How to Remove Holiday Carpet Stains

How to Remove Holiday Carpet Stains

During the holiday season, long-term care facilities see an uptick in visitors. Friends and family members come to spend time with their loved ones and bring gifts, decorations and traditional holiday dishes to replicate a home away from home. However, increased foot traffic during the holiday months can increase the risk of stains on carpet. If left untreated, these common holiday party stains can negatively impact a facility’s reputation and budget.

All about low-moisture cleaning

Facility managers should implement an efficient carpet care program that relies on low-moisture encapsulation to prolong the life of carpet and keep it looking like-new. A low-moisture encapsulation system sprays a solution of crystalizing polymers and detergent components into carpet fibers. The components bind with soil particles and can be removed with routine vacuuming after about 30 minutes of drying time. This process is especially beneficial as part of a routine carpet care program, as carpet that appears clean at first glance may still contain soils and stain residue deeper within its fibers.

The gift of stain removal

To preserve the pristine state of your long-term care facility’s carpet during the winter months, consider our stain-specific tips on how to remove holiday party stains:

  • Food stains – From Thanksgiving gravy and pumpkin pie to Christmas cranberry sauce, these delicious dishes are a staple of any holiday party. However, they can also leave visible stains on carpet. A timely response is key to removing party stains from carpet fibers. First, scrape up the food from the carpet’s surface, being careful not to lodge particles deeper into carpet fiber. Then, apply a carpet spotter to the stain and lightly agitate fibers. Finally, blot the stain to keep it from spreading and repeat the process until the spot disappears.  
  • Beverage stains – The holiday season is synonymous with hot beverages, and residents and their guests may want to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, cider, hot tea or mulled wine. To remove red wine stains, blot as much of the spill as possible. Apply a spotting agent on the stain and work from the outside of the stain toward the center. Blot with a clean white cloth until no more stain transfers to the cloth. Rinse with cold water to ensure all cleaning solution is removed from the carpet. If the stain remains, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with 4 cups of warm water and follow the same process as before.  
  • Pet stains – Furry friends love to visit family members, and some senior care facilities allow live-in pets or therapy dogs to stay with residents. High levels of excitement and new smells can lead to accidents, and it’s crucial to tackle pet stains as soon as they occur. Whether it be urine, feces or vomit, pet stains can cause lasting damage to carpet if not treated properly. To soak up a fresh stain, use a white towel and blot excess solids or liquids. Then, spray a spotting agent on the stain and agitate with a spotting tool. Finally, vacuum the spot after the carpet has dried. 
  • Organic stains – Body fluid stains are common in long-term care facilities and can impact the reputation and appearance of a building if left unattended. Facility managers should take proper precautions when addressing these stains and wear protective gloves to avoid contamination. For example, to remove blood stains from carpet, gently blot with a dry paper towel before applying a spotting agent to the affected area. Whittaker’s CRYSTAL® ODOR & PROTIEN concentrate is specifically formulated for bodily fluid stain removal. Then use another dry paper towel to remove excess moisture and blot until the stain is gone.
  • Winter weather stains – Visitors can easily track in mud, salt and sand on their boots during the winter months. Facilities can take precautions by adding matting at entrances that can help capture moisture and debris from the outdoors. In addition, frequent vacuuming coupled with use of a carpet spotting kit can help rid carpet of salt stains and embedded salt and sand particles.
  • Pine sap – To make senior living facilities more festive, residents may add live trees to their rooms or management may bring them into gathering spaces to commemorate the holidays. Unfortunately, evergreen trees are notorious for dripping sap during the winter months and staining sections of carpet. To combat these stains, try blotting with rubbing alcohol to dry the sap and allow for easy removal. Sap stains that have already set-in will be harder to remove without the use of specialty spotting chemistry.

Long-term care facilities aim to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for both residents and visitors. During the busy holiday season, facility managers should prepare ahead of time to address common party stains on carpet and ensure common areas and other spaces remain clean. This starts with the creation of a comprehensive carpet care system that includes top-notch and cost-efficient maintenance equipment. Following our best practices will help your facility sparkle through the holidays and into the New Year.

To learn more about carpet care essentials from Whittaker, like Smart Care® TWIN and TRIO machines and CRYSTAL® Chemistry, contact us at 800.422.7686 or

Leave your comment