Removing spots from carpet can be simple or tedious depending upon the spot and how long it has been on the carpet. At times multiple applications of the spot removal solution, or a second solution is required . Listed below is a general spot removal guide . If the origin of the spot is a mystery, begin with step 1. If the origin of the spot is known begin at the appropriate step. Never use a circular motion to remove a spot as this changes texture. To prevent the spot from returning , the final step should always be to rinse with clear water, blot dry and put a white cotton terry cloth towel over the damp area. Put a brick , or other suitable weight object on the towel to keep the towel in contact with the carpet pile. This allows any stain wicking up from the backing to go into the towels rather than remain on the carpet surface. Allow to dry, take away the heavy object and towels and fluff up the carpet.
**Be certain to test, on a hidden area of your carpet any solutions you plan to use as it might affect color or texture. Do not continue if color in the test area marks off on a white paper towel .
Some materials needed to clean spots:
• White paper towels or white terry towels .
• Non Bleach Tide (or similar)
• Spray bottle for applying detergents and special solutions such as vinegar or Ammonia solutions.
• Ammonia, vinegar and rubbing alcohol .
• Dull knife and a spoon.
• Heavy item such as a brick.
Unknown and greasy spots.
Step 1: Remove as much of the foreign material as you can by blotting with a white paper towel or scraping with a spoon . Apply rubbing alcohol or a dry cleaning solvent to a clean cotton ball . If the spot extends deep into the fibers use a blotting motion until the spot is gone or no color is transferred to the paper towel . Do not allow the solvent to penetrate into the backing, as this will ruin the latex bond. If the spot is on the surface only, rub in one direction at a time. Never use a circular motion to clean a spot as this may ruin the carpet pile. Stop if spot is removed. If not, go to step 3.
Water based spots.
Step 2: Blot up as much of the spill as is possible. A wet/dry vacuum is useful if a large quantity of liquid was spilled. If spot has dried, saturate the tufts in the affected area with tap water (do not over wet ). Allow to remain for about 1 minute and blot. If the spot is being removed using water, repeat until the spot is completely gone. Blot dry and apply the paper towels and brick . If the spot is not completely gone go to step 3.
Step 3: Remove as much of the foreign material as possible by blotting with a white towel . Apply a small quantity a detergent* solution to the stain. Use a blotting motion to work the detergent into the carpet pile. If spot is being removed continue applying detergent and blotting with a white paper towel until the spot is gone . Flush with clear water using a spray bottle, blot to remove excess moisture, spray lightly with clear water , do not blot this time; apply stack of paper towels and book and let dry. If there is still some stain on the carpet and blotting is not removing it, then dampen the tufts in the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let stand for one (1) hour. Blot and repeat until carpet is spot free. Light will cause hydrogen peroxide to revert back to water so no rinsing is necessary . Apply pad of paper towels and weight down with a brick or heavy object .
*To make a detergent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon of Non Bleach Tide (or similar) powdered laundry detergent, with 1 quart of water, or use approved carpet spot removers available.
Many stains need specialized solutions.
A. Blood, catsup, cheese, chocolate, cough syrup, mixed drinks, soft drinks, soy sauce, starch, toothpaste, watercolor and white glue.
For large spills use a Wet/Dry vacuum to remove the bulk of the spill. If just a small amount was spilled blot with a white towel to soak up as much of the spot as possible then neutralize with a solution of 1 tablespoon of clear Ammonia to 1/2 cup of tap water. Saturate spot using spray bottle. Don’t saturate the carpet backing. Blot with a white paper towel to remove excess moisture. Once neutralized, proceed to step 3 of the removal guide . All solutions for removing blood must be cool .
B. Beer, coffee, perfume, tea and wine.
For large spills use a WetDry vacuum to remove the bulk of the spill. If just a small amount was spilled, blot with a white towel to remove as much of the spot as possible, then neutralize with a combination of 1/3 cup of vinegar, 2/3 cup of plain water. Apply to the spot, using a sprayer bottle and blot to absorb excess moisture . After neutralizing , proceed to step 3 of general procedure .
C. Egg, excrement, urine, and vomit.
Remove as much of the spot as possible with a dull knife . Blot up as much of the stain as possible, then neutralize the area by spraying the affected area with an ammonia solution. Make sure to remove all protein matter. Blot to remove excess liquid and go to step 3 of the general procedure .
D. Candle wax or other types of wax.
Spread brown paper (such as grocery bag, making sure there is no ink on the area you will be using) over the area and iron with the setting on “warm.” . The wax will be transferred to the paper or towel. Replace the paper as it absorbs up the wax. Remove any traces with rubbing alcohol or dry cleaning fluid. Don’t use an iron on Olefin carpets. Olefin is a fairly raw oil base byproduct and it is easy to melt with heat or friction.
E. Gum .
Freeze the gum using an ice cube . Shatter the frozen gum with a spoon and vacuum. Some citrus based products such as De-Solv-It® by Orange-Sol have been demonstrated to break down the stickiness so that it can be removed from the carpet.
Allow mud to dry . Shatter the dried mud with a spoon and vacuum. Go to step 3 of the general procedure .
Apply lemon juice to the area, using a spray bottle, and allow to work for 5 minutes. Go to step 3 of general procedure to remove the lemon juice. Most rust removers contain a very strong acid and are not recommended for use by homeowners.
H. Nail Polish.
Remove as much of the nail polish as possible using a spoon or dull knife . Apply a non-oily nail polish remover to a clean white cloth and agitate gently (in only one direction at a time) or blot the spot. Repeat until polish is removed. Do not allow nail polish remover to get to the backing . Proceed to step 3 to remove the remover.