Spot Removal Guide
The Ultimate Carpet Spot Removal Guide
Please note: This page and associated carpet spot removal pages of this Guide are under construction. We’re updating as fast as we are able.
Gravity happens, and we’re here to help!
Overall our experiences with over-the-counter grocery and hardware store carpet cleaners are mediocre to downright terrible. They often don’t work, many of them leave a sticky residue which attracts more soil, and some of them can even permanently damage your carpet. For these reasons we strongly suggest staying away from them.
That said it’s always best to use our Carpet Spot Remover on all water-based and some oil-based spots because it has been tested by an independent laboratory to be safe for you, your pets, your carpet, and extremely effective on most household spills and spots. Furthermore our Carpet Spot Remover does not leave a sticky residue so you can rest easily knowing it’s safe, effective, and won’t cause resoiling issues.
However if you’ve run out of our spotter, or you’re in a hotel room in Mexico and you’ve just spilled red wine on the white carpet and the manager is threatening you with having to pay for replacement (a true story from one of our clients), then this guide is for you.
The spotting solutions and techniques herein are designed for spot and spill emergencies only and are not designed to replace professional carpet cleaning.
Wear protective latex or rubber gloves to protect your skin. The solutions we’re going to use are not dangerous once mixed, but mixing them from the concentrate can be harmful if spilled or dripped on your skin.
It’s safer to wear splash-proof goggles when mixing solutions.
Always pre-test your spotting solutions and techniques in an inconspicuous area before continuing on to the spot or spill. We advise this step to ensure color fastness and that the fibers respond without damage.
Determine the type of spot you’re dealing with before proceeding. Using the improper spotting solution may cause the spot to spread or set.
Never rub or scrub a spot as fiber damage may occur. Rather always blot or gently agitate with a dull metal object like a spoon handle – and then blot.
Don’t panic! If you get stuck we’re only a phone call away and we’re always happy to help anybody with their cleaning needs. 810.225.2184
Tips and techniques to successful spot removal
If it’s liquid blot it up with dry white cotton towels. Using any other color than white may transfer dye from the towel to the carpet.
If you can’t get to the spot or spill right away, stack some dry white cotton towels on the area and weight down with something heavy like a brick or book.
Always work from the outside of the spot or stain inward toward the center to help contain the contamination and prevent it from spreading.
Have an emergency spotting kit ready to go before the emergency occurs. Let’s build the kit now.
Emergency spotting kit
You’ll need the following materials
- White cotton towels – make sure they’re white so the towel doesn’t transfer color. Home Depot and Lowes carry these in multi-packs for cheap (we use these – click here)
- Dawn dish detergent, regular – the kind made for washing dishes by hand, NOT automatic dishwasher detergent
- Vinegar, White – not apple cider variety
- Ammonia, Plain – not Sudsy ammonia
- Hydrogen Peroxide, 3% – the brown bottle type you find in the Band-Aid aisle
- Several empty 32 oz spray bottles (these are inexpensive and work great – click here)
- Goof-Off Professional Strength Remover liquid (for oil, paint, and grease) – found at hardware stores for lifting paint and oil spills (click here for product info)
- An old metal spoon – make sure the sides are dull and not sharp (for scooping and light agitation)
- Optional – but extremely handy: a tool caddy like this one
The Ammonia Spotter
A weak ammonia spotter works well on spots and stains that are food-based, protein-based, and/or slightly oily.