Spot Identification Guide

Spots can mysteriously show up on your carpets, even if you don’t remember spilling anything on them. Sometimes another household member or guest spilled something without telling you. Other times your pet got into something it shouldn’t. No matter how it got there, finding a spot on your carpet can be concerning, especially if you don’t know what caused it. Part of any spot removal service is identifying what caused the spot so it can be properly cleaned up. Here are a few ways to gain insight into what’s on your carpet. Check out our spot identification guide.

First, it’s important to note the difference between a spot and a stain. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. Spots are the visible appearance of a mess on your carpet, while stains are trapped on the inside of your carpet’s fibers, leaving no visible trace. Removing a spot will often reveal a stain, and it’s important to make sure the stain is also properly cleaned up.


Identifying the spot can often be associated with the room the carpet is in. A spot in the dining room, for instance, is more likely to be a food or beverage spot, while a spot in the hallway outside where you keep a litter box is more likely to be pet-related. Some areas are harder to identify the specific spot. For example, an entry hall could have any number of dirt, mud, or pet mess on the carpets, but may be less likely to have a food or drink spot.


The appearance of a spot can tell you a lot about it. A trained technician can narrow down the list of culprits just by looking at a spot. There are two major types of spots when it comes to everyday carpet messes: organic and synthetic. Organic spots are made from organic sources, such as pets, most foods, and coffee. These spots are dull, usually brownish, and often sticky. Synthetic spots are the result of synthetic sources, such as food or hair dyes. They typically stand out more as they have a bit of shine to them.


Although it’s not ideal, the scent of a spot can give away the culprit if needed. However, using scent to identify the source of the spot doesn’t mean sticking your nose in the carpet and taking a whiff. To properly assess the smell of a spot, wet the area and blot it with a towel. The scent will stick to the fibers on the towel, allowing you to smell it without getting too close to the spot itself.

If your carpet has a mysterious spot on it, it can leave you feeling frustrated and confused. Your room will look unclean, and your home could feel unhealthy. If you need quick and reliable spot removal treatment for your carpets, call Cardinal Carpet Cleaner today at 314-501-5462 to schedule a free carpet consultation. We’ll give your carpets the best cleaning you’ve ever had, guaranteed.

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