When it comes to carpet spills or stain removal there is one handy item that every homeowner should purchase: the wet / dry vac. This fantastic little machine can sometimes be the difference between a relatively easy stain removal and a complete disaster.
How will a wet / dry vac help out with carpet spills and stains you ask? Well let's just immediately get out there that it will not vacuum the stain or spill up on its own. The wet / dry vac is not a magic eraser that can just suck up a spill or stain and that's that. But when used in conjunction with whatever technique is required to remove a spill or stain, this little vac could prove invaluable.
What you would use the wet / dry vac for, in regards to stain and spot removal, is extraction. Before you attempt any kind of clean up you should grab the wet / dry vac and extract as much of the liquid or soil as possible. What this basically does is remove what is not necessarily the stain yet.
For example, you've spilled a cup of juice on the carpet. Now technically the spot is not a stain yet. It's still a puddle, more or less. The wet / dry vac will extract most of the liquid up from the spot, leaving you with what is now the actual stain. Now when you go to add your treatment chemicals you are actually treating the spot rather than adding your chemical to the puddle of juice.
After you've treated your spot you always want to rinse and extract. This removes any solvents that may get left behind. To do this you just pour some water, maybe a cup, over the treated area. Then use your wet / dry vac to … can you guess? You got it, extract.
Let's go through an example. Fido can not hold the phone and has a boo boo in the middle of your living room. Let's say you're lucky enough to witness this carpet crime first hand. Step one, after gently moving Fido aside with your foot, would be to get out your wet / dry vac. Extract as much of the liquid as possible. Next you would use your chemical of choice on the stain. Now for this you may choose to go with your favorite spot remover or maybe something more natural like a vinegar / water or ammonia / water solution. It's up to you. Once you've treated the spot you need to rinse it. Get a cup of clean water and pour it over the spot. This will help prevent any solvent buildup. The final step would be another extraction with the wet / dry vac to remove the remaining liquid.
It is not necessary to buy the biggest, baddest shop vac you can find. All you really need is a small, easy to manage unit that you can store away without having to rearrange a closet. Think of it as your helpful little clean up droid, your little stain fighting R2-D2, if you will.