When you spill something on your carpet and see discoloration, you probably panic and start trying to get it out. You probably aren’t worried about classifying the blemish on your carpet as a “spot” or a “stain.” But maybe you should, because the distinction makes a difference.
Spots. A “spot” refers to a soil, oil, or other materials that attach to the carpet fiber and attract dirt and other substances. “Spots” are not chemically bonded to carpet fiber and can be removed more easily than stains. However, if not promptly removed, a spot can become a stain. Therefore, it is critical to deal with a spot as soon as possible. First, attempt to blot any liquid from the spot. After soaking up any excess liquid, use plain tap water to gently blot the remaining discoloration. If you notice the discoloration spreading or not improving, stop and call our office for instructions. After a spot is removed, it may reappear. This is called “wicking”, and it occurs when a substance soaks into the backing of the carpet and slowly works back up to the fibers in the top of the carpet. If a spot reappears, repeat the process described above for removing a spot.
Stains. A “stain” refers to discoloration of the carpet fiber due to a substance embedding into or chemically bonding to the carpet fiber. Stains are often permanent and must be removed by a professional.