Spotting Guide

The key to successful spot removal is getting to it as quick as possible. Keep this page bookmarked, or make a copy of it so you will be able to refer to it when you need it. Be sure to let your friends and family know about this spotting guide so they will be able to use it as well.

YOUR BASIC SPOT REMOVAL KIT

Keep the following items on hand so you will be prepared to handle fresh spills on your carpet: Neutral dish detergent such as Joy® or Dawn® (dilute 20:1); clear household ammonia; white vinegar (dilute 1:1); wet spotter such as Spot Gone®; dry spotter such as Dissolve®; paint thinner; hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) for bleaching; denatured or isopropyl alcohol; a good supply of white terry cloths; and a spotting brush. If you have pets, stock a bacteria/enzyme digester such as Liquid Alive®. A wet/dry vac is great to have as well.


THE 6 STEPS TO REMOVING SPOTS

1. Catch it while it's fresh, when chances of removal are 75% better. Don't iron or hot-air dry until the stain is gone. Heat will set most stains.

2. First blot up all the liquid and scrape up all the solids you can. On a large liquid spill you can use a wet/dry vac. Be careful not to spread the stain.

3. Test any chemical you intend to use in a hidden area to make sure it won't discolor or damage the surface.

4. Apply spotter and work from the outside of the stain in, to avoid spreading. Blot, don't scrub; strike with the flat face of a spotting brush if needed to help break up the stain.

5. Rinse chemical spotters out with water, blot the area dry and feather the edges. Brush or fluff up pile or nap.

6. On carpet and upholstery, put a thick pad of toweling over the spot, weight it down with books, and leave it there overnight to "wick up" any remaining moisture. 

Carpet and Rug Institute Spotting Guide

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