Spotting Tips

(This information provided Shaw Industries)

  • Protect your carpet--step by-step

 No carpet is stain proof, but since many are stain resistant, you have time to act.  Look below to see if the specific spill you're trying to remove is listed.  If so, you'll see instructions to help.  If not, use the following general guide lines.

  1. Remove as much of food spills as possible by scraping the carpet gently with a spoon or a dull knife.
  2. Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting repeatedly with white paper or white cloth towels. Always blot;  never rub or scrub abrasively, as a fuzzy area may result.  When blotting, work from the outer edge in toward  the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill.
  3. Remove the stain using one of the cleaning items from the checklist below.
  4. Rinse the cleaned carpet area with water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid re-soiling.
  5. Absorb any remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot and weighing them down with a heavy object. This step is necessary even when the carpet doesn't seem particularly damp.
  • What do you use to clean the spill?  Be prepared with the following checklist.

You should use the following items for handling spills on your carpet. It is important to use only the items listed, because many other household cleaners contain chemicals that may permanently damage your carpet.

  1. White cloths or white paper towels.
  2. Detergent solution - Mix mild liquid detergent with water (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water).  A clear, non-bleach liquid - dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended.  Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.
  3. Vinegar solution - Mix 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water.
  4. Ammonia solution - Mix one tablespoon of ammonia to one cup of water.  (Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpets.)
  5. Non-oily nail polish remover.
  6. Chewing gum remover (freeze or solid type).
  7. Spot Remover - Use spot removers designed specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.
  • Solution-dyed fibers can withstand bleach, but do you know if your carpet is solution-dyed?

Difficult stains on carpets made from polypropylene or other solution-dyed fibers may be removed with a mild bleach solution (one part chlorine bleach to five parts water), but be careful. If you aren't absolutely certain your carpet is solution dyed, call Shaw's Information Center at 1-800-441-Shaw.

 

TYPES OF STAINS AND CARE

  • Alcoholic Beverages

WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

 Absorb as much as possible with white towels.  Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.  If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution - a solution of a mild liquid detergent (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water.  A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended.  Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.  Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Asphalt

OIL-BASED STAINS

 Blot as much as possible with white paper towels.  Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.)  Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result.  Use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet.  Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.
If necessary, continue to blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Use the detergent solution by spraying lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling. Or try a professional cleaner.

  •  Blood (dry)                                                                                           

SPECIAL WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels.  Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Apply a household ammonia solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot.  Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpet.

If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution

(A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.)

Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Blood (wet)

SPECIAL WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Apply a household ammonia solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpet.

If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution.

(A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.)

Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Butter

OIL-BASED STAINS

Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Then use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Chewing Gum

 Freeze things or stains, such as chewing gum and candle wax, with ice or a commercially available product in an aerosol can. Shatter with a blunt object and vacuum before the chips soften.

Then proceed with the following: Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels. Also use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Chocolate

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Apply a household ammonia solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpet.

If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution.

(A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.)

Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Coffee

SPECIAL WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Apply a household ammonia solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpet.

If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution.

(A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.)

Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Cola Drinks

 Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels. If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution. (A solution of a mild liquid detergent (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.) Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading. Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Cosmetics

SPECIAL WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Try the following procedure first:

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels. Apply the white vinegar solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Then use the detergent solution (A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.) Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

Do not proceed unless you are absolutely certain the carpet is solution dyed - carpets dyed by other systems will be damaged.

Then try, if appropriate:

Products that are made with a blend of solution-dyed fiber and fiber that is not solution dyed, such as olefin/nylon blends, cannot be exposed to bleach without removing the color from the nylon fiber.

  • Excrement

WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels. If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution. (A solution of a mild liquid detergent (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.) Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading. Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Grease (Auto)

OIL-BASED STAINS

Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Then use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Grease (Food)

OIL-BASED STAINS

Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Then use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Ink (Ballpoint)

OIL-BASED STAINS

Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Then use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling. Or try a professional cleaner.

  • Ink (Permanent)

SPECIAL OIL-BASED STAINS

First try:
Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels. Then use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading. Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

Do not proceed unless you are absolutely certain the carpet is solution dyed - carpets dyed by other systems will be damaged.

If necessary try (only if carpet is solution dyed):

Products that are made with a blend of solution-dyed fiber and fiber that is not solution dyed, such as olefin/nylon blends, cannot be exposed to bleach without removing the color from the nylon fiber.

  • BLEACH PROCEDURE

BLEACH - WARNING: Only carpets which are solution dyed are resistant to bleaching, but do not exceed the recommended concentration. For solution-dyed carpets with stains such as food dyes, fruit drink, and coffee not removed by the above, use a solution of one part chlorine bleach to five parts water.

Rinse several times with water to remove excess bleach so that none is tracked to other areas where there is conventionally dyed carpet.

If in doubt, call 1-800-441-SHAW.

  •  Ink (Washable)

WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution. (A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.)

Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.
Or try a professional cleaner.

  • Lipstick

OIL-BASED STAINS

Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Then use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Paint (Latex, dry)

OIL-BASED STAINS

Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover (Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.) to a paper towel and repeat blotting. (Protective gloves should be worn, as the solvent will quickly remove oils from the skin and could result in irritation.) Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as often as necessary.

Provide adequate ventilation. Do not use flammable solvents.

If necessary, continue to: Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Then use the detergent solution. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Paint (Latex, wet)

WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels. If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution. (A solution of a mild liquid detergent (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.) Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading. Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  • Rust

PROFESSIONAL CLEANER

These stains should be removed only by a professional cleaner.

  • Urine

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Apply the white vinegar solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot.

Then use the detergent solution. (A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.) Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.
Or try a professional cleaner.

  •  Vomit

SPECIAL WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Apply the white vinegar solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot.

Then use the detergent solution. (A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.) Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.

  •  Wine

SPECIAL WATER SOLUBLE STAINS

Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.

Apply a household ammonia solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpet.

If any of the stain remains, use the detergent solution.

A solution of a mild liquid detergent--no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water. A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.

Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.

Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.