Carpet 101: Know the Difference Between Spots and Stains

Tip of the Month

Carpets are a great addition to any living and working space. They are beautiful to look at and comfortable to walk on, but, they are also susceptible to discolouration from a range of solubles and solids that may detract from its values.

There is, however, a distinction between two types of discolouration:


Spots occur when food residues and organic substances, such as dirt, dust and mud, are dropped and tracked in respectively. These do not have the ability to chemically bond to the fibres and are generally classified into three broad categories:

  • Solvent soluble – Generally oily and greasy, such as crayons, lipsticks and butter

  • Water soluble – Contains proteins from food spills and bodily fluids, such as wine, urine and vomit

  • Non-soluble – Generally sticks to fibres, such as sand

A telltale sign of a spot is to feel for a different texture compared to the rest of the carpet. If spots, however, are not cleaned within 24 hours, it can potentially turn into…


Stains, on the other hand, have penetrated the individual fibres and permanently damaged and altered the colour of the fibres, either by adding or removing colour. Common suspects are items that contain natural or artificial dyes, such as:

  • Coffee

  • Tea

  • Mustard

  • Syrups

  • Make-up

  • Paints

  • Inks

While spots can be removed when promptly cleaned, buying the wrong carpet cleaning product or applying the wrong technique can prove to be a further detriment to your carpets. Stains, on the other hand, cannot be removed by household solutions and require professional carpet cleaning services. For all your woes with spots and stains, you can count on Toyo Jitsugyo to provide the best care for your precious carpets.

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