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What to do About Spills and Stains


First and foremost, act quickly. Pick up any solids that are easily removable. In the case of muddy footprints, wait until they are thoroughly dry; then vacuum.

Types of Stains

Basically two types of stains appear on carpets:

Water-soluble – include most food, beverage, urine and vomit.

Solvent-soluble – include oil, grease, tar, crayon, lipstick and butter.

Treatment for Stain Removal

Detergent solution for removing water-soluble stains – Mix 1 teaspon of mild detergent (such as Ivory Liquid) into 1 pint of lukewarm water. Do NOT use automatic dishwasher detergent or any other solution containing bleach. Sponge the detergent mixture onto the water-soluble stain, and work the solution from the outer edges toward the center of the stain. A lather will form. Gently sponge off this lather with clear, cold water until all visible signs of the suds have disappeared. Be sure to rinse out all spotters. NEVER use a chemical containing color brighteners.

Products to remove solvent-soluble stains, such as Carbona®, Energine®, or K2R® are available at retail stores. Bane-Clene’s
Saf-T-Solv™ is a commercially available product of exceptional quality. Apply the solvent to the stain by gently blotting with a cloth. Never pour a liquid directly from the container onto the carpet. After the solvent-soluble stain has been removed, follow with the detergent solution procedure.

Neutralizing rince – Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into 1 pint of cold water. Sponge this mixture lightly onto the affected area. The vinegar will neutralize any detergent residue that may remain in the carpet or that may wick to the surface during the drying process. Blot as much of the moisture out of the area as possible by using absorbent white cloth toweling or paper towels. Never use a newspaper or anything with print. Finally, lay dry absorbent toweling on the area and weight with a heavy object. After the area is dry, brush lightly to restore the normal texture of the carpet pile.