Cleaning Methods

Before trying to clean up a spill, try to identify the source of the stain.  Different stains require different cleaning procedures. Always pretest any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous spot.  Without over-wetting, apply a retail spotting agent or the solutions we recommend here.  Use clean white unprinted materials.

Never use all-purpose spray cleaners, bleach, or alkaline detergents. You can damage your carpeting!

“Blotting” and “applying” are the basic steps of any carpet cleanup.   Start by blotting up the spill using clean white absorbent materials like terry cloth or paper towels.  Work from the outer edge of the spot to the center.  Keep turning or replacing the towel so a fresh surface is always being applied to the carpet.  Gently scrape up solids with the edge of a spoon.

While you work, keep an eye on the towel.   As long as you are getting the color of the spill on the towel you are making progress.   Keep blotting until you are not getting any more transfer to your towel.  Never rub.   Rubbing can fuzz or distort carpet fibers, as well as spread the stain.

When you have cleaned up and rinsed as best you can, get a thickness of fresh white towels.   Place them on the spot and put a weight on top of it.  This will help draw out more of the spot.

To find the cleaning steps that will work best for your spill, click on the stain in the list below.

* May require professional cleaning.
**  All ingredients must be cold.

Acne Medicine* Cough Syrup Graphite Lipstick Paint (oil) Tar
Asphalt Crayon Grease (auto) Machine Oil Paper Mache Tea*
Bleach* Dirt Grease (food) Makeup Paste Wax Toilet Cleaner*
Blood** Drain Cleaner* Hair Oil Mascara Petroleum Jelly Toothpaste
Butter Dye* Hair Spray Mayonnaise Plant Food* Urine/Feces*
Candle Wax Flea/Tick Powder or Spray* Hand Lotion Mercurochrome Rubber Cement Varnish
Carbon Black Foundation Makeup Ice Cream Merthiolate Rust Vomit*
Chalk Fungicide* Ink (ballpoint pen)* Milk Shellac Wine (white)
Charcoal Furniture Polish Ink (marking pen) Mixed Drinks (liqueurs) Shoe Polish  
Chewing Gum Furniture Stain Insecticide* Mud Shortening  
Chocolate Glue, (hobby) Iodine* Nail Polish Solder*  
Coffee* Glue, (white) Linseed Oil Paint (latex) Soot*  
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