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Holiday Spotting Guide

Our Holiday Spotting Guide For Carpet, Upholstery, and Rugs

We’ve all experienced a spill of some kind in our lives. During the holidays it can be especially stressful to drop the gravy, spill the cranberry sauce, and tip over a glass of wine. I put together a quick spotting guide to help you navigate what to do when an accident happens.

Step 1: Remove The Excess

Scrape off any excess solids with a spoon or a butter knife as soon as possible so your cleanable spill doesn’t turn into a permanent stain. Gently blot the spill with a white cloth working from the outer edge towards the center to prevent spreading.

Pro Tip: A Wet Vacuum Makes Removal Of Unwanted Spills Fast and Easy

Step 2: Apply A Carpet Stain Remover

Spray any remaining stain with a carpet stain remover, following the manufacturer’s instructions for application. You can also clean the carpet with a vinegar solution. For a homemade carpet stain remover, stir 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid into 1 quart of warm water, add ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar, and apply to the carpet stain. No matter which carpet cleaner you use, take care not to over-wet the stain, which can damage the backing.

Pro Tip: Always test for color fastness in an inconspicuous spot before applying a carpet stain remover.

Step 3: Blot The Stain Away 

Using a clean, white, absorbent cloth, blot from the outside in. Repeat until the stain no longer transfers to the cloth. Blot with cold water, then blot dry. 

Pro Tip: For Faster Drying Use A Wet Vacuum To Remove Excess Moisture After Blotting (A Carpet Fan Is Helpful To Expedite Drying)

Common stains that can occur during the holiday season include:

  • Red Wine: Blot the stain with a clean cloth and then use a mixture of dish soap and water to clean it up.
  • Coffee and Tea: Blot the stain and then treat it with a mixture of white vinegar and water.
  • Gravy: Gravy can leave an oily stain. Remove any excess gravy, sprinkle baking soda on it to absorb the grease, and then clean it with warm, soapy water.
  • Cranberry Sauce: The deep red color of cranberry sauce can be challenging. Blot the stain and then use a mixture of dish soap and cold water to clean it. Avoid hot water as it can set the stain.
  • Chocolate: Scrape off excess chocolate, and then use a mixture of dish soap and cold water to remove the stain.
  • Ink: Blot the stain and treat it with rubbing alcohol or a specialized ink stain remover.
  • Candle Wax: Scrape off the excess wax, and then use a warm iron and paper towels to lift the remaining wax.
  • Pet Stains: If you have pets, the stress and excitement of the holidays can lead to accidents. Blot the stain, then use a mixture of white vinegar and water to clean it.
  • Dirt and Mud: Guests tracking in dirt or mud can leave unsightly stains. Allow the dirt to dry, then vacuum it up, and clean with a mixture of dish soap and water.
  • Glitter: Holiday decorations often involve glitter, which can be challenging to remove. Use a lint roller or tape to pick up as much glitter as possible, then vacuum the area.

Remember to act quickly when a stain occurs to prevent it from setting. Always blot, don’t rub, as rubbing can spread the stain. Test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the carpet or upholstery. Additionally, consider using stain-resistant treatments on your carpet and upholstery to make cleanup easier during the holiday season.