The difference between a spot and a stain is 24 hours. If spills are addressed promptly, water may be all that is needed to remove a spot. However, for more stubborn stains end users will need a spot removal kit that contains a variety of chemicals to address different soil types.

Both Green and Spallone favor hydrogen peroxide for general purpose spotting.

“The most recent trend is hydrogen peroxide-based products, because even if you overuse the product you’re not going to have residue left in the carpet that leads to resoiling,” says Green.

While hydrogen peroxide is effective for tannin stains, such as coffee and tea, it won’t work on grease or oil-based stains; therefore, a good spotting kit should also contain a grease, oil and paint remover. Additionally, Green recommends an enzyme-based cleaner to remove organic stains, such as food, urine and blood, as well as a red dye remover for wine and red-based juice stains. Spot removal kits should also contain a stiff nylon brush to tamp the solution into the carpet and white terrycloth towels for blotting.

Finally, distributors suggest purchasing a one- or two-gallon handheld spot remover unit to rinse the area with water following treatment.

“If you don’t rinse out a stain with water you’re leaving that chemical in the carpet, and the carpet will resoil from foot traffic,” says Green.

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