Spills should be attended to as soon as you notice them. Blot up liquid spills with clean white cotton towels or with white paper towels, which allow you to gauge when the stain stops pulling away. Never rub because this will push the spill into the pile and cause fibers to mat.
If the stain is persistent, dilute the spot with seltzer or club soda.
Continue blotting by pressing down with the heel of your hand or with your foot with dry towels until the area is nearly dry.
DIY Spot-Cleaning Solution
Mix your own spot-cleaning solution by diluting a few drops of clear (not creamy looking) dishwashing liquid in water. Use about 1/4 teaspoon per quart. Apply to the stain, being careful not to saturate the carpet. Blot gently, then rinse with clean water and blot again.
Spills on Synthetic or Wool Carpets
Remove minor ink, pet stains, and water marks with fine steel wool.
Spills on Plant-Based Carpets
Blot spills promptly; plant fibers such as coir, hemp, jute, raffia, and sisal are less stain-resistant than synthetics or wool, even if treated to be water-repellent. Use the Carpet Stain Removal Method and make sure damp areas dry quickly by using a fan or hair dryer set on low heat.
Treating Pet Stains
The sooner you can get to a pet stain, the better. Pet urine left on carpets can permanently alter the dyes in carpet fibers, especially beige ones. Blot fresh stains as soon as you detect them with a clean white cloth. After absorbing as much moisture as possible, apply a solution of 1/4 teaspoon clear dish washing liquid mixed with 1 cup tepid water; blot with another dry clean towel. Continue alternating with a soapy towel and a clean damp towel until the stain is gone. For stale stains or persistent odor, call a professional carpet cleaner.
Treating Burn Marks: Cut It Out
1. To disguise a small burn, cut off blackened pile.