Spots & Stains

Prompt attention to spots and spills is essential. Some spilled materials will stain or discolor carpet if not removed promptly. Other spills can leave a sticky residue that may result in increased soiling if not removed.

No carpet is stain proof, although many are stain resistant, which allows time for removal.

Scrape: Remove as much food spills as possible by scraping gently with a spoon or dull knife.

Absorb: Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting repeatedly with white paper or cloth towels.

Blot: Always blot; never rub or scrub abrasively, as a fuzzy area may result. When blotting, work from the outer edges in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill.

Rinse: Always follow up with water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid resoiling.

Weight: Remove remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot and weigh them down with a heavy object that will not transfer color; such as a plastic jug of water.


Shaw's R2X® Stain & Soil Remover is recommended for all types of spot cleaning and is available from your floor covering retailer or through It is approved under the Carpet and Rug Institute's (CRI) Seal of Approval certification. Additional cleaning products in the CRI certification program are listed at

If one of the recommended products is not readily available you many use the guidelines below:

Cleaning Solutions  
Detergent Mix 1/4 teaspoon clear hand dish-washing detergent with 1 cup warm, bot hot, water. Use a clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy or clear Ivory.
Hydrogen Peroxide/Ammonia Mix 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3% solution available in drug stores) with one teaspoon undiluted, unscented, clear (non-sudsy) household ammonia. Use within two hours of mixing.
Vinegar 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water.
Ammonia One tablespoon to one cup water.
Solvent Liquid, non-oily, non-caustic type sold for spot removal from garments. Use products for grease, oil, and tar removal such as Carbona and Afta. Do not apply directly to carpet to prevent carpet damage. (See Procedure A)


The following chart lists the most common household stains and the procedure used to remove them.

If using more than one procedure, allow to dry in-between.

Stain Procedure Stain Procedure Procedure Details
Beer B Ink-India, Marking Pen A,M

Procedure A: Apply solvent to dry towel/cloth. Blot, don't rub. Repeat application as above. Blot, don't rub. Follow with Procedure B.

Procedure B: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Apply "Cleaning Solution", use damp towel. Blot, don't rub. Apply water with damp towel. Blot; finish with weighted pad of towels.

Procedure D: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Apply "Cleaning Solution", use damp towel. Blot, don't rub. Apply white vinegar (undiluted), only after stain is removed. Apply water rinse with a damp cloth. Blot; finish with weighted pad of towels.

Procedure G: Scrape or blot up excess spill. Freeze with ice cubes. Shatter with blunt object such as back of spoon. Remove chips before they melt.

Procedure L: Apply solvent remover (non-oily acetone type) to a white, cotton towel and apply to spill. Do not saturate carpet. Pick up softened material using a clean, white paper towel, push toward center of the spot (to avoid spreading material). Repeat above, soften and carefully remove a layer of the material each time. Haste may spread the stain and/or damage the carpet. Follow with Procedure B.

Procedure M: Apply "Cleaning Solution" to white towel. leave 3-5 minutes. Blot, don't rub. If stain is removed, finish with a water rinse, then blot, then apply a pad of weighted paper towels. If stain is not removed, continue as follows: Apply hydrogen peroxide solution, let stand 2-3 hours under a weighted sheet of plastic wrap. Repeat application of hydrogen peroxide and allow to dry until removal is complete. Apply white vinegar only after stain is removed. Apply water with damp towel. Blot and dry with weighted pad of paper towels.

Procedure O: Scrape off excess material. Cover with white cotton towel or brown paper. Lightly apply warm iron to towel or paper until material is absorbed. Be sure towel is large enough to cover the stained area. Never touch the iron directly onto the carpet, as fiber may melt! Change towel or rotate same towel to a clean area and repeat until all material is absorbed.

Procedure P: Vacuum as much as possible. Loosen remaining material by tapping with a scrub brush or toothbrush. Tap with brush, do not scrub. Vacuum again. Follow with Procedure B.

Berries M Kool-Aid M
Blood M Lemonade M
Butter A Makeup A,B
Candle Wax O,A Mayonnaise B
Candy (sugar) B Mercurochrome M
Catsup M Merthiolate M
Chewing Gum G,A Milk B
Chocolate B Mixed Drinks (liquors) M
Chalk P Mud (dried) P,B
Coffee M Mustard M
Cooking Oil A,B Nail Polish L
Crayon A,B Paint-Latex B
Dirt or Clay P,B Paint-Oil A
Dyes (Blue, Black, etc.) M Pet Food M
Excrement B Shoe Polish A,M
Fruit Juice/Drinks M Soft Drinks M
Furniture Polish A Tar A
Grease-Food A,B Tea M
Grease-Auto A Urine D,M
Glue-White B Vomit B,M
Glue-Hobby A,L Wine B,M
Ice Cream B Unknown A,B
Ink-Ball Point Pen A