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Stain Cleaning Tips

Maintaining a spot free carpet is made much easier if it has been treated with a high quality fabric protector. No carpet, however, is stain proof. Many conditions can cause permanent discoloration of carpet fiber. Among these are the dye in some food and beverages, bleaches, acids and caustic solutions found in every day cleaning products. Pet urine and even household dust (especially dust filtration stains along the walls) can, over time, permanently discolor your carpet.

Act fast!

Take immediate steps to remove spots. The longer a spot remains on the carpet the more likely it is to become a permanent stain.

For Best Results

Prompt attention to spots and spills is often the difference between spots easily removed and permanent stains. If your carpet has been treated with a protective fiber treatment it should respond effectively to simple spot cleaning procedures. You’ll be amazed out how easy spot removal can be when you closely follow the simple steps outline in this spot removal guide.

To view our helpful stain cleaning tips please click on the links below.


Red wine spills result in an absorbed type of stain that is reddish or purplish in color and contains alcohol, sugar, tannin and various coloring agents.

1. Apply cool detergent solution, blot.
2. Apply ammonia solution, blot.
3. Apply vinegar solution, blot.
4. Apply enzyme detergent, blot (See Caution Below)
5. Rinse thoroughly with water, blot until dry.
6. Apply dry cleaning solvent, blot.

AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.

(Dry cleaning solvent, or “oil solvent” contains volatile organic compound. Use carefully in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene — considered quite hazardous).


Chocolate results in a built up or absorbed stain that is brown colored with irregular edges. It can contain oil, grease, cocoa, butter, coloring, sugar and dairy products.

1. Scrape off as much as possible with a spatula or dull edge knife.
2. Apply cool detergent solution, blot.
3. Apply ammonia solution, blot.
4. Apply vinegar solution, blot.
5. Apply enzyme detergent, blot. (See Caution Below)
7. Rinse thoroughly with water, blot until dry

AMMONIA 1 Tbsp. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.


Soft drinks cause stains that can be colorless, yellowish, reddish, brownish and that darken with age. They contain tannin, sugar, vegetable coloring, flavoring and fruit extracts.

1. Apply cold detergent solution, blot.
2. Apply ammonia solution, blot.
3. Apply vinegar solution, blot.
4. Apply pressure to the spot with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon to work spotting solution deep into spot. DO NOT SCRUB as this may cause nap distortion of the fiber.
5. Rinse with water, blot until dry.

AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
CAUTION: Ammonia will “set”, that is make permanent, stains on natural fibers like wool and silk but may help in stain removal from other types of fibers.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.

(Dry cleaning solvent contains volatile organic compound. Use carefully in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene.)


Mud and soil are greyish, brownish, reddish or yellowish. They are absorbed and built-up types of stains that can contain soil with greases and oils, as well as clay and iron.

1. Brush or scrape off as much as possible.
2. Apply detergent solution, blot.
2. Apply ammonia solution, blot.
3. Apply vinegar solution, blot.
4. Apply pressure to the spot with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon to work spotting solution deep into spot. DO NOT SCRUB as this may cause nap distortion of the fiber.
5. Rinse thoroughly with water, blot until dry.
6. If stain remains, apply a “paint oil and grease” remover and dry cleaning solvent alternately, blot until dry.

AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.

(Dry cleaning solvent contains volatile organic compound. Use carefully in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene.)

Pet soil or vomit is a complex mixture of foodstuffs, saliva, stomach acids and digestive waste products. Sometimes, this mixture can stain the pile of a carpet or leave a persistent odor. Follow the tips below to cleanup the stain.

1. Immediately pick up/blot up as much material as possible using paper towels or a clean, white cloth. A tablespoon makes a good scraper if necessary.
2. Apply vinegar solution, blot.
3. Apply detergent solution, blot.
4. Apply pressure to the spot with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon to work spotting solution deep into spot. DO NOT SCRUB as this may cause nap distortion of the fiber.
5. Rinse thoroughly with cool clean water, blot until dry.AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.
(Dry cleaning solvent contains volatile organic compound. Use carefully in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene.)

Coffee and tea stains appear brownish with irregular edges. They may contain tannins, sugars, fatty acids, alcohols, oils, milk and cream. These stains darken with heat and age.

1. Apply detergent solution, blot. (Enzyme detergent may be used if a dairy product was mixed in. (See caution below.)
2. Apply vinegar solution, blot.
3. Apply enzyme detergent, blot.
4. Apply pressure to the spot with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon to work spotting solution deep into spot. DO NOT SCRUB as this may cause nap distortion of the fiber.
5. Rinse thoroughly with water, blot until dry.

AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.

(Dry cleaning solvent contains volatile organic compound. Use carefully in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene.)

Ketchup (catchup) and other tomato-based sauces are reddish brown and cause both absorbed and built up types of stains. They generally contain tomatoes, salt, sugar, spices, tannin, vinegar, onions, artificial coloring, preservatives, etc.

1. Apply cool detergent solution, blot.
2. Apply ammonia solution, blot.
3. Apply enzyme detergent, blot. (Note Caution below about using enzymes on natural fibers)
4. If stain remains, bleaching with 3-5% hydrogen peroxide or sodium perborate is recommended – proceed with extreme caution, or call us.
5. Apply pressure to the spot with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon to work spotting solution deep into spot. DO NOT SCRUB as this may cause nap distortion of the fiber.
6. Rinse thoroughly with water, blot until dry.

AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.

(Dry cleaning solvent contains volatile organic compound. Use carefully in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene.)

Cosmetics can include makeup, mascara, lipsticks, lotions and creams. Mostly they are pigments in dyes, fats, waxes and oils.

1. Scrape off excess (using a dull edge tool) and apply POG* remover, blot.
2. Apply dry cleaning solvent, blot.
3. Apply detergent solution, blot.
4. Apply ammonia solution, blot.
5. Apply vinegar solution, blot.
6. Apply pressure to the spot with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon to work spotting solution deep into spot. DO NOT SCRUB as this may cause nap distortion of the fiber.
7. Rinse with water, blot until dry.

AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.

(* Dry cleaning solvent and POG (paint oil grease) remover are available at most hardware stores. Or call us. Solvents contain volatile organic compounds and must be used in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene — considered quite hazardous)

Many plant foods have chemicals that can damage the color of your carpet. Try these recommendations, but you may need to call us for help.

1. Scoop up as much as possible.
2. Blot up remaining with clean white towels.
3. Apply warm detergent solution, blot.
4. Apply pressure to the spot with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon to work spotting solution deep into spot. DO NOT SCRUB as this may cause nap distortion of the fiber.
5. Rinse with water, blot dry.
6. If stain persists, apply dry cleaning solvent, blot.

AMMONIA 1 Tbls. clear household ammonia in 1/2 cup water. Always pre-test.
DETERGENT 1-2 drops colorless, mild detergent or dish washing liquid in 1 cup lukewarm water.
ENZYME DETERGENT Mix enzyme detergent per instructions on package and allow to remain on stain recommended time. Do not over wet.
CAUTION: Enzymes can damage natural fibers like wool. Use with care or call us.
VINEGAR 1/3 cup white household vinegar in 2/3 cup water.

(Dry cleaning solvent contains volatile organic compound. Use carefully in strict accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Use in well ventilated space and avoid products containing perchlorethylene.)