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Remove Carpet Stains - The How To

Your short lesson on how to remove carpet stains: act fast. Carpets today (most) come with stain-resistant treatments, so spills can be removed if you get to them quickly. The longer you wait, the more difficult removing carpet stains becomes. And no, there are no stain-proof carpets - yet.

Spot Cleaning Carpets

Professional carpet cleaners will tell you that "spots" are removable, and stains are permanent. In any case, the appearance of carpet stains can be improved even when the stain cannot be fully removed. Follow these guidelines :

Blot up liquids, don't rub them in! Just use a clean white cotton cloth or plain white paper towels. When you have removed the liquid, rinse the spot with water and blot again until dry. Repeat this if necessary to remove more of the stain, but don't scrub, or you might damage the carpet and set the stain in more permanently.

With semi-solids, such as peanut butter, pudding and such, scrape and lift gently with a spoon. Rinse out the remaining spill and blot dry.

Dried solids can be broken up and vacuumed. Repeat this until it's all gone, then rinse with water and blot dry.

Stain Removal Guidelines

When you're not sure how to get out specific carpet stains, try water first, before you try carpet stain removers.

When you use a cleaning solvent, apply it to a cloth, then work it in from the outside of the stain to the center, so you don't spread the spot. The procedure is this: apply the cleaner, extract (blot), rinse, extract, and repeat until you can't get out more of the stain. Always extract solvents completely, then dry the carpet quickly when you are done. If any of the stain remains, deeper down in the carpet, quick drying prevents it from wicking up to the surface.

Carpet Stain Removal Secret

One of the best tools for removing carpet stains is a shop-vac. A wet/dry vacuum cleaner can quickly suck up spills, and more importantly, you can repeatedly flush the area with water and suck it out. This is more efficient than blotting with a cloth, AND less likely to cause damage to the carpet.

Steve Gillman has worked in the carpet cleaning industry for years. For more carpet-care information, and specific stain-by-stain removal instructions, visit

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