Spot Removal Guide

Accidents happen, but a speedy response can stop a spill from becoming a stain. Here are some helpful tips to remove spots quickly and efficiently.

Remember that if everything else fails, The Cleaning Guy has the right equipment, and our technicians are able to remove even the toughest spots.

Follow these three important steps for general carpet spot removal:

  • Absorb: Blot the excess liquid from the carpet by pressing straight down with a clean, dry, white paper, or terry towel. DO NOT RUB. Place a half-inch thick pad of clean, dry, white paper towels with a weight on top and leave overnight if necessary.
  • Scrape: If there are solids, gently work the soiled area with the blunt edge of a spoon. Scrape from the outside edge of the spot toward the center.
  • Clean: Dampen a clean, white (not printed) paper towel with a cleaning solution. Dab the soiled area working from the center out. Once the spot is removed, flush out the residue but avoid over-wetting the carpet. Use clean white towels to pull up the moisture until it is dry to the touch and then use a fan to circulate the air. 

Note: make sure that you test products in an inconspicuous spot before use. 

The “Need to knows” of Spot Removal…

All spots will basically fall into 2 categories and being able to determine that will help you treat accordingly. The 2 Categories are water-based spots and oil-based spots.

Examples of water-based spots:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Berries
  • Colas
  • Excrement
  • Food dyes
  • Ice cream
  • Jelly 
  • Milk
  • Mud
  • Washable ink
  • Wet or latex paint

Use a simple cleaning solution made up of 1/4 teaspoon of non-bleach detergent (or white vinegar) mixed with 32 ounces of water.

Examples of oil based spots:

  • Butter
  • Chocolate
  • Food grease
  • Gravy
  • Makeup
  • Mustard
  • Motor oil
  • Salad dressing

*Freeze and remove any solids before using cleaning solution. 

Try 1 tablespoon of ammonia mixed with 1 cup of water (but not on wool or wool-blend carpet; instead, use mild detergent and water). If that doesn’t work, you can try one part chlorine bleach to five parts water, but only on solution-dyed carpets, such as polypropylene. Bleach will harm other types of carpets; check with the manufacturer if you are unsure what type of carpet you have.

wine spill

How to Clean More Common Spot Types

  • Wine
    • With a white cloth, try and blot as much of the red wine spot as you can. The more you can soak up, the less you’ll have to remove.
    • After you finish blotting, pour a bit of cold water directly onto the wine spot. Doing this helps dilute what remains of the spot, making blotting a bit easier. Continue blotting until you find that no more of the spot will come out.
    • Now prepare a baking soda paste by mixing a three to one ratio of water to baking soda and applying it to the affected area. Once the paste is dry, vacuum the spot.
  • Fat and Oil
    • Place a paper towel over the carpet and iron on a warm setting. The wax, fat, or oil should come up off the carpet and stick to the paper towel.
  • Cigarette Burn
    • These can be removed by gently rubbing the pile with the edge of a hard and flat surface, such as a dull knife.
  • Glue
    • Moisten a cotton ball or soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and press it on the affected area. Once the glue residue is thoroughly moistened, gently wipe it off and repeat until the carpet is clean.
  • Wax and Gum
    • Use ice to freeze the wax or gum, then shatter it with a blunt object, such as a spoon.
    • Vacuum before the pieces soften and blot the carpet with a white towel.
  • Nail Polish
    • Blot the area with a rag dipped in nail polish remover.
  • Urine
    • Absorb as much as possible with white towels, then blot with a damp, cool cloth.
    • Next, spray or blot with a solution of one-part white vinegar to one-part water.
    • Finally, apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear, mild, non-bleach detergent mixed with 32 ounces of water, rinse, and blot dry.
    • If the urine was the result of a dog’s accident, you may also want to try a housebreaking aid such as No-Go.
  • Dirt and Mud
    • To remove mud from your carpet, first, let it first dry before vacuuming it.
    • Avoid rubbing it with a cloth as this will only deepen the spot.
    • Vacuuming over the area several times, until most of the dirt is picked up.
    • Then, mix one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent with one cup of warm water.
    • Blot over the area as needed until the spot is gone.
    • Let the carpet dry.
  • Coffee/Tea 
    • Pour one cup of baking soda into a bowl.
    • Take a damp cloth and coat it with baking soda. Apply directly on the tea spot.
    • Rinse the affected area with cold water.
    • Repeat steps 1 through 3 as necessary.
    • Rinse the affected area with cold water and pat dry.
  • Vomit
    • Pour a bit of cold water directly onto the vomit spot
    • Apply baking soda on the spot. Use enough baking soda to completely cover the spot
    • Using lemon juice, pour a bit of it over the spot until it starts to fizz. 
    • As soon as it starts to fizz, rub the spot vigorously with a cloth or brush. 
    • Rinse the spot with cold water. 


Call The Cleaning Guy for your yearly carpet maintenance, 905-427-7412