Cleaning Spots and Spills
Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Spot Cleaning Guide
A Two-Step Solution
With today’s stain-resistant carpet, treating spots and stains has never been easier. While no carpet is completely stain proof, the key is to act quickly with the right solution to knock out spots with a one-two punch.
Step One: Absorb the Spill
Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels (no prints or colors). Using a printed or colored material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet. Continue until the area is barely damp. Semisolids, like food spills, may need to be scooped up with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed.
Do not scrub or use a brush! Bristles and scrubbing can damage the carpet. Fraying and texture change are the likely results.
Step Two: Treat the Spot or Stain
Use a CRI Certified Seal of Approval carpet cleaning product. Though these have been laboratory tested, you should still pretest any cleaner on a scrap of carpet or an unseen area of your carpet.
Follow the product’s directions carefully. (Note: more is not better.) Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the center. Blot; don’t scrub. You may need to do this several times to remove the spot. After the spot is gone, blot the area with clear water once or more to remove any remaining product.
What if you don’t have a CRI-approved carpet cleaner handy? Try one of the remedies from our spot solver in the Carpet and Rug Care Guide (738 KB).