OOOPS! I spilled on my carpet. What do I do?
Spots and Spills Step by Step
Spills are going to happen. If you have carpet in your home, at some point you will have a spill. By following my advice below you can increase your odds considerably of getting the spill out successfully.
The number one thing I recommend that all carpet owners have on hand, and ready to be used at a moment’s notice, is a small shop vac. A shop vac such as this shop vac at Amazon.
Most spills, if caught quickly, can be removed without professional help with just water and a shop vac. I recommend one like the link above because it is small, easy to use and clean, and very economical. I keep one in the hall closet for the occasional spill. By using a shop vac you eliminate dirty rags, expensive equipment and best of all, you never have to touch the spill!!! .
What to do when you have a spill.
1. Gently scrape off any solids from the spill (i.e. feces, spaghetti, etc.) with a spoon. Being careful not to push the spill deeper into the fibers of the carpet.
2. Simply suction all of the remaining spill without adding any water. This helps keep the spill from spreading.
3. Then, if needed, add about a baseball sized amount of room temperature water to the spot and suction. By using only water you will not risk using something that can make the spot permanent.
4. Repeat this process until the spot is gone.
5. Take the shopvac to to bathroom, open the lid, pour out the contents, rinse with water from the tub, dump into the toilet, replace lid and put back into the closet for next time. Easy Peasy!
What Not to Do
I do not recommend products with the word Oxi in the name or even carpet spotting products. Why? Not because they don’t work, but because they often work too well and you end up with color loss. Products like these are meant to work fast so they have strong alkaline (usually) chemicals that go to work removing the spill. However, they do not know what is spill and what is original carpet color and will often remove both from the carpet.
Detergents and carpet cleaning products can leave residues in your carpet. So at first the carpet looks much better, but often times, days or weeks later, you will notice a dark spot where the spill was. Carpet cleaners, much like all soaps, are designed to attract dirt so that when you rinse the dirt is whisked away too. If not rinsed properly, these residues continue to do their job- attract dirt! and you are left with a dark spot.
Do not apply water to an oriental rug without checking for colorfastness. Many rugs are not colorfast and can bleed. To test for colorfastness, dampen a white towel or rag and touch the rug and hold it there for a couple of minutes. If you see color on the towel DO NOT USE THE SHOP VAC METHOD ABOVE. Call me and we will discuss your situation and how to proceed.
I do not recommend using DIY methods for removal of spots, spills and stains. The reason is not so that you have to pay me or someone like me, but because if you use the wrong method, you can take what started out as a relatively easy spot to remove and make it permanent. Permanent to the point of needing to have a professional use harsher chemicals to lighten the spot costing you A LOT more money with a much less guarantee of good results.
Call me for advice. If there is something I think will help. I will tell you!
If you call me BEFORE you do anything but use shop vac method above, I will tell you over the phone if there is something that I think you should try at home. By knowing what type of carpet you have, what your spill is and what you have done, I can better advise you as to which of the thousands of methods out there might work for you. Call me at 720-439-8882 if I can be of any assistance or you can contact me via email on my website: