Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning 101
Almost all carpet and upholstery stains fall into one of two categories: tannin or protein/organic. Tannin comes from coffee, tea and red wine. Organic or protein soil is the really disgusting stuff like rotten food, spoiled milk, vomit, pet urine, etc. Identifying the type of stain can be critical in deciding how to clean carpet stains. Take a look at the Meguiar's Fiber Rinse and Pro Protein Stain Remover for a really effective carpet stain removal method.
For general cleaning and deodorizing, a good all purpose cleaner or degreaser should do the job. For really tough stains and ground-in dirt, we recommend specialized liquid concentrates. Malco Xtrax Liquid has a clean, fresh scent and is one of the best carpet cleaners we've seen. Cleaning the area before the stain has had time to set into the carpet fibers, the better chance that it will not reappear. First dry vacuum the entire area. Dilute the cleaning product in a spray bottle, spray the area or a white towel with water then blot. Use the vacuum to extract any excess dampness. Allow plenty of time to dry before sitting on the upholstery or stepping on the carpet.
Aerosol cans are a great alternative. They are easy to use and do not require long drying times. Check out the Griot's Garage Carpet Spot Remover.