Stain Solving 101: Our essential guide to stain removal

Stain Solving 101: Our essential guide to stain removal


Posted 15th January

We've teamed up with the National Carpet Cleaners Association to bring you our ultimate stain-busting guide…

 

Red wine, coffee, sauce, ink… we've all had a heart-stopping carpet spillage. But when it comes to stain removing, there are A LOT of old wives tales out there. 

To help you conquer the carpet, we've teamed up with the National Carpet Cleaners Association (NCCA) and United Carpets and Beds to sort the fact from the fiction when it comes to unwanted carpet stains!

 

The basics…

- Know what material your carpet is made from before you try to remove stains from it. Bleach-based solutions are only suitable for polypropylene carpets and can permanently damage other materials.

- Make sure you remove cleaning detergent from the carpet completely, as the residue can leave a secondary stain.

- Before using any stain removing solution – whether bought over the counter or self-mixed – test a small amount on an inconspicuous area of carpet first.

- If the stain is dry, vacuum it thoroughly before doing anything to moisten it.

- Sometimes it can be advantageous to re-wet the carpet with cold water and remove more of the soiling, again before using a cleaning agent.

- If it’s a liquid spillage, absorbing it with kitchen towels or similar and blotting (never rubbing) as much as possible prior to using any cleaning agent is going to be the best action.  

 

The common mistakes…

- The most common mistake is assuming that all carpet fibres and constructions are the same. A remedial process for one type may not be the best for another.

- Never rub the carpet as this can damage the carpet fibres and make it worse.

- Don’t use a cleaning solution with a pH value of more than 10 (i.e. very alkaline).

- Be careful not to soak the carpet during cleaning. If it remains wet for longer than 24 hours, it’s at risk of growing mildew and bacteria.

 

How quickly should you treat a stain?

- Deal with wet spillages as quickly as possible by blotting them up and applying some pressure to assist the process. This will reduce the chance of the spillage leaving a permanent stain.

- If the soiling is dry, such as plasterboard dust, brick dust and so on, dry vacuuming is a must!

 

The Ultimate Guide:

 

Coffee and wine:

- Soak up as much liquid as possible with absorbent towels. Apply pressure and turn or replace the towels regularly. It sometimes helps to apply more water through a small plant sprayer and repeat the blotting process. Once you’ve done this, use a dilution of carpet shampoo and water through the hand sprayer and blot, repeat as required. Leave six to eight sheets of kitchen towel on top of the wet carpet and leave overnight to dry. Finally, remove the towels and vacuum the carpet.

 

Blood:

- For small amounts of blood, dab with cold water to remove as much as possible. Use cold water in a hand sprayer, apply to the blood and repeat the blotting process. At this point you can use a dilution of carpet shampoo and water and repeat the process. Removing blood is a complex process and very often needs a professional to make the area clean and safe.

 

Mud:

- Allow the mud to dry and then go over it with the vacuum cleaner. If there’s any residue left, use a dilution of carpet shampoo and water through the hand sprayer and blot and repeat as required. Leave six to eight sheets of kitchen towel on top of the wet carpet and leave overnight to dry. Finally, remove the towels and vacuum the carpet.

 

Food, sauces, chocolate etc:

- It’s possible that some of these stains can be a combination of both oil and water. Remove excess food first by using a blunt knife or spoon, then vacuum. Blot with white spirit to remove any oil-based stains then apply diluted carpet shampoo and blot out as much as you can. Repeat as required. Leave six to eight sheets of kitchen towel on top of the wet carpet and leave overnight to dry. Finally, remove the towels and vacuum the carpet.

 

Pet urine:

- Soak up as much liquid as possible with absorbent towels, apply pressure and turn or replace the towels regularly. Mix two parts white vinegar and two parts water in a hand sprayer, apply it to the carpet and repeat the blotting process. Once you’ve done this, use a dilution of carpet shampoo and water through the hand sprayer and blot, repeat as required. Leave six to eight sheets of kitchen towel on top of the wet carpet and leave overnight to dry. Finally, remove the towels and vacuum the carpet.

 

Make-up, nail varnish, fake tan:

- It’s difficult to know where to start with cosmetics as some are oily, some water-soluble and some a combination of both. Start with white spirit or surgical spirit and apply it to a clean white towel and blot. Remove as much of the stain as you can by turning or changing the towel. If the stain persists, proceed with a dilution of shampoo and water as above.

 

Oily stains:

- Treat with white spirit, apply to cloth, repeat as necessary. Over-applying solvents such as white spirit can wear away the backing of the carpet so be careful.

 

For more advice on stain removal, visit www.unitedcarpetsandbeds.com.






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