following are cleaning agents suitable for quick spot removal:

  1. A special purpose spot removal detergent (available at your supermarket or from a professional cleaner). Or you can make your own using a weak solution of liquid dish detergent (about 1/2 teaspoon to a quart of warm water).

  2. Dry cleaning solvent available at the supermarket.

  3. A weak acetic acid solution using one part white vinegar to two parts water.

  4. Ammonia solution using two tablespoons of ammonia to one pint of water.

  5. POG - paint, oil and grease remover available at the hardware stores.

  6. Nail polish remover - a satisfactory spot remover for nail polish and other similar spills. This remover should be tested first in an inconspicuous area of the carpet to make sure no damage occurs.

  7. Rust Remover - generally this product is available in supermarkets. One product that works is made by Whink Products Co. in Eldora, IA. This product is dangerous as it contains Hydrofluoric Acid. Extreme caution must be used when using any rust remover product. Always use heavy-duty household rubber gloves when working with any rust remover product.