Unless you never allow anyone into your carpeted room or you keep your carpets completely covered in plastic , you will inevitably have to deal with spots, spills and stains.

Spills and spots don’t have to mean the end to your beautiful carpets. With quick action, even the worst of the spots, spills and stains that are bound to occur can be easily and permanently removed. – without calling in a professional carpet cleaner.

Here are some tips for protecting your carpet and keeping it looking like new.

• Time is not your friend – No matter what the spill, spot or stain is, the quicker you act, the better the chance you’ll have of completely removing the stain. Most carpet available today has includes stain-resist properties or protectors, so many spills can be removed if fast action is taken. The longer the delay, the higher the probability of an accident becoming a permanent stain on your carpet.

• Remove as much of the spill as possible by blotting with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or solid white paper towels (without printing). Never rub or scrub. Rubbing can often set the stain or cause permanent damage to carpet fibers. Rinse with warm water once you have adequately blotted the spot. Then remove as much of the water as possible by re-blotting. Standing on a thick fold of paper or cloth towels works great. Then repeat until there’s no visible moisture.

• Vinegar can be your friend – For coffee and many other dark liquid spills, vinegar can be helpful in preventing permanent stains. After blotting the spill with a towel and water, mix a solution of quarter cup vinegar and three-quarters of a cup of warm (not hot) water. Pour the vinegar solution over the stain and then blot it to remove the moisture from the carpet.

• Dish soap can be for more than dishes – Standard dish soap that you have on your sink can work on your carpet, too! For spills like juices, dish soap can be used after the initial blotting and rinsing steps as described above. Then, mix half a teaspoon of dish soap with a quart of warm (not hot) water and pour it liberally over the carpet stain. Blot the soap mixture until the stain is removed from the carpeting. Remember… no rubbing or scrubbing! Rinse the area with water to make sure you have removed all of the soap.
Special Note:
Never use a stronger concentration of soap to water and thorough rinsing is key to removing residues that could become a dirt magnet. Also, never substitute laundry or automatic dish washer detergent of any type as they often contain optical brighteners and/or bleaching agents that could permanently dye carpet fibers.

• Clear Ammonia works best for dark stains – Heaven forbid that someone should spill wine, ketchup or bleed on your carpets, but if it happens there is still hope. For these types of stains you can use one tablespoon of clear (not sudsy) ammonia with three-quarters of a cup of water. Then spray (don’t pour) on the stain and then blot it like with the other treatments. Hydrogen peroxide mixed with water (50/50) can also be very effective for these types of stains.

• Patience is absolutely a virtue. Complete removal of the spot, spill or stain may require repeating the same procedure more than once.  As long as you see color from the spot or stain transfer to the towel, stay with it – don’t give up and you’re carpet will be like new in no time at all.

Taking these steps and acting quickly can protect your carpets and keep them looking great until time for your next professional cleaning. And even if you think your carpets don’t really need cleaning, call in a certified professional carpet cleaner at least once a year to deep clean your carpets and keep them looking great for years to come.