The scenario is all too familiar. You’re sitting in the living room, entertaining friends, and someone has a spill on your carpet. You spring to the rescue to try to blot up the excess …but now what? Do you dab, blot, put vinegar on it, bleach it? The moments just after a spill and your actions could be what determines whether your carpet is left with a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors and no carpet is completely stain proof.
What you need to know:
What type of fiber is the carpet made from? Knowing the type of carpet fiber greatly helps you when selecting the type of spot and stain removing solutions you want to use. Most carpet (60%) sold in the USA is Nylon or Synthetic Fiber. This type of fiber is fairly stain resistant and many of the cleaning/spotting solutions sold through your local retail stores are made for these carpets. Wool/Natural fibers are more sensitive to stains and over the counter cleaning products. Yes, there are variations and brand names that will confuse this issues, but what you really care to know is if the carpet fiber is a synthetic (man-made fiber) or natural.
What was spilled?
Knowing what was spilled on the carpet will help you determine what approach and the types of spotting or stain removing solutions you might select to remove or reduce the likely hood of residual staining or permanent damage.
Spot Removal Steps:
Blot: Never scrub carpet fibers, as this can cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. If you have solid or semi-solids in, scrape/remove them up with a spatula or spoon. Blot up the liquid with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no print) paper towels. We suggest fold the cloth/ towel(s) to increase the absorbency. (Hint: Applying downward pressure to the cloth/towel will improve absorption. Step or the cloth/towel will help with downward pressure. Change to dry cloth/towel frequently).
Pretest any spot removal solution in an inconspicuous area to make certain it will not damage the dyes or carpet fibers. (Hint… Closet or hidden corner)
Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel, and work the solution in to the affected area….gently. Work from the edge of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. If the spill is large, work with a small portion of the stain and test the result. Let the spotting solution sit for about 10 minutes and blot-transfer the spill to a dry clean white cloth/towel. Be patient, as the removal or the spill may require repeating the same step several times.
Rinse: After the spill has been removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water and blot with a dry cloth/towel.
Spot/Stain Removal Guide: Go to www.carpet-rug.org. There is a published guide that can assist you in selecting the appropriate solution for removing various spots and stains.
Call a Professional Carpet Cleaner if you have any doubt or require professional assistance.
Spotting Solutions to have on hand: Make your own and save $$$$$$$$$$:
Detergent Solution: Mix ¼ teaspoon of clear Dawn liquid dish soap with 1 cup of warm water. Caution: Do not use dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, as these cleaning products are not made for carpets and will affect the color and dyes.
White Vinegar Solution: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar (NOT WINE) with 1 cup of water.
Although it’s easy to overreact when a spill occurs and run for the bottle of bleach, avoiding cleaning a stain yourself could be the best thing you do for your carpet. If your carpet is an investment you want to preserve and protect, call in the professional carpet cleaners to get the best stain removal results and to extend the life of your carpet