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September 18, 2022

Spot Cleaning for Rugs, Carpet, and Upholstery

spot cleaning of rug

What is Spot Cleaning?

Spot cleaning is the process of cleaning specific areas or “spots” on various surfaces, such as fabric, rugs, carpets, and upholstery—rather than cleaning the entire item. Using appropriate cleaning agents or techniques, spot cleaning involves removing stains, spills, or soiled areas directly.

It is commonly done to maintain the overall cleanliness of an item between regular deep cleanings or to address immediate stains or spills before they set in and become more challenging to remove. It’s a convenient and efficient way to keep items looking clean and fresh without the need for extensive cleaning processes.

Before doing a spot clean, always check manufacturer stain removal guidelines before starting the spot removal procedure if available.

It is important to remember there are certain factors that affect the success of spot removal on carpets and fabrics. The faster a spot is treated the greater the outcome. Also, keep in mind that certain types of materials used to construct your carpet, rugs, or upholstery have a high occurrence of bleeding dyes.

How to Perform Spot Cleaning of Rugs, Carpets and Upholstery

These steps are for spot-cleaning carpets, rugs, and upholstery made with color-fast dyes.

Step #1: For semi-solid spots, gently scrape solids up with a spoon or spatula. Do not use a knife or anything with sharp edges as it could damage the carpet or upholstery. Blot, not rub, or scrub the spot using either an absorbent dry white cloth or white paper towel, absorbing as much liquid as possible while gently spreading the fibers dabbing down deep. White materials are recommended as colors may bleed making the spot worse.

Step #2: If the spot is still visible, mix 1 part COLD water, and 1 part white vinegar in a spray bottle, and lightly mist the area, do not drench as it will seep further down into the underpad. Follow the blot, not rub, or scrub the spot method using either cloth or paper towel as described in step #1; repeat until there is no transfer on the cloth or paper towel.

Step #3: Absorb any remaining moisture by placing several layers of white cloths or towels and weighing them down with a heavy object overnight. This step is necessary even when the carpet doesn’t seem damp.

If the spot won’t come out despite your best efforts, booking an appointment with a professional carpet cleaner could be your saving grace. Do not attempt to use over-the-counter products as they can often leave behind a soapy residue causing rapid re-soiling and may also cause discoloration.