Cleaning Carpet Spots and Spills

Here's Rule No. 1 regarding spots and spills on your carpeting: Clean them immediately. If you catch the spill when it's fresh, you've got a good chance of removing it totally. Consider these tips, too:
  • Carefully blot or scrape the entire area before applying any cleaning solution. Remove as much of the spill as possible.
  • Before using any cleaning solution, test your carpet in an inconspicuous area to make sure the cleaner won't damage or discolor it. Test the cleaning agents that you keep on hand before you have to use them to make sure they will not harm your carpet.
  • Do not rub the spill -- that might spread the problem to a larger area.
  • When you apply spot cleaner, work from the outside of the stain toward the inside to avoid spreading the stain. After applying a cleaning solution, blot up all the moisture.
  • A clean white bath towel is unsurpassed for drying carpet and brushing the nap back up to a standing position.
  • If you feel that there is still too much moisture after blotting the carpet, place a 3/4-inch-thick stack of white towels over the spot and weigh them down with a heavy object.
What should you do if your carpet is soiled by chocolate? Or urine? Or mud? In the next section, we'll provide answers to these and other questions.

Homemade Carpet Freshener
Here's an idea for making homemade carpet freshener:
  • 1 cup crushed, dried herbs (rosemary, southernwood, and lavender are good choices)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Combine ingredients, and sprinkle over carpet. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then vacuum.
Here are a couple variations of that mixture:
  • Mix 1 small box baking soda with your favorite potpourri oil, using just a few drops, and sprinkle on as carpet freshener. Leave on a carpet 10 to 20 minutes, then vacuum.
  • Use 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup cornstarch, and 15 drops essential oil fragrance. Leave on carpet 10 to 20 minutes, then vacuum. Store mixture in a glass jar or airtight container.