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Holiday Spot and Stain Removal Guide for Carpets and Rugs

Holiday Spot and Stain Removal Guide for Carpets and Rugs

The very best part of the holidays is being together with family and friends.
The problem is, of course, that all the fun and cheer can make quite a mess. So, as our gift to you this season, CRI offers some fantastic advice on how to keep holiday spills from lingering.

So what about holiday spots and stains, including food and beverage spills, many with artificial coloring added?

Quick Tip: Don’t hesitate to access your carpet’s manufacturer for advice on maintaining their products.  Most have very informative websites with lots of good information.

Consider the principles of spotting that professional cleaners use:

1. Respond quickly
Generally, the longer you wait, the more complex the problem becomes.

2. Remove the excess
Do the easy things first.  Using white paper towels, blot beverage spills; scoop up semi-solids (ketchup, mustard, gravy); vacuum up powdery residues (e.g., flower, sugars).

3. Dissolve
Many foods and beverages contain substances that can be dissolved: sugar, salt, many starches are easily dissolved with plain warm water.  There are many CRI SOA Solutions that do a great job in this area as well.  Even oily spots can be dissolved with well-formulated solutions.

4. Suspend
For spot components that can’t be dissolved, use an approved spotter that’s designed to lift these compounds.

5. Rinse
Just apply a little warm water and rinse.  Even quality spotting agents can leave slight residues that can attract soil.

6. Dye removal
With olefin Berbers, polyester, triexta, friezes, or plushes, staining simply isn’t a problem.  However, if a stain (added color) remains after spotting nylon or wool, it may be best to call a professional for help.


Vacuums are important when cleaning your carpet (even stains). Here are several rules for purchasing the right vacuum for your home:

1. Not the cheapest, rather the best for durability and performance.

2. Use a high-efficiency filter bag or collection system to prevent aerosolizing soils.

3. Unless the vacuum has a floating head, be sure to set the pile height adjustment properly to avoid damage to carpet or rug pile yarns.

4. Look for the CRI Seal of Approval to know the vacuum is certified by The Carpet and Rug Institute.

CRI recommends that you follow these cleaning tips for a happier, less stressful holiday season.