The following procedures are courtesy of the Carpet and Rug Institute, the trade
association representing the major carpet manufacturers.
Act Quickly! Delaying may cause the spill to become a permanent stain. Blot
liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or white paper towels. Gently scrape
up semi-solids with a rounded spoon. Break up solids and vacuum.
· Pretest any spot removal solution (for color transfer to the cloth or damage to
the carpet) in an inconspicuous area. If a change occurs, select another
· Apply a small amount of the solution to a white cloth, and work in gently - do
not rub -- working from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent
spreading. Allow to remain on the spill a few minutes. Be patient. Blot.
· Continue to use the first agent as long as there is a transfer of the spill to
the cloth. Be patient. Complete removal may require repeating the same step
several times. Or, you may need to move to the next solution.
· When the spill is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with
a dry cloth until all moisture is removed.
A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to minimize
A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is
preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent, and follow manufacturer
instructions. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the
backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary
backings together. Solvents are readily available in the cleaning supply section
of hardware and home supply stores.
Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup
of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is
necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be
necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues.
(See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never
use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain
optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an
automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that
destroy dyes and some fibers.
Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a
5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by
detergent solutions or alkaline spills.
Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the
cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions
from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.
Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water.
Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color
change. Be sure to test a hidden area
Call a Professional
Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment
to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always
consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal
Many spot removal solutions leave residues in the carpet that may attract
soil. Thoroughly rinse the area several times with lukewarm tap water. A mist
type sprayer is recommended to prevent overwetting. Blot with paper towels and
pat dry after each rinse. Several rinses are often necessary to thoroughly
remove residues. Never use any of the solutions in concentrations stronger than
Note #1: Dry solvents can be relatively safe (such as using isopropyl alcohol to
remove ink) to being likely to do some damage to carpet construction if not used
very carefully (naphtha or citrus solvents).
Note #2: Wool carpet is more sensitive to alkaline spots and spots removal
agents than synthetic carpet. If you use an alkaline product, it would be
beneficial to rinse with the vinegar solution before rinsing again with water.
For particular spot removal recommendations, follow this link to the
and Rug Institute's spot