Cleaning Carpet Stains

When a carpet crisis hits, toll-free menu help is available 24 hours at (800) 4DUPONT.

For general spills, here's what experts at DuPont Stainmaster and Tiffany Bros. recommend:

1. Act quickly.

2. Scrape up solid material with a spoon.

3. Blot moisture with a clean towel. Never rub a stain; rubbing can ruin carpet texture. Always use clean, dry white paper or cloth towels.

4. Wash the area using a mild soap solution ( 1/4-teaspoon laundry detergent--not dish detergent--to 1 quart of water). Cover stain with solution, let set five minutes, then blot firmly. Carpet stain removers--such as Resolve and Shout Carpet--work too.

Don't over-soap. Soap residue in carpets gets tacky and attracts dirt. Rinse well.

5. Rinse with warm water. Blot thoroughly until all the detergent is removed. Use a wet-dry vacuum if you have one.

6. Deodorize, if an odor remains, by applying a mixture of 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 quart water, then blot.

7. Dry completely by putting a clean, dry towel over the area and weighting it with a heavy object for several hours.

8. Vacuum.

9. Repeat the process or call the pros (quickly) if all else fails. They have an armament of chemicals, plus high-powered vacuums that are sometimes necessary. A typical minimum charge is $60.

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