Spotting Guide

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Because I’ve used many different types of methods for carpet spotting and this is an informational page on my website.  I’ve decided to add other spotting guides and techniques for you to choose from.  I’ve heard often from various people that they have a spot on their carpet but did not have the required items to address it.

My hope in adding other guides with other ways to clean carpet spots will allow more people to have a wider variety of methods to choose from.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

All the best in 2010!  Chris Thomas


In between professional Carpet Cleaning services there are many things you can do yourself to maintain your carpet.  Here are some recommendations for maintaining your carpet and to remove stains without calling and paying a professional.


Carpets receive a lot of abuse – pounding feet, dirt, grit, dust, oily cooking vapors and all kinds of spills.  Vacuuming removes dry soils which are a big cause of wear and unsightliness.  Be sure to vacuum in multiple directions so that you are maximizing the effectiveness.  Be careful not to get too close to the fringe on rugs with the beater bar; they are more safely vacuumed with a hand attachment.

Stain Treatment

For effective spot removal, you’ll want to have the following spot removing agents.  They should be used in the recommended sequence.

1. Cold Water

2. Detergent Solution: Mix one tablespoon of clear dishwashing liquid with a cup of warm (not hot) water.

3. Ammonia Solution: Mix one tablespoon of clear household ammonia (3% solution) with 1/2 cup of water.

4. Solvent: A dry cleaning solvent (available at hardware stores).

5. Ice: Chill with ice cubes in a plastic bag.  Shatter residue, pick or scrape off and vacuum.

6. Vinegar Solution: Mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water.

7. Warm Water (not hot)

8. Clear nail polish remover (preferably acetone)

9. Alcohol or Methylated Spirits Mineral Turpentine

10. Rust Remover

11. Absorbent Powder (e.g., salt, talc, or proprietary absorbent powders)

12. Absorbent Cleaners (e.g., Host)

Types of Stains

– Alchoholic Beverages: 1,2

– Bleach: 1,3

– Blood: 1,2

– Butter: 4,2

– Candle Wax: 5,4

– Chewing Gum: 5,4

– Chocolate: 2,3,6

– Coffee: 1,2,4

– Colas & Soft Drinks: 7,2

– Cooking Oils: 4,2

– Cream: 2,4

– Egg: 2

– Felt Tip Pen: 7,2,8

– Floor Wax: 4

– Fruit Juice: 1,2

– Furniture Polish: 4,2,3

– Gravy & Sauces: 7,2

– Ink (fountain pen): 1,2

– Ink (ball point): 4,9,2

– Ketchup: 7,2

– Lipstick: 4,2

– Mercurochrome: 2,3,6

– Milk: 7,4,2

– Mustard: 2

– Nail Polish: see below

– Oil & Grease: 4,2

– Paint (latex): 2,3,4

– Paint (oil): 9,4,2

– Rust: 4,2,10

– Salad Dressing: 2,4

– Shoe Polish: 4,2

– Soot: 4,2,3

– Tar: 4

– Tea: 1,2,4

– Urine (fresh): 1,2

– Urine (old): 2,3,6

– Vomit: 2

– Wine: 11,1,2

– Unknown Material: 4,12,2

Nail Polish

Always let harden before attempting removal which can take up to 24 hours for a large drip or spill.  After drying use a blunt scraper (back of a knife works well) and you should be able to scrape off the most if not all of the polish, then do the following steps: 8,4

Stains That Can’t Be Removed

Acid toilet bowl cleaners, acne medication, alkaline drain cleaners, chlorinated bleaches, hair dyes, iodine, insecticides, mustard with turmeric, plant fertilizers and stains of this nature cannot be removed as they have permanently altered the carpet’s color. Most likely the only solution is to insert carpet from a closet, or some other area into the area where the spot was cut out.

Spotting Guide #2

Ok, Spot has had an accident on your beautiful carpet, upholstery, or area rug – now what? Don’t panic; here are a couple of quick steps to follow to midigate disaster:

1. Act quickly. The sooner you get to cleaning up the mess, the easier it will be. Urine and other pet stains become harder to clean up as they dry and may even cause a permanent stain if not treated quickly. Scrape up any solids with a spoon or spatula first, then get to work on the spot.

2. Blot, don’t scrub! I see this mistake time and time again: we know that we shouldn’t rub the spot, but blotting doesn’t seem to be working quickly enough, so we scrub away. The problem is that while you may be able to remove the spot, you often leave permanent abrasion marks on the carpet. Blot, blot, blot and then blot some more.

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