Stain & Spot Removal Tips

Do Not Clean Natural Fiber Carpets, Upholstery, and Rugs

Stain removal is a highly technical job, especially for natural fiber carpets, upholstery, and rugs. Please consult a professional to remove any spot or stain on natural fiber carpets, upholstery, and rugs.

Please do NOT attempt to remove a spot on these, because the risks of causing permanent damage are high. If in doubt, consult a professional.

Synthetic Fiber Carpets

If you want to try to remove a spot on your synthetic fiber carpet, we have some tips that you may try:

General Stain Removal Tips

  • Always Wear Gloves: Always wear rubber gloves for all stain and spot removal.
  • Always Test for Colorfastness: Press a damp white cloth to the colors in the fiber being cleaned. Hold in place for 90 seconds, then see if any color has transferred. If so, call a professional.
  • Never Apply Solution Directly to Carpet: If you use a spot removal solution, always apply the solution to a white cotton cloth/towel/rag, and apply the cloth to the carpet. Never apply solution directly to the carpet.
  • Never Scrub or Rub: Always blot or tamp the spot. Never scrub or rub as that may damage the carpet.
  • Always Rinse: What goes in must come out—don’t leave any cleaning solution in the carpet. Always rinse after cleaning.
  • Always Dry: After cleaning, always dry blot the spot to remove as much moisture as possible. If needed, use a fan or hairdryer (set on low heat) or open a window to help a bigger spot dry out. Do not allow a spot to remain damp for an extended time, as this could allow mold, mildew, or bacteria to grow.
  • Use Caution with Purchased Spot Removers: Use extra caution. Purchased solutions are usually high pH, are fairly potent, and could damage some kinds of carpet. If you want to try a spot removal solution from the store, always test it on an inconspicuous area of carpet (such as inside a closet) before use.
  • React Quickly to a Stain: The faster you react to a spot, the better chance you have to get it out. See the tips below.
  • If spot remains, see other tips or contact a professional.

Stains on Carpets with a Protective Coating such as STAINMASTER®

If your carpet has a protective coating, such as STAINMASTER, always try this first—BEFORE trying any cleaning solution:

  1. Put on rubber gloves. Using stacked white paper towels, blot until no more transfer occurs. Always test for colorfastness.
  2. Dampen white cotton cloth with lukewarm water, gently blot spot with it, and wring out the cloth. Repeat until spot disappears.
  3. If spot has fully disappeared, use white paper towels to blot spot dry. After blotting dry, you may also use a fan or hairdryer (set on low heat) or open a window to speed the dry time.
  4. If spot remains, see other tips or contact a professional.

Coffee, Wine, Soft Drinks, Mud, Cough Syrup, Maple Syrup Stains

Tip: React instantly, especially with coffee or wine.
Supplies: rubber gloves, white paper towels, white cotton cloths/rags, 4 cups warm water, ½ teaspoon non-bleach laundry detergent, 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  1. Put on rubber gloves. Using stacked white paper towels, blot the spot dry. If there are solidified materials on the item to be cleaned, break them up with a dull kitchen knife and brush. Discard solids appropriately then vacuum the remaining particles off.
  2. Always test for colorfastness (see General Tips above).
  3. Dampen 1st white cotton cloth with warm water, gently blot spot with it, and wring out the cloth. Repeat until spot disappears.
  4. If spot has fully disappeared, use white paper towels to blot spot dry. After blotting dry, you may also use a fan or hairdryer (set on low) or open a window to speed the dry time.
  5. Mix 4 cups warm water, ½ teaspoon non-bleach laundry detergent, 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Dip the white cotton cloth into the solution, and then blot spot with it.
  6. Wait 10 minutes.
  7. Wet 2nd white cotton cloth in warm water, blot the spot, and wring out the cloth. Repeat until water runs clear. (You are removing the solution so the spot will not re-soil faster.)
  8. After the spot is completely rinsed, use white paper towels to blot it dry. After blotting dry, you may also use a fan or hairdryer (set on low heat) or open a window to speed the dry time.
  9. If spot remains, see other tips or contact a professional.

