Imagine this: You and your significant other have ordered in Mexican for dinner. Despite the fact that you do actually have a kitchen table, you opt to dine in the living room in order to watch the Real Housewives of something or other (it's called multitasking). After plating your delivery food, you both remark upon the fact that the molé sauce on the enchiladas looks like a stain waiting to happen. So naturally, five minutes later, your significant other proceeds to drop a healthy-sized glob of it on your living room's silvery-gray carpet. Do you A: freak out, or B: take it in stride?
If you answered A, you clearly aren't familiar with Spot Shot, a carpet stain remover that I swear is magic. Growing up, my freakishly clean mother—a designer whose favorite colors include white, off-white, and beige—always had a can of it around, which she would immediately grab whenever one of us spilled or dropped something on the carpet. So when she helped me decorate my first New York apartment, which included a large bone-colored wool rug, she also made sure that I had some Spot Shot stashed under the sink.
Since then, I've gone through countless cans of it, using it to tackle everything from cranberry juice and tomato sauce to crushed-up eyeshadow and pen ink—and, yes, some very scary-looking molé. I am not exaggerating when I say that "to Spot Shot" something has become an actual (and oft-used) verb in my household.
As far as how to best use Spot Shot, I pretty much just follow the directions on the can. (I always buy the aerosol version; there's a non-aerosol one as well, but I've never tried it.)
- Blot/wipe/vacuum any excess substance from your rug. (Be careful not to rub it in even more in the process.)
- Spray the area with Spot Shot and wait a beat for it to sink in.
- Grab some sort of white or light cloth (a dishtowel, an old t-shirt; sometimes I'll just use paper towels) and get to dabbing. (I'm required by carpet-cleaning law to tell you to dab gently, but I've been known to get rather aggressive with my stain-removal, and it's turned out fine.)
- You might have to repeat the spray-and-dab process multiple times depending on how bad the stain is.
- Dampen another clean cloth (or paper towel) with water and go over the area.
- Let dry.
While you should obviously address any stains as quickly as possible, I've found that Spot Shot is also great at removing old, set-in stains; there's usually just some extra spray-and-dab action required.
(Side note: there are exactly two substances that I have been unable to remove with Spot Shot. The first is tar, which, unfortunately, both my shoes and suitcase wheels have come into with at some point. The second is melted candle wax—but hey, at least my apartment smelled like Diptyque's Muguet for a couple of weeks.)
And that's it. Spot Shot is awesome. Buy some and thank me later.
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