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A spot and a stain, do you know the difference? Knowing this information could help you fix an accident instead of making it worse. We often hear people describe everything on their carpet as a spot, but rarely is that actually the case. Understanding the difference also helps professional carpet cleaners like TruRinse best serve our clients and treat each situation with proper care. 

So, what is the difference between a spot and a stain?

What is a spot? 

A spot on your carpet usually consists of a fresh substance spilled or tracked onto the surface of your carpet, something you can feel. It can be a foreign particle or any sort of substance. The majority of the spot can generally be treated and removed right away and without much effort. A spot on your carpet could be the result of a food spill, make-up, or soil.  

Sometimes spots can remain on your carpet for a long time, and if not cleaned properly, can seem to be a stain.  

What is a stain? 

A stain is a much deeper issue and is something that can be seen but not felt. This is where the color, fiber structure, and padding of the carpet has been permanently altered by the addition of dyes. A stain occurs when a substance like a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, pet accident, or a juice box is spilled on the carpet and is absorbed into the carpet fibers, without properly being cleaned up, causing long-term damage to your carpet. 

Oftentimes, even professional carpet cleaners can give you misinformation about spots and stains.  At Trurinse, our approach is designed to truly rinse your carpet of all spots, and many times our customers are shocked because we were able to get “stains” out that other carpet cleaners in Utah couldn’t. What might be a stain, and impossible for some carpet cleaners to clean out, may not be as it seems. 

We love getting those pesky spots and “stains” out, and this is why we guarantee you will be amazed. We are willing to give it a try so that we leave you satisfied with your clean. While we cannot promise we can get everything out, you can count on us to be upfront, and talk you through what’s happening with your specific carpet and spot and stains. 

Knowing Your Carpet Fibers & How to Treat the Spot or Stain 

It is essential that you know the kind of carpet you have in your home to treat a spill. Manufacturers often have specific cleaning guidelines or cleaning solutions that work best for the material in your carpet. It’s important to test out all cleaning solutions on a small portion of your carpet before applying it to a large spot or stain. Also do not soak your carpet with solution or water, this can cause further damage to your carpet. 

Removing a spot is often easier than removing a stain due to the fact that stains move deep inside carpet fibers, essentially becoming a part of the carpet and changing its color or structure. Knowing the difference between the two will guide you better in how to clean it up, with the best results. 

 Treating Spots and Stains 

While it’s always recommended to use a professional cleaner for spot and stain removal, speed is key when dealing with a spill and keeping it from becoming a permanent stain. So, while you wait for the professionals, here are a few steps you can follow when tackling a spot or stain in your carpet. 

Don’t forget, TruRinse is just a phone call away. 

Step One: Remove Any Excess Liquid or Solids 

Scrape away any excess foreign matter from the carpet using something like a spoon or butter knife as quickly as possible. It is important to note that you NEVER want to rub or scrub your carpet when you are cleaning it. This can cause permanent damage to your carpet fibers. Be gentle and blot away any excess liquid moving from the outside of the spill inward; this will contain the spill and keep it from spreading out further. Repeat this step until the cloth no longer absorbs anymore of the spill. 

Step Two: Bolt the Spot and Do Not Soak the Spill

Make sure you blot the spill with a clean, absorbent, and damp cloth. It’s recommended to use cold water when treating a spill that is food, beverage, or water-based paint. Warm or hot water generally works best with protein-based stains, gum, or lotion. 

It’s best to use small repeated actions of blotting with water and then blotting dry and avoid over-wetting. 

Over-wetting a spill can lead to wicking. Wicking happens when the carpet has absorbed moisture all the way down to the backing or padding of the carpet and can cause stains to reappear, and cause permanent damage to a larger area than the original spill. Even though the carpet surface may look clean, over time, the deep stains in the carpet are pushed back up the fibers and appear on the carpet’s surface again.  

Step Three: Apply Carpet Cleaning Solution as Directed 

It is important to know the type of carpet you and check that the cleaning solutions you are using are safe for your specific carpet type. Before applying any carpet cleaning solution to a stain, you should read, and carefully follow all the product’s directions. Don’t forget to conduct a pretest on a hidden area of carpet before applying the cleaning solution directly to the spot or stain.

If you are going to use a cleaning solution, we recommend using the TruRinse Spotter Bottle, because it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals and is designed to help you get the spot out. 

If you’ve tried everything and you still have carpet spots or stains, you need the help of a professional carpet cleaner. TruRinse is a top rated professional carpet spot and stain remover here in Utah, and we are available to help from Tooele to Park City, Salt Lake City to Payson. 

We offer deep cleaning and stain protection solutions that can help keep your carpets clean and looking fresh for a long time. We use only the safest and best methods that don’t include harsh chemicals for cleaning and restoring your carpet.

Don’t let those spots and stains sit any longer! Give your carpet a fast and efficient refresh today!  Call TruRinse at (801) 226-6827 or book an appointment online with us today!