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Spot Removal Guide for Carpet

Step-by-step advanced treatment recommendations

(scroll to the bottom for cleaning solutions)

Professional cleaning is recommended when solvents become

necessary. Rinsing, extraction, adequate ventilation, and additional

protective equipment (nitrile gloves, masks, etc.) may be required.

Always follow the instructions on commercial spotters and

pretest every cleaning agent in an inconspicuous area. Some

spotters can damage specific fabrics (discolorations, dye migration,

etc.).  

Most spot-removal techniques require blotting. Blot using a white, 

folded terry cloth or paper towel to press down on the spot repeatedly.

This action helps absorb the wet foreign material and any cleaning

agents applied. Folding a terry cloth into quarters before blotting

allows one to flip the towel to find dry sections as used areas become

soaked with the absorbed foreign substance. Blot repeatedly until

the spot is no longer noticeable or the color stops transferring

onto the cloth. Change the terry cloth after the panels become saturated.      

 

BLOOD:

  1. Apply cold detergent solution and blot with a clean, white terry cloth or paper towel.

  2. Apply cold ammonia solution and blot.

  3. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  4. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot until dry.

  5. If the stain remains, apply rust remover or oxalic acid solution.

  6. Bleaching with 3-5% hydrogen peroxide may be necessary.

 

BUTTER AND MARGARINE:

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

  2. Apply detergent solution and blot until dry.

  3. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  4. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

CANDLE WAX:

  1. Scrape away as much wax as possible with a spatula or dull knife.

  2. Apply dry cleaning solvent.

  3. Apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot.

  4. Apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

 

*A cleaning specialist is recommended when removing wax using a hot iron treatment. Never allow a hot iron to touch synthetic carpet or upholstery fibers directly. The hot metal can melt the fabric and cause permanent damage. Professional carpet and upholstery cleaners use extreme caution and typically place a wet terry cloth between a warm iron and the carpet fibers to prevent damage when removing candle wax.  

KETCHUP & TOMATO SAUCE:

  1. Apply cold detergent solution and blot.

  2. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  3. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  4. If the stain remains, bleach with 3-5% hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate.

  5. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot dry.

 

CHOCOLATE:

  1. Scrape away as much as possible with a spatula or dull knife.

  2. Apply cold detergent solution and blot.

  3. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  4. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  5. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  6. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot until dry.

 

COFFEE:

  1. Apply detergent solution, blotting frequently.

  2. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  3. Cover with dry towels until dry.

 

CRAYON:

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent.

  2. Apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot.

  3. Apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

  4. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  5. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

FOOD COLORING:

  1. Apply detergent solution, blotting frequently. A dried stain of food coloring will most likely spread when wet. Repeat until the color is no longer transferred to the towel.

  2. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  3. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot until dry.

 

FURNITURE STAIN:

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent.

  2. Apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot.

  3. Apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

  4. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  5. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

Unfortunately, a furniture stain is nearly impossible to remove completely.

 

GRASS:

  1. Apply amyl Superiortate, if available, to remove chlorophyll and blot.

  2. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  3. Rinse with water and blot.

  4. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  5. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  6. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

Oxygen bleaching or professional stripping may be necessary.

 

INK(Ballpoint):

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent.

  2. Apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot.

  3. If the stain remains, apply rust remover or oxalic acid solution.

 

INK (India):

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent.

  2. Apply a small amount of paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot. Repeat this process until the ink spot is removed or no longer transfers color onto the white cloth. Applying too much POG can spread the ink stain on the fabric. 

  3. Apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

  4. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  5. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  6. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

JAM & JELLY:

  1. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  2. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  3. Rinse with water and blot.

  4. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  5. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

LIPSTICK:

  1. Scrape off excess with a spatula or dull knife.

  2. Apply a small amount of paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot. Repeat this process until the spot is removed or no longer transfers color onto the white cloth. Applying too much POG can spread the lipstick stain on the fabric. 

  3. Apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

  4. Apply detergent and blot.

  5. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  6. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  7. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

Try to avoid wet cleaning wool.
Use
dry-cleaning solvents to remove lipstick on wool, or call a professional cleaner. 

