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OOPS!  It happens.  Now what?  First, relax.  Most of today's carpets are stain-resistant so acting calmly and quickly will often remedy even hideous looking accidents.   

Here are a few Spot Removal Basics...

Act sooner rather than later.
  Some spills can be removed years later with very little effort.  Some become permanent the moment they make contact with the carpet.  Acting fast is your first defense against permanent damage.  No carpet is stain-proof, only stain-resistant, so taking action as soon as possible is very important.

Don't use hard surface cleaners on your carpet.  Products intended to clean kitchen counters, windows, bathroom surfaces, and so on are highly alkaline, can cause color loss and leave soapy residues that lead to resoiling.  Use ONLY products made for carpets and, if you must, use them sparingly.  We recommend water or carbonated water first.  If that isn't enough, we suggest a non-residual cleaner like Drynamic's Professional Carpet spot and Stain Remover. 

Upholstery spotting is better left to the professional.  Just so there's no confusion, this guide is to help you treat accidental mishaps on your carpet.  Upholstery is far less forgiving.  Play it safe, get professional advice first.

Blot, don't rub.  Using a dry, white, absorbent cloth or plain white paper towel, blot the spill from the outside in to avoid spreading it further.  Continue to blot the area until it's dry.  Keep using a clean area of the towel as you go.  Once the towel starts coming up white, indicating that no more of the spot is being removed, it's a good time to stop.  Repeated attempts could lead to further damage. Remember, be gentle.

On tough spots, give the cleaner time to work.  If a spot doesn't come out immediately, take a ten minute break and give the spotter time to work. 

It's not just for Boy Scouts.....Be Prepared.  Know what to do in an emergency and where to find everything you need. White terry cloth towels are a carpet cleaner's best friend. Make your life easier and buy a few heavy white, terry cloth hand towels next time you see them on sale?  It'll be a good investment down the road.

It's a carpet, not a peach!  Huh?  Peaches are supposed to be fuzzy, carpets are not.  It's important to remember, so we'll stress the point again, BLOT, don't SCRUB.  Scrubbing distorts the pile causing visible changes in texture.  You might enjoy a Fuzzy Navel with dinner but we guarantee you won't take pleasure in these fuzzy little eyesores.  

Gently scrape away solids with a spoon, vacuuming the residue when you're done.  REMEMBER, be gentle.  Wielding an over-zealous spoon can be as destructive as scrubbing. 

Before you use cleaning products on your carpet, pretest in an inconspicuous area first.  Ideally, you should lightly dampen an area, blot with a white towel and look for signs of color transfer on the towel.  Then, allow the area to dry undisturbed inspecting for signs of damage such as color loss, bleeding or distortion once it's completely dry.  You're right, this is hard to do in a catastrophe so plan ahead.  Test cleaning products before an emergency.  If you have multiple colors, test each color separately.

The final step is just as important as all the rest.  Once you're satisfied the spot is gone rinse the area with cool water.  Gently blot with a clean, dry cloth until dry.  If necessary, use a heavy, flat weight, such as a phone book or two, to compress a half-inch thick layer of paper towels over the spot, changing the towels as necessary.  This handy little bit of advice helps remove anything left in the carpet, speeding drying and  minimizing wicking or recurring spots.  Don't let your weight touch the damp carpet since it may have colors that bleed.

Ready to begin?  Now, having said all that, and remembering to err on the side of caution, Click Here to go to Stainmasters' spot removal guide.

 
Serving Anne Arundel and Howard County, Maryland since 1990, we rely on safe, non-toxic, kid & pet-friendly products and only a fraction of the water reducing our impact on mother nature and avoiding the inconveniences so often associated with carpet cleaning. We’ll leave you delighted and your carpet clean, fresh and dry in as little as one to two hours.
 

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