GazetteXtra do-it-yourselfers Andrew Reuter and Nick Crow share their successes (and failures) on a variety of topics.

ProjectLab: A begrudging review of Spot Shot car stain remover

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Nick Crow
August 27, 2015

I traded in my old car less than a month ago.

As a journalist, you put a lot of miles on your personal vehicle. Its just part of the gig.

So when I traded my 180,000-mile beast in for a new (to me) car, I was excited. It's nice not having to worry that each mile could be the vehicle's last.

It also means I'm in the babying phase of vehicle ownership. I'm the guy wiping the windshield down each time I gas up. I've also vacuumed it out three times this month.

Eventually, that new love fades and you clean it less frequently. But right now, I want to keep it in pristine condition.

That's why I was mortified with what happened two weekends ago.

My niece, Cheyenne, spent the night recently to have some fun before she has to start a new year of school. It also was a break for my older sister I'm sure.

It was a fun weekend. We watched Disney's “Brother Bear,” hung out and got frozen yogurt.

Then it was time for dinner. She wanted Taco Bell, so we went. She is nine, soon to be 10, so she still rides in the back.

We went to get dinner and ordered. At the drive-thru they gave us our drinks in one of those fast food cup holders. Since Chey was in the back and is also a youngling, I set the cup holder on the passenger seat while I paid and got the food.

Next thing I know, I looked over and noticed the lid on one of the drinks wasn't secure. It was leaning back on the seat leaking.

“ARGHHHHH,” I thought, though the direct translation probably was more profanity laced. (I kept it in my head since there were children present.)

I wiped it with a napkin the best I could and didn't mention it to Chey.

We made it home, ate and enjoyed the rest of the evening. But in the back of my head, I knew I now had a project.

I did some research online and found several people who recommended a product called Spot Shot on car upholstery spills. I ordered a can on Amazon for less than $9.

It came a couple days later and I went to work.

The directions on the can said to spray it on the area, rub it in with a clean cloth, and then blot the area with cold water once the stain is out.

I did as directed and it did pull the stain out, but I noticed it dried with a wet stain mark. I used the product one more time and got the same result. So I ended up using our wet vac and that dried clean. I was pleased with the spot remover in general but am glad I was able to finish off the project with the wet vac.


Difficulty: 1 stars out of 5. If you follow the directions, the product is easy to use. When you spray it, it foams up, so make sure not to spray too much. The product is designed for carpet stains, so it's important to use sparingly on upholstery.

Skills required: Patience, ability to follow directions

Tools required: Clean towel, cold water

Cost: $9 for the stain remover. Bought the wet vac at a flea market for $30.

Was this worth doing? I think so. The Spot Shot didn't work as well as I hoped with the wet stain mark it left. I was happy it pulled the stain out, but had I not used the wet vac, I'm not sure how clean it would have looked.

What's the worst stain you've dealt with? Why was it such a mess? Send me an email at [email protected], find me on Twitter at @Crow_Nick or leave a comment below.

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