COMMON STAINS & TREATMENTS
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 sticky residue.
A solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water.
White cloths or white paper towels.
An ammonia solution of 1 tablespoon of ammonia to 1 cup of water. Do not use on wool.
Non-oily nail polish remover.
Chewing gum remover (freeze or solid type)
Spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.
NOTE: Difficult stains on carpets made from solution-dyed fibers such as polypropylene may be removed with a mild bleach solution (one part bleach to five parts water).
WARNING: Do not use bleach solution unless you are absolutely certain your carpet is 100% solution dyed. Carpet dyed by other systems will be damaged. If in doubt consult the manufacturer.
Walk-off mats should be used at all entrances to absorb soil and moisture, and mats should be cleaned on a regular basis so they don't become sources of soil themselves, especially during inclement weather. Try to keep your sidewalks and entranceways free of excessive dirt and substances which can be tracked into the home.
What Not To Do
Bonnet Cleaning Systems/Dry Cleaning
Bonnet cleaning systems employ a rotating bonnet of terry cloth or other absorbent material to agitate the carpet pile and absorb soil. A detergent solution is sprayed onto the pile and worked with the bonnet attached to a rotary floor polisher.
Manufacturers *do not* recommend this cleaning system. The bonnet system has a very limited capability for soil removal and leaves much of the detergent in the pile as it employs no real extraction. As a result, rapid re-soiling often occurs. Another disadvantage is that the spinning bonnet may distort the fibers of cut pile carpet, fuzzing the surface and leaving distinct swirl marks.
A - 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 described here. 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.
A-1 As in A, but before using detergent, apply the white vinegar solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot.
A-2 As in A, but before using detergent, apply household ammonia solution to a white towel and blot or spray onto spot. Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpet. Rinse as in A.
B - Oil-Based Stains - Blot as much as possible with white paper towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover 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! Follow with procedures in A.
C - Freeze stains such as chewing gum and candle wax with ice or commercially available product in an aerosol can. Shatter with a blunt object and vacuum before the chips soften. Follow up with solvent as in B.
D - Bleach - WARNING - Only carpets which are solution-dyed are resistant to bleaching, but do not exceed the recommended concentration. DO NOT USE THIS PROCEDURE UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THE CARPET IS SOLUTION DYED. CARPET DYED BY OTHER SYSTEMS WILL BE DAMAGED. If in doubt consult the manufacturer.
For solution-dyed carpets with stains such as food dyes, fruit drying, and coffee not removed by A-1, 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.
PRO - Professional Cleaner