DALTON, Ga., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- It's that time of year again -- the season for entertaining. Whether it's a family feast, holiday party, the Big Game or any other gathering, when you welcome guests into your home, you're often inviting spills and accidents, too. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has suggestions for removing stubborn holiday spills from carpet and rugs. Responding immediately to spills and performing regular maintenance will help extend the life and beauty of your carpet.

Follow simple steps for spot removal using solutions made from common household supplies:

  • When guests enter your home during the winter, it's easy for them to track in mud and snow-melting chemicals. To remove these substances from carpet, simply mix one-fourth teaspoon of a clear, liquid dishwashing detergent with one cup lukewarm water.
  • Holiday revelers often toast the occasion with a glass of wine. It is also common to savor a cup of black coffee at the end of a large holiday meal. If the joy of the occasion happens to spill over onto the carpet, use the same detergent mixture. (Coffee with cream requires a solvent for removal.) If that does not work, then rinse with water and apply a solution of one cup white vinegar per two cups water.

    For these holiday spills, blot liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or unprinted paper towels. Before treating any spill or spot, pre-test the spot removal solution in an inconspicuous area. If a change occurs, select another type of solution.

    Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a clean, white cloth, using only the recommended cleaning solution formula, and work gently into the soiled carpet. Always work from the outside edges to the center of the spot, to prevent the spill from spreading, never scrubbing the area. Allow the solution approximately 10 minutes to penetrate the spot, and blot gently once again. Repeat these steps as long as the spot continues to transfer to the cloth.

    Complete removal of some spills may require the repeated use of a single solution or the use of a combination of solutions. When the spot is no longer visible, rinse the area thoroughly with cold water, blot with a dry cloth until all moisture is removed, and be certain the carpet has dried completely before walking on it.

    Liquid spills are not the only things that endanger the beauty of your carpet during this joyful time of year:

  • A crackling fire creates the perfect ambiance for a holiday gathering. If soot and ashes from the fireplace get on the carpet, gently vacuum the area first to remove residue. Never pour a liquid on the area, as this may create additional problems. If vacuuming does not eliminate the spot, contact a professional.
  • The flickering light from candles casts a warm glow, making any room a welcoming gathering place for family and guests. If wax has spilled over the candle and on to the carpet, allow it to cool before treating the area. Put ice in a bag and freeze the wax, then gently chip off as much as possible. If residue still remains, press a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol onto the area and blot.
  • When the season is over and the Christmas tree has left its sap on the carpet, use a white cloth to blot with a dry cleaning fluid.