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How to tell a spot from a stain (and why it matters in your home)

How do you know when a spill can be removed? And when is there no reversing that splatter of liquid on your white carpet or sofa? Understanding the key differences between spots and stains, and knowing how to properly respond when they occur, increases your chances of thorough spot removal on area rugs, upholstery and carpet.

spot is a discoloration on fabric whichwith some effort, can be removed.

stain is a deep-set spot that has actually discolored the fabric it is on. Unlike a spot, a stain is likely permanent and is very difficult, sometimes impossible, to remove — even with professional cleaning. Stains should only be attempted by professional cleaners to avoid extending the damage.

The good news for home and business owners is that it is possible to prevent many spots from becoming permanent stains. Here are things to keep in mind when spills occur:

  1. Respond quickly. Catch the spots before they dry and become set.
  2. Use the proper products. Many over-the-counter cleaning products may seem like a quick fix to your kids’ latest juice spill or your pets’ most recent accident. But such products often set in spots and may have negative side effects, such as bleaching the carpet and spreading the discolored area.Keep the proper products, such as ServiceMaster’s Lifetime Refill Spot Remover Kit (which comes with an unlimited lifetime supply of refills), at the ready. The kit has step-by-step instructions on how to treat and remove up to 98% of all household spills and spots.
  3. Be proactive about carpet maintenance. Stain protectants like Scotchgard build fabrics’ resistance against common household spills and accidents by keeping soil to the surface and away from the carpet pad (where it’s toughest to remove).

For further advice on carpet & upholstery care, contact ServiceMaster Clean In A Wink at 888-GET-WINK.