Carpet Stains Versus Spots

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The first step in removing a spill from a carpet is to identify what was spilled. Nothing indicates floors have been let go as spots that appear in high-profile places. Proficiency in spotting spills is essential. There is a difference between a stain and a spot.

The words are used interchangeably. A spot occurs when material adds texture or substance to a surface or fabric. A stain adds color without stiffness to surfaces or fabric. Knowing the difference is significant because spots are easier to remove from carpet than stains that have become part of the filament structure due to color absorption. More info on this you can fine here: to an external site.

To make stain removal more complicated, dyes found in the most common spills and spots are acid dyes. They are the same kind of dyes used in coloring many commercial carpets. Spotting agents that remove color require patience and care to prevent color loss. 

Identifying the Spill

Among the common mistakes made when trying to clean a stain or spot is improper identification or using an incorrect detergent treatment. There are ways to identify a stain or a spot. If it appears shiny, it may be oil-based. A crusty and dull appearance may indicate a sugar base. 

Another way to determine the type of mess is to wear gloves and feel the stain or spot. If no difference in texture is felt, it is highly likely that color was added to the carpet, making it a stain. If a texture is felt, there is a high probability that the spill is a spot.

Where to Begin

Here is some basic information. D-limonene-based or dry solvents are used to remove oil-based spots. Oily substances cannot be removed with water-based spotters, because oil and water do not mix. There is no water in liquid dry solutions.

Typical Removal Problems

The most common carpet spotLinks to an external site. problem is reappearance within 24 to 48 hours. The reappearance is known as ‘wicking.’ It results from the soil that migrates from within the carpet pile through capillary action. Most people remove only the surface spot, which means there is more to the problem than meets the eye.

If a spot the size of a baseball is seen on a carpet, the spot could be bowling ball size when the carpet is pulled up. The spill spread when it hit the carpet backing. A much larger spot than is seen on the surface is created. 

To avoid wicking, blot, or have professionals extract the carpet to make it as dry as possible, followed by the use of air movers. The faster carpet dries, the less chance there is of spots wicking to the surface. Extraction reduces the wicking effect.

It is the most efficient method of removing and rinsing residue form a spot. A spotting extractor cleans the area thoroughly. It recovers soil, detergent, and water. Cleaning professionals use a small, portable spotting extractor to get efficient and effective results.


Perception is critical in commercial establishments. Very little give the impression a facility is dirty like spots or stains on the carpet. Knowing the difference between a stain and pot as well as the correct tools and process needed to clean them helps maintain the appearance of the carpet.  

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