The key to successful spot removal is getting to it as quick as possible. Keep this page book marked, or save or print the pdf file below. Be sure to let your friends and family know about this spotting guide so they will be able to use it as well.
Catch it while it's fresh, when chances of removal are 75% better.
First blot up all the liquid and scrape up all the solids you can. On a large liquid spill you can use a wet/dry vac. Be careful not to spread the stain.
Test any chemical you intend to use in a hidden area to make sure it won't discolor or damage the surface.
Apply spotter and work from the outside of the stain in, to avoid spreading. Blot, don't scrub; strike with the flat face of a spotting brush if needed to help break up the stain.
Rinse chemical spotters out with water, blot the area dry and feather the edges. Brush or fluff up pile or nap.
On carpet and upholstery, put a thick pad of toweling over the spot, weight it down with books, and leave it there overnight to "wick up" any remaining moisture.
DIY Stain Removal Guide
Cigarette Burns – A mild scorch from a cigarette burn is easily removed by scraping the pile with a dull knife by gently rubbing off the blemish.
Fat, Oil, and Wax Stains – You will need a clothes iron and a handful of paper towels to remove these types of stains. Flip the iron on a “warm” setting; do not use the “hot” setting, as that can singe the carpet. Place a paper towel over the top of the stain and with the iron and slight pressure on top of the paper towel, pull the stain up. The fat, oil, and wax will absorb into the paper towel with ease and come right off your carpet.
Glue – Apply rubbing alcohol onto your choice of cotton ball or cloth and gently work the alcohol into the glue spots. With a clean, dry cloth wipe away the residue and repeat until the glue is completely dissolved.
Gum and Sticky Candy – Pile up ice cubes on the gum or candy until it is frozen and with a spoon, or another blunt object, shatter the spot. Pick up the large fragments by hand and vacuum the remnants.
Nail Polish – If there is an excessive amount of polish, be armed with several rags; apply a generous amount of nail polish removal on a rag and work the polish out, getting a clean one after the rag has absorbed a fair amount of polish.
Urine – Absorb as much of the urine as possible with paper towels or dry rags using moderate pressure to blot the remaining moisture with a damp cloth. Mix together one part water and one part white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply the solution onto the stain; allow it to set for 10 minutes or so. While the first solution is working, combined ½ tsp of clear, mild, non-bleach detergent with 32 ounces of water and sponge that solution on top of the previous layer and blot the treated area with moderate pressure. Follow up with a few dry cloths to remove all moisture.
Water-Soluble Stains – Water-soluble stains are alcoholic beverages, berries, colas, excrement, food, dyes, gravy, ice cream, jelly, milk, mud, washable ink, and wet or latex paint to give you an idea and are fairly easy to remove. Combine ¼ tsp non-bleach detergent or white vinegar with 32 ounces of water in your choice of spray bottle or bucket and apply onto the stains and work out with dry rags, blotting up the stain as you go.
Special Water-Soluble Stains – Special water-soluble stains like wine, vomit, tea, mustard, coffee, chocolate, and blood for example, are a bit more complex to remove and require extra power. In your preference of spray bottle or bucket, combined 1 tbsp ammonia and 1 cup water; please note, carpet manufactured out of wool or wool blends should substitute the water with a mild soap. Apply directly to the area, allow it to set 5-10 minutes and remove with clean, damp cloth.