August 25

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The Difference Between Spots and Stains In Carpet


​Over the years we have found that many of our clients, and many people in general, are confused about what is a carpet stain and what is a carpet spot. So in this article we are going to go over the differences and why they are important.

What Constitutes A Carpet Stain?

A carpet stain, such as the stain seen in the above photo, is a dye that has gotten into the dye sites of a particular fiber. But it also goes a bit more in-depth than that.

A good example of a very ​common carpet stain is a Kool Aid stain. These types of stains are very common but could also be considered a spot. How is that?

As we said above; a carpet stain is a dye that has gotten into the dye sites of a fiber. But if your carpet is well protected then what you might be seeing is SPOT sitting on the fiber itself, not inside the dye sites. How can you tell the difference between a spot and a stain? It is actually pretty simple.

How To Tell The Difference Between a Carpet Stain and Spot

​The easiest way to tell if something on your carpet is a stain or spot is to take a white terry cloth towel, get it damp, and blot at the "spot". If there is transfer from the carpet to the towel then it is probably a spot. If there is not transfer then it very well could be a stain.

​Carpet Stains and Carpet Spots Are Different

It is important to understand that not all of the STAINS or SPOTS in your carpet are actually STAINS or SPOTS! In some cases what you think is a stain is actually only a spot - a good thing!

In other cases what you think is just a "simple spot" is actually a stain that could be very difficult to get out - not a good thing!

For example: Let's take a little brown chicken gravy that is spilled on your carpet. In most cases this would be a spot and not a stain. If you blot the spot with your dampened WHITE towel you should get a bit of the gravy spot to transfer to the towel. If not, then there could be something in the gravy that got into the dye sites of the carpet fiber.

​A Kool Aid Stain might initially transfer some red (or whatever the color of the Kool Aid) to your towel. But if after the transfer of the color stops, and there is still color in your carpet, then it is almost for sure a stain. And a stain means the dyes of the Kool Aid penetrated the dye sites of your carpet. This is not good.

So What Do You Do If It Is Just A Spot?​

​If it is just a spot the the easiest and SAFEST thing to do is take some very mild dish washing soap and add a tiny bit to a dampened towel and just blot the spot. If you are getting transfer to the white towel, then keep on doing this until you get no more transfer.

​If the spot is just a spot then it will ALL come out using this method, even if there is a fair amount of oil or grease in the spot. The key here is to NOT rub back and forth...only blot! The dish washing detergent has surfactents in it and that will help the water penetrate the spot and lift it away with the towel.

​If You Have A Stain That Is Much Different

​A stain is much different and should be treated by a carpet cleaning company that specializes in safe and effective stain removal. Over the years we have seen many carpets ruined by clients that have tried to do their own stain removal.

​If you have any spots or stains in your carpet give us a call and let us take a look at them. We will give you a FREE NO OBLIGATION quote on any spot and stain removal that you need done.


​Spots or Stains In Your Carpet?

​At Linton's Carpet Cleaning we are Vancouver, Washington's premier high quality carpet cleaning company. If you have spots or stains in your carpet then please give us a call today.

We will come to your home or place of business, take a look at the carpet, and give you a FREE NO OBLIGATION HONEST evaluation and quote on any carpet cleaning, spot removal, and stain removal that you need done. There is no need to live with spots or stains in your carpet.

Are Spots and Stains In Your Carpet Getting You Down? Let Us Help You! Call Today - (360) 608-5441