(Originally Published February 21, 2018)

Spills and stains are a part of life, especially in a busy office environment. With so many clients, workers, and visitors bustling through with their morning coffee or tea, stains are inevitable. However, a stained and grimy carpet can not only look bad, it can eventually smell bad and become a host to bacteria. This article looks at spills and stains first aid for both carpet and vinyl flooring to help ensure your office floor stays stain-free. Looking for more ways to keep your office in great shape? Contact the experts at Kitchener Clean now!

Why Is Clean Carpeting/Flooring So Important?

Vinyl flooring is typically easier to clean than carpeting. It doesn't absorb odours and grime the same way a carpet does - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't care for your vinyl flooring too! Both vinyl floors and carpeted floors can quickly look unattractive without proper maintenance. This can make both employees and potential clients feel uncomfortable in your office. When it comes to carpeting, it can collect many nasty particles including bacteria, dust and dirt, dust mites and other microscopic pests, and old food particles. Keeping your carpet clean is important because:

  • Mold and mildew can build-up - Mold is a fairly widespread office problem and can eventually cause reactions such as headaches, nausea, and even asthma-like symptoms.

  • Germs can spread - Do you know someone in your office who follows the "five second rule?" Eating dropped food or even picking up a pen from the floor can spread nasty germs across the office.

  • Dirty carpets can cause allergic reactions - There are many common office allergies, including allergies to dust and mold. Carpets collect these particles and can cause serious reactions to those who are allergic.

Cleaning up spills quickly and properly is one of the best ways to prevent bacteria, dust, and mold build-up. Check out the list below to see how to deal with the most common types of office spills (Source).

Spills and Stains First Aid - Most Common Office Spills

In this section we will look at the most common types of office stains and how to effectively deal with them. These stains include coffee, ink, mud, and dirt. Check out the quick video below to watch how easy DIY carpet clean up can be. Ease of clean up will depend on the stain and the type of carpeting, but it's always a good idea to have an emergency spill kit ready in your office (and even your home!) If your office has built up stains on flooring or carpet, it might be time to call in the experts. Green cleaning is great for stains and your employee's health!

Vinyl Flooring Clean-Up

Vinyl floors are significantly easier to clean than carpeting, as most are made to be dirt and spill resistant and do not absorb liquids like carpeting does. Following the instructions listed below can work for all the stains and spills listed above.


Step 1: Vinyl floors are much easier to clean than carpeting. For most spills, you will just need some paper towel or a mop and warm water. Clean up the spill as quickly as possible, wiping as much as you can with a paper towel.

Step 2: Using a towel or paper towel, add warm water and possibly a small amount of cleaner made for vinyl floors. Apply to the spot where the spill was to avoid stickiness and any residue.

Step 3: Blot or wipe the area until dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.


Step 1: For stains on vinyl flooring that won't go away with a quick wipe down, grab a clean, white cloth and rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol).

Step 2: Add rubbing alcohol to your cloth and blot at the stain. Do not use too much - a small amount will usually do for most stains.

Step 3: Rinse floor with clean water, hang cloth to dry before throwing out (rubbing alcohol is flammable).

Cleaning Coffee Stains From Carpet (Source)

Step 1: For DIY coffee stain removal, the first step is to blot up the coffee spill with a white cloth as quickly as possible before it has time to seep into the carpet. Sugar and milk residue can end up smelling and causing bacteria growth in your carpet, so you'll want to ensure you get as much of the moisture out as possible.

Step 2: Mix a small amount of clear dish soap and vinegar with two cups of warm water.

Step 3: Apply the mixture to a new, clean, white cloth and blot at the stain. Make sure you do not use too much of the mixture, but instead blot the solution with a clean, dry cloth in between applying the mixture.

Step 4: Once the stain disappears, blot with cold water using a new clean cloth and then blot with a dry cloth until the previously-stained area is completely dry.

Cleaning Ink Stains From Carpet (source)

Step 1: For DIY ink spill removal, the first step is to apply carpet stain remover to the stain. Most office pens are ballpoint pens, and the ink from ballpoint pens is actually relatively easy to remove. The carpet stain remover should begin to lift the stain.

Step 2: Grab a clean, white cloth and begin blotting at the stain. Ensure you turn the cloth over frequently. This will help prevent the ink from re-absorbing into your carpet.

Step 3: Still see ink stains? Go back to step 1 and 2.

Step 4: Even if you do not see any more ink in the carpet, there could still be hidden residue. Apply rubbing alcohol to a hidden area and wait a few minutes.

Step 5: Blot the area and see if any colour comes from the carpet. If it does not, you can move to the next step.

Step 6: Use a cloth with rubbing alcohol to blot at the stain, turning the cloth over frequently.

Step 7: Repeat until stain is completely removed.

Cleaning Mud And Dirt Stains From Carpet (source)

Step 1: For DIY mud and dirt stain removal, Grab a clean, white cloth and either carpet stain remover or use a homemade soap and water mixture added to a spray bottle.

Step 2: Spray on the carpet stain remover or shake the homemade soap mixture until thoroughly mix and spray onto the mud or dirt stain.

Step 3: Allow the solution to set into the carpet. For a commercial stain remover, read the label to see exactly how long to leave the mixture on for. For DIY stain remover, you will have to estimate the best amount of time - but a few minutes will generally do.

Step 4: Use a sponge or clean, white cloth to scrub up the mud. If it is a particularly grimy stain, you may want to use a scrub brush to help remove the dirt particles from the carpeting.

Step 5: Mud stains are sometimes a bit tougher to completely eliminate. Repeat until the stain has been completely removed.

Step 6: Once the stain has been removed, used a new spray bottle filled with warm water to rinse away any possible particles leftover or any leftover soap/stain remover product. Blot up moisture until dry.

In Ontario and other cold climates, you may find yourself with a build up with salt or sand on your floors. To clean salt from your floors, follow these steps:

Step 1: Vacuum thoroughly to remove all loose salt crystals

Step 2: Mix a bucket of 5 litres of water with ½ cup vinegar

Step 3: Use a sponge or mop to apply solution to the salt stained area and let sit 10-15 minutes

Step 4: Use a brush to scrub area if necessary

Step 5: Use a microfiber cloth or towel to remove vinegar solution OR mop with a neutral floor cleaner to remove dirt and vinegar solution

To see a full list of winter clean-up solutions, click here!

Keep Your Office Floors Cleaner With Kitchener Clean!

Having a cleaner office environment can help you and your employees feel productive, happy, and satisfied in the workplace. Knowing that you have a planned solution in case stain and spills do happen can help reassure you!

At Kitchener Clean, we know that a clean and healthy work environment can make a big difference in any office and helps ensure all workers feel their best.

At Kitchener Clean, we are dedicated to helping create safe and healthy work environments! We also believe that everyone should be entitled to breathe clean, chemical-free air at work.

That's why we are dedicated to providing non-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions that are safer than traditional cleaning methods. Gentle, yet highly effective, our EcoLogo or Green Seal products are especially beneficial for people with asthma or chemical and allergic sensitivities as well as for our planet. Being “green” doesn’t mean being less clean.

Hiring an experienced cleaning company who knows to clean all the usually forgotten nooks and crannies and how to avoid mold and dust build-up will help keep your office space clean and your workers healthy!

"I have been using Kitchener Clean for several years now. Recently added a second property. Very professional, Very thorough. They are like clockwork. I would recommend them to any business that is looking for a cleaning company they can depend on.”

- Mark