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Rug Rescue! 12 Spot Cleaning Tips for the Messiest Holiday Dinner Spills on Carpet and Rugs

Posted by Hammond Knoll on Oct 26, 2021 11:31:02 AM

“OH NO!” 

Karen cries out as the glass of red wine slips out of her hand and onto your gorgeous hand-tied rug. It splashes everywhere...

Sigh.

#%$! Happens (“oops” happens). Especially when you have a large gathering of family and friends for holiday parties and dinners.

This year, don’t let the top 12 holiday stains ruin your day. These tips will help you remove spots and spills from your carpet and rugs.

Ready - set - go!

The Supplies

The following four solutions will be required, along with some white absorbent cloth or tissue.

#1 - Detergent Solution: Hammond Knoll Spot Be Gone, or substitute one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent to 1/2 pint of warm water.

#2 - Detergent/Vinegar Solution: Add one teaspoon of white vinegar to the Detergent Solution.

#3 - Ammonia Solution: One tablespoon of household ammonia to one cup of warm water. (Refrain from a stronger ammonia solution on wool carpet.)

#4 - Dry Cleaning Solvent: (Such as Forcefield.) Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area, then tackle the stain by working from the outer edge toward the center.

12 Spot Cleaning Tips

Here’s how to tackle the top 12 stains safely and effectively!

 

1. Red wine

Blot up the surplus spillage. 

Use the #2 Detergent/Vinegar Solution. Work from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time, and blotting up with dry cloths frequently.  

Another great cleaning solution to have on hand if you’re a red wine drinker is Red Wine Away. Or drink white. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 😉  

 

2. Gravy

Scrape up the excess with a blunt knife. 

Use the #1 Detergent Solution, start at the outer edge and blot dry. 

Follow with the #3 Ammonia Solution. Blot dry. 

 

3. Coffee

Blot up the surplus spillage. 

Use the #1 Detergent Solution, and follow with #3 Vinegar

Working from the outer edge of the stain, use a little at a time and blot up with dry cloths frequently.

 

4. Cranberry

Blot up the surplus spillage. 

Use the #1 Detergent Solution, and follow with #3 Vinegar

Working from the outer edge of the stain, use a little at a time and blot up with dry cloths frequently.

 

5. Turkey fat & grease

Blot up the surplus spillage.  

Use the #1 Detergent Solution, and follow with the #4 Dry Cleaning Solvent.  

Blot dry.

 

6. Chocolate

Scrape up excess with a blunt knife. 

Using the #1 Detergent Solution, start at the outer edge and blot dry. 

Follow with the #3 Ammonia Solution. Blot dry.

 

7. Pumpkin pie

Using the #1 Detergent Solution, start at the outer edge and blot dry.

 

8. Yams & sweet potatoes

Using the #1 Detergent Solution, start at the outer edge and blot dry.

 

9. Butter

Scrape excess with a blunt knife. Use the #4 Dry Cleaning Solvent, and blot dry.

 

10. Candle wax

Scrape the excess with a blunt knife.  

Use a piece of white paper (copy paper), or brown paper from grocery bags (minus the ink writing on the sides).  

Set the paper on the wax stain. Using an iron on the low setting, set the iron on the paper for 1-3 seconds. Remove the iron and place another piece of the paper that has not collected the wax. 

Repeat this process until all of the wax has been removed.  

Test the iron/paper in an inconspicuous area of the carpet or rug first to make sure the fiber does not melt. 

 

11. Eggnog

Scrape up excess with a blunt knife. 

Using the #1 Detergent Solution, start at the outer edge and blot dry.

 

12. Hot chocolate

Scrape up the excess with a blunt knife. 

As quickly as possible, clean the spot with the #1 Detergent solution, starting at the outer edge.  

Follow with the #3 Ammonia Solution. Blot dry.

Additional dos and don’ts

Don’t agitate the carpet. This will cause it to fray at the ends, permanently damaging the fibers.  Always blot! 😉

Don’t use cleaning solutions from the hardware store without checking with your local carpet & rug professional.  

Some of these solutions have bleaching agents which could cause the fibers to lose their color. Others have been known to set the stain further. (Not good!)

Do rinse the detergent out of the carpet. 

You can use a shop vac to extract the excess water which will prevent any detergent left behind from collecting soil off shoes and from the air, causing a darker stain where the solution was left.

Don’t allow the dry cleaning solvent to penetrate the back of the carpet or rug as it will damage the backing, causing the rug or carpet to bubble.  

Do test the solutions in an inconspicuous area prior to spot cleaning on area rugs.

If you don’t see your troubled spot tip above, have no fear, we’ve got the ultimate spot cleaning guide for you to download:  The Ultimate Spot Cleaning Guide: Tips That Work Every Time 

Now that you are prepared for what spill could happen, what’s on the menu for the holidays?  

Share it with us, we’d love to hear.

Happy Holidays, Friends!

For more tips on how to keep your carpet in tip-top shape, here’s an article we think you are going to find helpful.  

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