Simple Spot Cleaning Solutions

Published on February 15, 2015

Simple Spot Cleaning Solutions

Spills and spots on carpet seem to be inevitable, especially in households with pets and kids.  Spots are best treated immediately, so it can be helpful to keep some basic household items on hand to deal with carpet emergencies.

The first rule of spot cleaning is to blot, rather than rub, the spot.  Keeping some inexpensive white utility towels on hand is key, because colored rags or towels may transfer color onto carpet when spot cleaning.  In addition to towels, you’ll want to be sure you have four simple items in the house: a mild liquid detergent, white vinegar, club soda, and a spray bottle.  You probably have these items on hand already, but here are some tips on how you can use the magic of these common products to quickly deal with spots and stains.

Remember to apply a small amount of the cleaning solution on a hidden area of the carpet to test for colorfastness.  The recommended cleaning solution (described below) will not typically have an adverse reaction to most carpets, but you should test to be sure.

If your carpet has been treated with a protector, you may have time to act quickly and simply blot a liquid spill with towels, if it beads up and stays on the surface.  If a stain remains behind after blotting, or if the spill has already penterated the carpet fibers, try these spotting solutions:

A simple solution that works on many fresh spills and spots is made from:
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon mild liquid detergent
1 quart warm water
(Mix the above ingredients in a spray bottle)

When you have a liquid spill such as soda, coffee, or an alcoholic beverage, first blot as much of the liquid up as quickly as possible with paper towels, or one of your clean white towels (recommended).  Apply the cleaning solution by spraying some onto the spot, then blot with a clean dry white towel.  An effective way of blotting that often works well is to place the towel over the treated area and then stand on the towel for a few seconds.  If some of the stain transfers to the towel, blot again with a clean portion of the towel.  Repeat the entire process as necessary, and then blot dry when the spot is gone.  Remember: Do NOT rub!

For chocolate or mud, use the same cleaning solution.  For chocolate, gently lift as much of the chocolate from the carpet using your fingers or a butter knife as soon as possible.  Apply the cleaning solution, and follow the instructions listed above.  When mud is tracked onto your carpet, you actually want to let the mud dry for easier removal with a brush or vacuum.  Then, if a stain remains, follow the above cleaning procedure.

If a happy party guest spills red wine on your carpet, don’t panic! And don’t use colored party napkins to blot the stain – grab your white towels or paper towels instead.  Blot as much of the wine up as possible, and then apply club soda to any remaining stain. The carbonation may help lift the stain from the carpet fibers.  Blot and repeat if necessary.

Treating spills when they occur is the best way to minimize damage to your carpet and save on professional cleanings.  However, if you run into problems with any stain, don’t hesitate to call a professional for advice or evaluation of your problem area.  Integrity Clean offers spot cleaning services for customers who just want help removing an accidental spill or dog accident.

If homeowners who are prone to frequent spills and spots, Integrity Clean suggest that you consider purchasing a spotting machine.  You can purchase them in many department stores for around $100-$150.

If you have any questions about the tips listed above, or if you have any other questions about do-it-yourself spot cleaning, feel free to give Integrity Clean a call!



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