What to stop doing IMMEDIATELY when cleaning rug stains

Luxury household rugs are a prized possession for many homeowners. While they can add visual appeal to rooms with their intricate patterns and carefully selected colour palettes, their long fibres create a deep pile which is comfortable to sit or step on. While luxury rugs are often expertly crafted by master weavers and use robust materials for many years of use, they do require care and upkeep.

While this often means periodic professional cleaning at set intervals throughout the year, sometimes an accident can occur before their appointment. Whether it’s spilled sauce while dining or wine from an upturned glass, food and drink falling on carpets can become a stain. However, some accidents also come with unpleasant odours when a stain won’t shift, like those created by a sick pet.

If other than the stain your rug is in good condition or has even had a recent trip to a professional cleaner, you might be tempted to tackle the accident yourself. However, in such stressful moments when your rug is at risk, it can be easy to make mistakes. Although the best option when an expensive rug gets a stain is to book it in for a deep clean, below are some actions you should always avoid.


It’s understood that a sudden stain on your rug is going to make your heart beat faster and you’ll want to act fast. However, panicking can lead to rash actions and cleaning mistakes that may have severe consequences for your beloved rug. So, take a deep breath before doing anything, and keep calm.

Tackling a stain without removing debris

Whether your dog or cat has an accident, or a bowl of food finds itself upside down on your rug, never attend to a stain without removing any solid matter. Without removing this debris first, you’ll be at risk of working it into the rug, driving it deep into the pile and making the stain even worse.

Rubbing at a stain

Regarded as the most common error that rug owners make after a spill, rubbing is among the worst things to do when a stain appears. Aggressively rubbing at the stain can often cause it to spread out over a wider surface area. But also work it further deep into the rug’s fibres. Blotting is the best action when you want to absorb a stain. It’s advised to start from the outside of the stain and then work your way in.

Using the wrong cleaning solution

Some luxury rugs are made with natural materials like wool, silk and cotton, while others use synthetic materials. These different materials will all have their own unique reaction with a cleaning solution selected. Using a chemical-based carpet shampoo can cause considerable damage to your rug and may not even remove the stain effectively.

Using too much detergent is just as bad as using a product which is too strong. Even when they don’t include chemical formulas, some detergents make a sudsy foam which is next to impossible to flush from rugs, drying into their fibres. When you step on your rug it will feel stiff and crunchy underfoot. While this coating might not be visible, it can attract dirt quicker making stains even more obvious.

Using a variety of cleaning products to tackle a stain can also put it at risk. When combined, the cleaning solutions may create a chemical reaction which has a negative impact on the rug like discolouration or worse.

Overwetting stains

Using excessive water to clean a stain is never recommended. While you might think flushing the rug will help, too much moisture can be difficult extract. If your rug can’t dry quickly enough, it can cause problems like mildew ruining your rug and creating a damp smell in your living space.

Using a single towel

When you blot a stain, the unwanted liquid will transfer into the absorbent towel or cloth you use. Don’t keep using just one towel or you will work the soiling back into your rug. One towel can be used multiple times if you keep folding it to present a fresh area. Another reason why you should continuously turn your towel is to make sure your blotting is still extracting the spilled liquid. Remember never to use a coloured towel to tend to a stain, as when wet with detergent, its colour may bleed into your rug causing another stain.

Do you need IMMEDIATE help with a rug stain?

Rather than tackling a stain yourself, you can rely on us for expert assistance. At the Rug Cleaning Studio, we provide professional rug cleaning in Colchester and other parts of Essex, and offer a comprehensive service which includes stain removal at no additional cost.


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