Our carpet cleaning experts share the best stain removal tips

Stain Removal Steps

coffee stain on carpet that needs to be removed

Follow these steps in order to remove spills and prevent stains easily and quickly:

1. Act quickly! Nowadays, most carpets come already treated with a stain-resistant treatment (and if it’s been a while you can have a protectant applied by carpet professionals), so many spills can be removed on your own if immediate action is taken. However, even with that treatment, spills will still set and become harder to remove with time. The longer you wait, the more likely is that a spill will become a permanent stain.  No carpet is completely stain proof, and it’s much easier to prevent stains than to clean them once they’ve set.

2. Blot liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white paper towel. Avoid cloths and paper towels with dye or preventing, as these can transfer to the wet carpet.

3. Don’t scrub it in! Scrubbing may push the spills deeper into the carpet fibers, and even damage your carpets. Continue to only blot using a dry cloth or paper towels until the area is completely dry. For semi-solids, gently scrape up as much as you can with a rounded spoon. Solids should be broken up and vacuumed until completely removed.

4. Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area (such as under furniture or in a corner) before using to be certain the solution will not damage the fiber or remove the dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for 10 seconds. Examine the carpet and cloth for color transfer, color change, or damage to the carpet. If a change in the carpet occurs, you’ll need to use a different cleaner.

5. Apply a small amount of the selected cleaning solution to a white cloth and work in gently. Follow the spot remover directions carefully to prevent damaging your carpet. 

6. Work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. Remember, don’t scrub!

7. Continue using the first cleaning solution as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. Be sure to completely remove the stain. You may need to apply more cleaning solution to completely get the stain out.

8. Be patient! Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same steps several times. Do not continue to step 9 until the stain has been completely removed. If you do not completely remove that stain, all of your effort will be wasted!

9. Rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and blot with a dry cloth until all of the solution has been removed. Be sure the solution is completely removed; some cleaning solutions will cause rapid soiling if they are left on carpets.

10. Apply a one-half inch layer of white paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed until the area is dry. A dry, absorbent cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to accelerate drying time.

If the stain can’t be lifted, despite your best efforts, give us a call at North American Chem-Dry. We specialize in removing stains from carpets!

Arm your home with Chem-Dry World Famous® Spot Remover for Water-Based Spills and World Famous® Grease & Oil Remover for oil-based spots.



We provide superior residential and commercial carpet and upholstery cleaning services throughout Sonoma County, CA including: Sonoma, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Sebastapol, Windsor, Healdsburg, and the surrounding areas.


North American

19558 8th St E
Sonoma CA 95476
Sonoma: (707) 938-9614
Petaluma: (707) 762-9999
Santa Rosa: (707) 578-2001
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Sat: 10am-2pm

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*Based on results of studies conducted by independent laboratories of Chem-Dry’s Hot Carbonating Extraction process. Allergens tested were dog and cat dander and dust mite allergen. All bacteria results include use of sanitizer. Figures are an average across multiple homes. Hard surface bacteria tests were based on independent lab testing associated with EPA registration #s 84683-3-74771 and 70385-6; sealed stone and VCT surfaces were evaluated and bacteria tested include salmonella, influenza and E. coli.
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