As you prepare your home for the rush of family and friends at Thanksgiving, you’re undoubtedly looking forward to the food traditions that come with the end of the fall season. It’s nearly impossible to avoid spills this time of year; multiple cooks, young kids, and a crowded dinner table put your rugs at risk for damaging liquids and stains.

When you notice a spill, time is the most important factor in preventing damage. The first thing to do will always be blot the stain with a dry towel, slowly increasing the pressure of the blot as you go. Next, take a damp towel with dish soap, making a pulling motion toward the center of the stain to prevent spread. Be sure to always avoid a cleaner with a chemical base! Dish soaps like Palmolive that are safe for your hands are best because they won’t cause discoloration to your carpet.

Smaller area rugs can be taken outside and cleaned more thoroughly using a similar method. On a clean surface, use a mild detergent like dish soap to wash the rug thoroughly. It never hurts to test the cleaner on a small portion of the carpet to ensure it won’t cause any discoloration. Use a hard sponge or a long haired brush and move firmly  in the direction of the nap. Rinse with water, squeezing excess out before laying flat to dry. Keep in mind you need to flip the rug over even when it feels dry on one side.

Different stains require different care and approaches, which is why David Tiftickjian & Sons carries a helpful stain removal guide for every situation. For larger spills that require a professional hand, always ask the experts.