A “How To” Guide to Spot Cleaning

For those of you who don’t know this, my hubby and I have owned a carpet cleaning company for the past 9 years.  During this time I have learned the “do’s” and “don’ts” of spot cleaning and thought that I’d share them with you.


  • Use a white cloth or towel, when cleaning up a spot. 
  • Use water or seltzer water to clean the spot or a professional spot remover given to you by your local carpet cleaner.
  • Pat the spot when cleaning.


  • Use a cloth or towel that is a color, when cleaning up a spot.  The color can bleed onto the carpet, causing an even bigger problem.
  • Use any type of non-professional spot remover such as Resolve, Oxy, etc.  I beg of you, please listen to me when I say this.  You may be thinking to myself “I’ve been usingfor years and have never had an issue!”, but you are mistaken.  There are several problems that can happen when you use non-professional spot removers.  One of the biggest problems with these types of cleaners is that they leave a residue behind that can’t be seen by the naked eye.  However, if you pay close attention to the spot you’ve cleaned, I bet you’ll notice that it attracts dirt like a magnet.  I saw this first hand one time and was shocked by what some of the so-called cleaner left behind.  We were cleaning my Uncle’s carpet in the hallway and all of a sudden it started foaming like mad.  My hubby looked at me and said “$100 they used some type of spot cleaner here.” and sure enough they had used Resolve.  It took him about 30 – 45 mins to clean all of the foam out of the carpeting.  I was shocked.  Also, another issue you can have with these types of cleaners is that they can discolor or completely bleach your carpet.  This is less likely, but still a real possibility.
  • Do not rub the spot while cleaning it.  You’ll be tempted, trust me I am to, but don’t do it!  If you rub all you’re doing is rubbing the spot into the padding and breaking down the fibers in your carpet, which can leave it looking frayed (depending on the carpet you have).  Also, rubbing can make the spot larger, which is something I’m sure you don’t want! 🙂

So know that you know the major “do’s” and “don’ts” for spot cleaning below is how to remove or keep a spot from setting in, when you don’t have a spot removal machine:

Whether or not you see the spot occur you treat it in the exact same manner.  Either take water or seltzer water (the bubble in the seltzer water help make the spot bubble to the surface of the carpet) and pour a little on the spot.  Take a white towel or rag and place it on the spot, pressing down and absorbing as much of the moisture as possible.  Move the rag or towel to a dry spot and repeat.  Keep doing this until you’ve removed as much of the moisture as possible.  For spots that are especially wet you can even stand on the towel or rag (the more weight pressing down on it the more it will absorb).  Make sure that, no matter how tempting, you dont’ rub the spot.

Hopefully once you’re done the spot will be gone, but if it’s not I’d suggest calling a local carpet cleaner.  Sometimes spots can’t be removed without professional help.  At the very least you’ve probably helped the spot from setting into your carpet.  If you do decide to call a carpet cleaner you might want to ask them to bring a professional grade spot cleaner with them that you can buy for future use.  With their help and the help of the spot cleaner you might even be more succesful the next time you try to remove a spot.

If you have a spot cleaner see below for how to clean a spot:

When using a spot cleaner your best bet is to use plain hot water or even a little water with seltzer or mild dish soap.  Then follow the instructions on your spot cleaner to remove the spot.  You can also use a professional grade spot cleaner that has been recommended by your local carpet cleaner.  If the spot doesn’t come out, once again I’d suggest calling a professional.

I hope the above helps all of you a little bit, when it comes to spot cleaning!  If you have ANY questions at all feel free to ask!  If I don’t know the answer, I can always ask my husband. 🙂

Helpful Tip: If you don’t want to talk to your local carpet cleaner to get a professional grade spot cleaner, you can always go to a maintenance supply store.  These store are always open to the public and often (at least in my experience) have extremely knowledgable people who can help you out.  They also are great places to get recommendations for carpet cleaners.  These types of stores probably deal with at least 30-50 carpet cleaners, if not more, so if they are recommending one specific company, chances are they know their work is good.


~ by lisa pollard on May 25, 2011.

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