Removing Nasty Spots, Spills and Stains from your Carpets
Provided by Baileys’ Floor Care, a Professional Carpet Cleaner
With today’s stain-resistant carpets, treating spots and stains has never been easier. With proper patience and prompt attention, most common house-hold spills can be removed. Or you could just avoid spilling on your carpet in the first place!
Preventing soiling and spills is all about planning in advance, whether for a party or for everyday living. But no matter how hard you try, spots and stains are going to happen.
What your carpet is made of will give you clues about which cleaning solution will work best. Natural fibres absorb more moisture than man-made fibres; therefore, drying takes much longer and the risk of tracking soil is far greater. Check the pH of the cleaning solution. Wool requires a neutral or slightly acidic pH. Man-made fibres can withstand more alkaline solutions, which cut grease and suspend soil faster. Check your manufacturer recommendations if you are not sure what to use.
Removing Spots and Stains
Act quickly! Many spills can be removed when immediate action is taken. The longer you wait, the higher the probability that spills will become permanent stains. No carpet is completely stain-proof. So to knock our spots, give them a one-two punch.
Step One: Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towel. (no prints or colour). Use of a printed or coloured material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet!
Start from the outside of the spot and continue to the centre to prevent the stain from spreading. Blot until barely damp. Semi-solids like food spills may need scooping up with a spoon. Solid, dry bits can be vacuumed up.
Do not scrub. Scrubbing can damage the carpet because fraying and texture change is the likely result. Use a soft white cloth to blot the spot.
Step Two: Make sure you have a carpet cleaning product under your sink or in your cleaning arsenal before an emergency arises. Pre-test any cleaner that you have on a hidden area of your carpet.
Follow the product’s directions carefully. Generally speaking, apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently. From the edges to the centre. Blot; don’t scrub. You may need to do this several times to remove the spot.
What if you don’t have a carpet cleaning product available?
Use plain water: Surprisingly, water often works better than some carpet cleaners.
Use a detergent solutions: Mix ¼ teaspoon of clear (non-bleach, non-lanolin) dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of warm water. Try this on spilled wine and smeared chocolate. Never use laundry detergent as it may contain bleach or simply be too harsh.
Use white vinegar: Mix 1 cup of white (not red wine or cider) vinegar with 1 cup of water. White vinegar (5%acetic acid) is sometimes effective on tanning (weak vegetable dyes found in tea & coffee), and it leaves no residue. However, be careful because acids can sometimes set other dye stains.
For really tough stains and spills, such as fingernail polish or candle wax then call a professional!
Don’t Over Clean!
Zealous people can get into trouble when trying to remove stains and spills from carpets. Remember to:
- Properly mix solutions so you don’t create too strong a concentration. In truth, more isn’t better.
- Use the right amount of water and don’t keep the carpet damp for long.
- Use the right solution on the stain or spill.
- Follow manufacturer’s directions. In particular, test the product on a hidden spot of carpet before applying it where all can see the results.
When you’ve finished removing the stain or spill
Once you have dealt with the stain or spill blot the area with a dry, white cloth by applying pressure to absorb the ‘dampness;’ from the carpet. Keep doing this until the towel stops absorbing moisture (you may need to use more than one towel) then get loads of plain kitchen towel and lay it on the top of the stain, make sure you cover all of the stain and that you have loads of layers, 6-8 layers, depending on how damp the carpet is.
Then get loads of heavy books or similar and lay them on top of the kitchen towel. This will absorb any remaining moisture and stain into the kitchen towel. Check after five minutes to see if the dampness has soaked through to the top of the kitchen towel, if it has then add more layers of kitchen towel so that you do not draw any dye from the book cover.
Check periodically and turn the layers every so often so that dry kitchen towel is in contact with the damp carpet. This could take a number of hours, depending on how wet the carpet is.
How Clean is Too Clean?
Did you know you could cause stains on your carpets by cleaning nearby items? Be wary of using anything wet on hard floors or furniture near carpets – especially harsh cleaning solutions and those with bleach. Also be careful of tile cleaners, mildew removers, and oven and drain cleaners. Strong chemicals can permanently discolour carpet pile.
Top Tip No. 1
Of course, the best way to deal with a spill or stain is to call a professional, like Bailey’s Floor Care! But I would say that wouldn’t I… Seriously, professional carpet cleaners have got the knowledge, understanding and products to tackle most stains. And believe it or not, stand a better chance of removing spots and spills than you do.
Top Tip No. 1
Yes, another No. 1 Top Tip – Call a professional… The internet is not a professional!!! Using YouTube or Facebook to find out how to remove stains from carpets is the quickest way to permanent stains – trust me, I’ve seen them all! A professional stands a better chance of completely removing the stain if you DON’T DO ANYTHING TO THE STAIN! Hopefully, you see how important this is.
Here at Bailey’s Floor Care, we provide professional carpet cleaning in Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and surrounding areas. If you need help then the fastest and smartest way to get us to the stain is to call on [acf field=”telephone_number”] and we’ll get you booked in.