Grease, Lotion, and Oil Stains

Supplies: rubber gloves, white cotton cloths/rags, white paper towels, dull butter knife, 1 to 2 teaspoons of non-bleach laundry detergent, 2 cups hot water, warm water, 1 or 2 bowls

  1. Put on rubber gloves. Remove any hardened excess with dull butter knife carefully to not damage carpet.
  2. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of non-bleach laundry detergent in 2 cups hot water in a bowl or container.
  3. Wet 1st white cotton cloth in solution, and gently blot spot with damp cloth. Do not rub. Try not to over-saturate spot.
  4. After spot is removed, wet 2nd white cotton cloth in warm water, blot the spot, and wring out the cloth. Repeat until water runs clear. (You are removing the detergent so the spot will not re-soil faster.)
  5. After the spot is completely rinsed, use white paper towels to blot it dry. After blotting dry, you may also use a fan or hairdryer (set on low) or open a window to speed the dry time.
  6. If spot remains, see other tips or contact a professional.

Hardened Wax Stains

Caution: Wax spots are difficult and time-consuming to clean.

Supplies: rubber gloves, dull butter knife, pliers, vacuum with hose attachment or dustbuster, large brown paper bag, iron.

  1. Put on rubber gloves. Slowly slide dull butter knife across wax spot to break wax into smaller pieces. Looking down to carpet and knife, you will slowly slide the knife horizontally to make parallel lines about ¼ inch (or less) apart, and then vertically to make more parallel lines, creating little ¼ inch (or smaller) squares of wax.
  2. Use your vacuum hose attachment or dustbuster to suck up loose pieces of wax. Do NOT use the main vacuum base with beater bar.
  3. If there is any wax remaining, use pliers to crunch each clump fo wax. Repeat vacuum hose/dustbuster step. Be careful not to push wax deeper into the fiber.
  4. Lay a large brown paper bag on top of remaining wax. Set iron on “warm” (not hot). Do NOT iron carpet directly—that could melt your carpet and ruin your iron. Lightly iron on top of paper bag. The melted wax will transfer to the paper bag, or soften enough so you can pick it out of the carpet.
  5. If spot remains, see other tips or contact a professional.

Blood, Eggs, or Vomit

Supplies: rubber gloves, white cotton cloths/rags, white paper towels, ½ teaspoon of detergent, 4 cups of warm water, warm water, 1 or 2 bowls

  1. Absorb all excess moisture with paper towels or dry washcloth.
  2. With cool water and a damp cloth (wet and wring out), blot out as much of the spot as possible.
  3. Mix ½  teaspoon of detergent in 4 cups warm water.
  4. Blot with white towel and solution until spot stops transferring.
  5. If the spot is gone, blot rinse all solution out of the carpet.
  6. Blot dry. If the spot remains, lightly dampen the spot with solution and let stand 10 minutes, then blot rinse and blot dry with towels. Then dry with a fan or hair dryer on a low setting.
  7. If spot remains, see other tips or contact a professional.

Pet Urine

guilty-looking pet

Supplies: rubber gloves, white cotton cloths/rags, white paper towels, 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar, 2 cups of warm water, warm water, 1 or 2 bowls

  1. Act immediately. Put rubber gloves on and use white paper towels to blot dry as much urine as possible.
  2. Mix 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water.
  3. Using pure white cloth, moisten the spot with the solution. Try not to oversaturate because that would push the urine into the pad.
  4. Let the spot sit for 5 minutes once dampened with the solution. Rinse well with clear warm water.
  5. Blot dry with paper towels. Open a window or turn on a fan to dry the spot faster.
  6. If spot remains, see other tips or contact a professional.

R.L. Osborn provides expert carpet cleaning stain and spot removal, as well as oriental rug cleaning and upholstery cleaning in the Monterey Peninsula area, from Carmel to Pacific Grove, California.

 

Call us for more information. We are happy to help.

R.L. Osborn 
Professional Stain Removal from Carpets, Rugs & Upholstery
1207 Sylvan Road, Monterey CA 93940

831-601-8401