Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Spots & Stains

August 24, 2011   ·   By   ·   No Comments   ·   Posted in Carpet Cleaning, News

The Drop Zone
Red wine. An ice cream sundae. A new puppy. Creamy salad dressing. A budding pen-and-ink artist. In most circumstances, each of these items is a source of pleasure. In a close encounter with your carpet, however, each one can spell disaster.

Knowing the correct cleaning agent to use for each spot will improve your chances of removing it. Conversely, spotting with the wrong cleaning agent can turn a spot or spill into a permanent stain. And some stains may be difficult to impossible to remove, requiring you to consult a carpet cleaning expert for options. The cleaning professionals at ServiceMaster Clean offer these time-proven techniques for removing spots.

Plan Ahead
It pays to keep a few common items on hand for cleaning carpet spots. These include:

  • A white cloth, for taking out stains
  • