Large Spill Cleanup on Rug & Carpet

Large Volume Spills CleanupSometimes, spills go beyond just a little bit of your drink. Maybe you dropped some drinks you got at the grocery store, you dropped a vase of flowers, or maybe you had an accident while baking. 

No matter the cause, you now have a massive amount of liquid being soaked up by your carpet or rug, and you need to take care of it quickly. Don’t worry; I’m here to help make this process quick and painless.

Hi! My name is Katie, and I know exactly how to deal with a mess like this. One year, my friends and husband were really nice and surprised me at work on my birthday. They brought food, drinks, and flowers. This was all very sweet, but it became a problem as I tried to carry all of these items back home later that day. Thanks to my knowledge of spot cleaning, I could take care of that mess with ease, and I’m now here to use that experience to help you do the same!

The most important part of taking care of a spill of any size is acting fast and remaining calm. The faster you act, the more loose liquid you’ll collect, and the less will be soaked into the carpet. The calmer you are, the easier this process will be. To make it even easier, we’ll start off by listing the materials you’ll need to handle these spills.

Collect Your Materials

Here is a list of things you’ll need to clean up this monstrous mess:

  • A few bath towels (preferably white)
  • Carpet spot cleaner that you’ve already tested
  • Cookie sheet or another large, flat, impermeable object
  • Books or other heavy objects

Start Cleaning

Now that you have all of your materials, it’s time to begin the process of cleaning up the spill. First, look and see how large the spill area is, then lay bath towels over the entire area. Now, gently pat the towel. This will help it absorb the loose liquid that hasn’t been absorbed into the rug or carpet yet. Don’t push very hard, though. Your absorbent towels will take care of it; you only need to add a little light pressure to make it happen a bit faster.

Once your towels are soaked and the loose liquid is collected, remove them and set them aside somewhere they won’t make an additional mess. Your next step depends on what was spilled. If a large volume of regular water was spilled, then the following step is unnecessary. 

However, if you spilled water from a vase or a colored liquid caused the mess, you’ll need a good spot cleaner to assist. Simply follow the instructions on the bottle. When that process is complete, come back to this post and follow the remaining steps.

After the liquid has been soaked and you’ve used your spot cleaner, you’ll need to see where the carpet is still wet. If you get to it quickly, there may not be many spots of moisture, which is ideal. 

On the still-damp spots, you’ll want to lay out a towel that covers the entire spot, using more than one if needed. If you are cleaning this mess off of a rug that isn’t installed, then you may want to set a towel underneath the rug as well. Don’t worry if that isn’t possible, though. This process will also work on installed carpets; it just might take a bit longer.

When the towels are laid out, take flat, large, impermeable objects and set them on top of the towels. You want these objects to be large enough to cover the entire wet area, so use a few layers of plastic wrap or foil if necessary. Finally, set your books or other heavy objects on top of the impermeable object and let it sit there for about twenty-four hours.

This is why you need an impermeable object. Without it, the liquid will wick up into the towels and the books; not only will this potentially ruin your books, but it may also stain your carpet further as the coloring and ink are drawn out of the pages and cover down through the towel and into the carpet or rug. This is also why white towels are preferable, as this can also happen with the dye that colors the towels.

Watch it Happen

If you’d like to watch me use this process to clean my rug, you can do so here:

Assess the Situation

After twenty-four hours, remove the books, impermeable objects, and towels from the carpet and examine both the towel and the rug or carpet. If only water was spilled, then make sure the carpet is dry. If not, repeat the previous step. If it’s dry, all you need to do is set the towels aside for the next load of laundry and return the books and impermeable objects to their rightful places.

If a colored liquid was spilled, look and see how much color has transferred onto the towel, and see how wet the carpet is. If all the color and moisture have transferred to the towel, you’re all done! If some color remains on the carpet, then repeat the spot-cleaning process. 

Once all the color is out of the rug, use some vinegar and water to neutralize your cleaner, dry it, and enjoy your freshly cleaned carpet! For further spot-cleaning tips, tricks, and processes, be sure to check out my other blog posts and YouTube channel!


Happy Spotting!