Stain Removal Guide

This step by step stain removal guide reveals stain removal tips for cleaning carpet stains. Spills happen but stains don't have to result if the proper steps are taken and an effective stain remover is utilized.

Most of the carpeting produced today is constructed with a more stain resistant carpet fiber or has been treated with a stain protection treatment, but no carpet is stain proof. There are some staining situations that cannot be corrected by cleaning, however, you can ensure greater overall success by following this stain removal guide.

What tools to remove carpet stains does this stain removal guide recommend?

  • A closed box container to keep the bottles of spotting agents.
  • White bleach-free absorbent towels.
  • A bone scraper used for agitation and scraping up solid staining material.
  • A short, firm, wooden handled spotting brush for light agitation and to "tamp" a spotting agent into the carpet pile.
  • "Duck bill" or "nap shear" scissors to trim fuzz or cut samples from the carpet.
  • Rubber gloves, safety glasses, an organic vapor respirator for toxic stain removers and a steam iron.
  • pH paper, either Hydrion paper or pH test strips to test the acidity or alkalinity of the stain or stain remover product.
  • a carpet cleaning machine capable of extraction or a wet/dry shop vacuum for extraction purposes.

What are the general rules of this stain removal guide?

  1. Time is of the essence! Immediately blot up as much of the spill as possible. The longer a stain sets the more stubborn it becomes to remove. Use a clean white bleach-free cloth to remove a stain as the color from the cloth could transfer to the fabric or surface you are cleaning.How to Blot: Push your index finger knuckle into a white bleach-free cloth. Work your knuckle forward and backward then left to right across the carpet stain. Twist your wrist in a clockwise direction. Carpet fibers are twisted clockwise. This motion removes stains from between the fibers without causing the carpet to fuzz. Remember to frequently move the towel to prevent the stain from spreading.
  2. Scrape away the solid or semi-solid stain using a spoon or blunt end of a bone scraper. Never use a knife as it's sharp edges could harm the pile fibers.
  3. Do not scrub the area. Scrubbing can distort the pile and harm the fibers. Scrubbing can result in making the stain set into the carpet or rug.
  4. Vacuum away as much of the solid stain as possible.
  5. Always pretest any stain remover on an inconspicuous area of the carpet. Apply a few drops to each color in the carpet test area. Press a clean, white cloth on the wet area for approximately 30 seconds. Check both the towel and the carpet for color transfer, color change or any other damage. Repeat same procedure with another stain remover if you notice any change.
  6. Apply a small amount of the cleaning agent to a white bleach-free cloth and then blot to apply to the stain. Do not pour cleaning agents directly on the stain, particularly solvent spotters as they may reach the carpet backing and cause damage.
  7. Work from the edges of the stain to the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Continue as long as the stain is getting transferred onto the towel. Apply more solution to a fresh area on the towel and repeat the process as long as the stain is being removed. Patience is a virtue as far as this step is concerned!
  8. Rinse all spotting agents from the carpet, as these can create their own stains if left in the fabric.
  9. Blot with dry clean bleach-free cloth to remove and dry any moisture from the rinsing procedure. When most of the moisture is removed, you may use clean, dry towels weighed down by flat, heavy objects like a book or brick on the damp area to absorb any remaining moisture. This helps prevent wicking of any deep staining material not removed that will move to the surface as the carpet dries.

This stain removal guide includes specific spotting procedures and stain removers for each type of carpet stain listed below.

Remove Blood Stains
Remove Candle Wax
Remove Chewing Gum
Remove Chocolate Stains
Remove Coffee Stains
Remove Ink Stains
Remove Lipstick (and other makeup) Stains
Remove Pet Stains
Remove Red Stains
Remove Red Wine Stains
Remove Rust Stains

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