A. There is a difference between a spot and a stain: It is important as carpet cleaning professionals that we inform our customers of the difference so there is not an exaggerated expectation.
A spot is any foreign material (soil, liquid, etc.) that is removable by regular carpet steam cleaning methods. (The foreign material is on or around the carpet fiber.)
A stain is foreign material (soil, liquid, etc.) on the carpet fiber that is not usually removable by regular carpet cleaning or steam cleaning methods. The foreign material has penetrated or impregnated fiber and has changed or damaged the fiber itself. Even with a Scotch guard or other carpet protector the stain could dissolve these protectants when they come in contact with the fiber or the carpet protector was already removed or dissolved prior to the stain coming in contact with the carpet. Some stains may be very difficult or impossible to remove. A legitimate carpet cleaning company cannot guarantee that the stain can be successfully removed. Sometimes the only option is to cut out the stain and replace it with a piece of carpet from the back of a closet in the home.