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How To Remove Carpet and Rug Stains

Basic Cleaning Steps For Common Spills

  • Scoop up as much of the spill as possible, with a towel, spoon or spatula. Then blot up as much of the spill as possible with a towel.

  • Blot the spill, don't rub or scrub. Gently press clean towels into the spill to lift out the moisture and stain. Rubbing the stain can force it deeper into the fibers and it can cause it to spread.

  • Apply warm, not hot, water to the stained area and blot until the stain stops transferring to the cloth.

  • If you can still see the stain, make a detergent solution by adding 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid to one cup warm water. Don't use too much soap, because it's difficult to rinse out of the carpet. Some people have had good success using a bar or Ivory soap, hair shampoo, white vinegar or making a paste with OxyClean.

  • Apply the detergent solution, let sit for several minutes minutes, then rinse with clear warm water. Repeat until all the detergent is removed.

  • Place layers of white towels on the spill to absorb the liquid. Weight down the towels with a non-staining object such as a large glass cake pan. Periodically replace the towels until no more moisture is absorbed..

  • If the stain is still visible, repeat the process.

Important Note: Cleaning agents may affect the appearance of your carpet. Test your carpet or rug for colorfastness. Any cleaning agent should always be tested first, on an inconspicuous portion.

For more information on cleaning specific types of stains, check out our cleaning guides.

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