Removing Common Stains

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Removing Common Stains

Even the most careful homeowner experiences spills and stains. The type of spill will determine the most effective type of treatment. If treated quickly, most carpet stains can be removed, so treatment of the affected area should begin immediately upon discovery as stain removal becomes more difficult with time.

Most household spills can be easily removed using the steps shown. To start, locate your stain on the Common Stains Chart (below) and follow these steps:

First, use a spoon, dull knife, or a Mohawk Carpet Cleaning Key to remove as much solid material as possible.

Always work from the outside of the stain to the center to prevent spreading, especially with large stains.

Blot up liquid spills with a white towel or paper towel.

For best results, try to remove remaining stain with warm water only. If stain cannot be removed with warm water extraction, or a clean, warm, wet cloth, use Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Carpet Spot Remover and Cleaning Kit and follow the directions given (call 1-800-266-4295 for a FloorCare Essentials retailer near you). If FloorCare Essentials products are not available, preform the following:



Procedure A (for water-based, special water-based and greasy, oil-based stains)


                Mix a solution of ¼ teaspoon of clear hand dishwashing detergent with 1 cup of water. Stir gently.

                Apply detergent solution directly to a white cloth. Dampen the carpet fibers in stained area with the cloth, Avoid saturating the carpet.

                Wipe gently. Turn cloth frequently.

                Never rub, scrub, or use a brush. This may damage carpet fibers. If necessary, use your fingertips to work the solution to the base of the stain. Do not over-saturate carpet; use small amonuts of solution and blot frequently.

                Wet the stained carpet fibers with clear, lukewarm water to rinse.

                Cover the spot with an absorbent white towel or paper towel and apply pressure to blot.

                Repeat the rinsing and blotting procedures until you are sure all traces of the detergent have been removed.

                If the stain is gone place an absorbent white towel or paper towel over the area cleaned, and weigh down with a heavy colorfast object such as a weighted plastic wastebasket.

                Change towels or paper towels until carpet dries.

                If stain remains, preform Procedure B (for coffee, tea, or urine, skip Procedure B and preform Procedure C)


Procedure B (Do NOT use on coffee, tea, or urine stains)



Mix 2 tablespoons of non-bleaching, non-sudsing household ammonia with 1 cup of lukewarm water.

                Apply ammonia solution, rinse and blot as outlined in Procedure A

                Do not dry with paper towels. Follow Procedure C to neutralize the ammonia solution.


Procedure C

Mix ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of lukewarm water.

Apply vinegar solution, rinse and blot as outlined in Procedure A.


Common Stains Chart

Most Common Water-Based Stains

For these stains, start with Procedure A. If stain remains, complete Procedures B and C.

Alcohol                     Cola                                                Grape juice          Soil spots

Baby Formula          Cologne                                         Graphite               Syrup

Beer                          Cranberry Juice                             Ice cream             Tomato Juice

Blood                        Felt-tip Marker                              Jelly                       Vomit  

Candy                       Food stains (general)                    Latex paint           Water colors   

Catsup                      Fruit juice                                       Liquor                     Watermelon

Chocolate Milk        Fruit punch                                    Milk                         Whiskey

Clay                              Furniture polish (water-based)  Soft drinks             Wine


Special Water-Based Stains

                For these stains Start with Procedure A. If stain remains, complete Procedure C. Omit Procedure B.

                Coffee                                  Tea                         Urine


Greasy, Oil-Based Stains

                For these stains, use GooGone® Follow directions on package, then complete Procedures A, B, and C.

Butter                       Gum*                    Oil paint

Chocolate                 Hand cream         Ointment

Cooking oil               Ink                          Peanut butter

Cosmetics                 Lipstick                  Rouge

Crayon                       Margarine             Salad dressing

Furniture Dye           Mascara                Spaghetti

Glue*                         Mayonnaise          Varnish

Gravy                         Nail polish              Wax*

Grease (black)          Oil    

*Freeze and remove solid materials before using cleaning fluid

If you have any questions about specific stains  or general carpet care, please call Mohawk Technical Services at 888-387-9881 or visit “Care and Maintenance” section


Source: Mohawk Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance Guide

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