There are specialized enzymes spotters available for organic stains like urine. Enzymes are special organic agents that break down the molecular structure of the urine. Enzymes are also used in many shampoo’s, extraction cleaners, and pre-sprays to help break down protein related soils, like cooking oil, body oil, and food spills. Enzymes are heat activated and the optimum working temperature is between 140 - 150 degrees Fahrenheit (60 - 66 degrees Celsius). They only work in the presence of water. So, if you are using enzyme spotters, the spot must be kept damp to activate the enzyme action. Remember that enzymes are sensitive to disinfectants and hot water.

If everyone drank their coffee black, at room temperature, and it was the caffeinated type, coffee spots would not be the problem that they are. The problems are compounded by the cream and sugar that commonly goes down with the coffee, as well as the temperature at which it is spilled. Things really got tough with the increasing popularity of decaffeinated coffee. Many of the decaf coffees contain a synthetic, food grade dye that is much more difficult to remove than a tannin (the natural dye in coffee) stain ever was.

When attacking these or other tannin stains, we commonly rely on “tannin spotters”. The tannin in coffee, tea, and cola is actually tannic acid. This is a naturally browning substance derived from vegetable matter. The tannin spotter on the other hand, is actually a reducing agent and/or a combination product designed to reduce or remove entirely the stain from the textile surface.

Unfortunately, many chemical agents present in material that is spilled or tracked on carpets require moisture to trigger a reaction. Thus, the discoloration may show up shortly after the carpet is cleaned, with the person doing the cleaning being blamed. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…..


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or