 

MILDEW:

  1. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  2. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  3. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot.

  4. Apply a solution of 3-5% hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate bleach. Do not use chlorine bleach on wool, silk, nylon, polyester, or acrylic fabrics. Chlorine bleach can dissolve wool fibers and cause permanent damage, discolorations, and dye loss in synthetic materials.   

  5. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot until dry.

 

MUD:

  1. Brush or scrape away as much excess mud as possible.

  2. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  3. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  4. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot until dry.

  5. If the stain remains, apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and dry-cleaning solvent alternately and blot until dry.

 

MUSTARD:

  1. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  2. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  3. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  4. If the stain remains, call a cleaning specialist. Professional cleaners have access to advanced spotters like rust remover (oxalic acid solution), which may help remove the stain but require thorough extraction rinsing and personal protective equipment (gloves, mask, etc.) to apply safely. A 3-5% hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate bleaching may also be necessary. 

Unfortunately, mustard is a disperse dye that is practically impossible to remove safely from many fabrics. Do not use ammonia or alkaline spot cleaners. 

 

NAIL POLISH:

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent.

  2. Apply amyl Superiortate, if available, or nail polish remover -PRETEST AN INCONSPICUOUS AREA FIRST.

  3. If stain remains, apply detergent solution, and blot until dry.

  4. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  5. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  6. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

PAINT (Oil based):

  1. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  2. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  3. Rinse with water, and blot until dry.

  4. Apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot.

  5. Apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

 

PAINT (Water based):

  1. Check the label on the paint, specific thinner, or solvent.

  2. Apply dry-cleaning solvent.

  3. Apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot.

  4. Re-apply dry-cleaning solvent and blot.

  5. Alternate steps 2 and 3 until the stain is removed.

  6. If the stain persists, allowing the dry-cleaning solvent more dwell time may be necessary. Weigh down the stain with towels dampened with dry-cleaning solvent for 5-15 minutes to loosen the paint and blot. 

  7. Apply several drops of detergent solution and work into the stain and blot.

  8. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  9. Alternate steps 2, 3, and 6 until the stain is removed.

  10. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and blot until dry.

 

SHOE POLISH:

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent.

  2. Apply paint, oil, and grease remover (POG) and blot.

  3. Apply dry-cleaning solution and blot.

  4. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  5. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  6. Rinse thoroughly with water, and blot until dry.

  7. If the stain persists, 3-5% hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate bleaching or professional stripping may be necessary.

 

URINE:

  1. Blot as much as possible if still wet.

  2. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  3. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  4. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  5. Rinse thoroughly with water, and blot until dry.

  6. If the stain remains, apply rust remover or oxalic acid solution.

  7. Bleaching with 3-5% hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate might be necessary.

 

Urine stains may cause permanent dye removal from fibers.

 

VOMIT:

  1. Blot as much as possible.

  2. Apply enzyme detergent and blot.

  3. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  4. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  5. Rinse with water and blot until dry.

 

WINE:

  1. Apply detergent solution and blot.

  2. Apply vinegar solution and blot.

  3. Apply ammonia solution and blot.

  4. Bleach with 3-5% hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate if necessary.

  5. Rinse thoroughly with water and blot until dry.

 

(If all else fails, switch to white wines)!

 

Spotting Solutions

AMMONIA SOLUTION –

Mix one tablespoon of pure household ammonia with one-half cup of lukewarm water.

COLOR-SAFE BLEACH –

Use hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate (present in Snowy or Clorox II). DO NOT use chlorine bleach.

 

DETERGENT SOLUTION –

Mix one teaspoonful of a colorless, mild detergent or dishwashing liquid in a cup of lukewarm water.

 

DRY-CLEANING SOLVENT –

Volatile dry spotter or a commercial spotter such as Thoro, Energize, or K2R. Use in small amounts…can be harmful to sizing, backings, or stuffing material. DO NOT use gasoline, lighter fluid, or carbon tetrachloride on fabrics. Follow the label's instructions and use recommended personal protective equipment. 

 

POG –

Paint, oil, and grease remover; available in hardware stores. Use tiny amounts with extreme caution! Follow the label's instructions and use recommended personal protective equipment. 

Serving Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, and Prince George's County
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