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Tips for removing the 10 most common spots & spills

Think candle wax and red wine spills spell the end for your light beige carpet?

Proper, professional rug care and immediate attention are often the best tools in helping rid the carpet of troublesome spills. When you want to try to alleviate these spots yourself, though, don’t always rely on the slew of tips and tricks you find in a quick Pinterest search. It’s important to be cautious of the carpet treatments you use to avoid damaging the fibers or setting the stain.

ServiceMaster Clean recommends the following tips to try on ten of your most common household spots:

  1. Grease and oil marks. Gently rub in talcum powder, cornmeal or cornstarch in one direction; do not scrub the spot. Let it set and then brush or sponge powder away.
  2. Mustard stains. Soak stained area with diluted ammonia. Then dry with a hairdryer.
  3. Pet urine. The pet enzyme treatment found in ServiceMaster’s pet spot kit (retail $14.95) will efficiently remove pet spots. If you don’t yet have a kit on hand, dampen the affected area with equal parts white vinegar and water. Then blot dry.
  4. Red wine. Use club soda to flush the wine from the carpet fibers.
  5. Blood stains. Flush with cold water. Avoid hot water as heat will set the blood stain.
  6. Soft drinks. Apply a solution of one quart water with one teaspoon of white vinegar and one teaspoon of mild detergent, bearing in mind that most over-the-counter detergents tend to leave a residue if not rinsed properly. The residue can cause re-soiling and/or make spots reappear later. For this reason, be careful to rinse well but not over-wet.
  7. Gum. Freeze the gum with ice and use a dull knife to remove.
  8. Candle wax. Put a brown paper bag over the dried wax and run a hot iron over it. The bag will absorb the hot wax.
  9. Latex paint. Soak with dish detergent diluted with 20 parts water. Gently agitate the area, blot, rinse and blot once more. Again, detergents can re-attract soiling, so be sure to rinse thoroughly without making the area too wet.
  10. Ball point ink. Use hairspray and be sure to rinse the entire area well with water when finished.

In all cases, remember – don’t be too aggressive. Rubbing or scrubbing an area will penetrate the soiling deeper within the carpet fibers. Always blot carpets instead.

If the spot is more serious, never hesitate to call a trained professional such as ServiceMaster Clean In A Wink.