Problem: Accidental spills
have resulted in spots and stain on carpet.
Background: A wide variety of sub stances can cause
spots on carpeting and the procedures used to remove them
vary. However, the cleaning procedure for all except
ballpoint pen and tar spots begins with re moving the
excess material. To absorb excess liquid, use a clean
white cloth or tissue; for solids, scrape lightly; for
powders, vacuum and do not moisten.
What to do: Remove excess as mentioned above, and
perform the steps listed in order. In some cases, such as
removing inks, a step may be called for a second time if
the stain hasn’t come out with the first couple of steps.
For acids, use procedures A, C, W, T. For alcoholic
beverages, beer, bleach, syrup or wine, use C, V, T. For
ammonia or alkali, use V, C, W, T. For animal urine, use
W, V, C, W, T. For ballpoint pen begin with X and then use
D. For grease, use D. For tar, begin with D. For blood,
use W, C, A, V, T. For butter or margarine, use D, C, W,
T. For candy, use C, V, W, T. For catsup, cough syrup, or
wet water-based paint, use C, W, T. For chewing gum, use
C, D. For chocolate, use C, V, Z, D. For cocktails, use C,
W, T, Z, D. For coffee, use C, V, T, D.
For cosmetics and oils, use procedures D, C, A, V, T. For
dye (water), use C, A, V, T, P. For egg, glue (water), or
soft drinks, use C, A, V T. For fruit or fruit juices, use
C, A, V, W, T. For furniture polish, use X, D, C, A, V, T.
For gravy, use C, Z, D. For household cement (solvent),
use X, D. For ice cream or vomit, use C, A, V, T, Z, D.
For inks (water), use C, W, T, Z, P. For inks (solvent) or
nail polish, use D, X, D, P. For lipstick, use D, C, A, V,
T, P. For milk, use C, A, V, W, 1’, D. For Merthiolate,
use X, D, C, T. For mustard, use C, V, T, Z, D. For wet
oil-based paint, use D. For dried paint, use X, D, C. For
per fume, use D, C, V, T. For sauces or salad dressing,
use D, C, V, T, Z, D. For shoe polish, use X, D, C, A, V,
T. For tea, use C, V, T, D. For unknown stains, use C, Z,
Procedure A: Apply
ammonia solution (1 tablespoon household ammonia to 1 cup
water) and blot.
Procedure C: Use
carpet shampoo solution diluted according to label
Procedure D: Use
Procedure C: Freeze
residue with aerosol chewing gum remover, dry ice (handled
carefully with gloves on), or with ice cubes in a plastic
bag. Shatter with a blunt object, and vacuum up chips
immediately while they are still hard.
Procedure P: Call
professional rug cleaner for advice.
Procedure T: Place
½-inch layer of white absorbent material or tissues over
damp area under a weight for several hours.
Procedure V: White
vinegar solution (1 tablespoon to 1 cup lukewarm water)
Procedure W: Rinse
with plain water and blot.
Procedure X: Use
paint, oil, or grease remover.
Procedure Z: Allow
carpet to dry.
Special advice: Cigarette burns generally must be
repaired by replacing the charred area (professional
installers have special punches to do this). If the burn
is superficial, you may improve the appearance by brushing
the surface and carefully snipping charred tufts with
Helpful hint: Don’t
use common household detergents, such as soap, ammonia,
washing soda, or strong household cleaners on carpets.
They may damage the carpet fiber, and many will leave a
sticky film that will cause rapid resoiling to occur.