Clean stains right—right away

Act quickly
If you get to a stain immediately, there’s a 99 percent chance you can remove it. The longer a stain reacts chemically with the carpeting, the harder it is to remove.

Try water first
Eighty percent of stains can be removed using plain tap water. To remove a stain, press a clean, dry, white cloth over the stain to absorb the spill. Repeat until the spill is absorbed. Then gently work water into the stain with a damp white towel and blot until the stain is gone. Change cloths when necessary. For a particularly stubborn spot, go to the online “spot solver” resource at The Carpet and Rug Institute. Use a fan to dry the area if it’s very wet.

Blot—don’t rub or scrub
Scrubbing a stain will damage the fibers and create a fuzzy area. Always blot from the outer edge toward the center of the stain to avoid spreading the spot and creating a larger problem.

Be patient
Work water gently into the spill and then blot with a dry cloth. Repeat until the stain is gone and all the water has been absorbed. If you’re patient, you’ll almost always be able to remove the stain.

Some Common Stain Problems

Berry Spots
Cooking Oil
Grass Spots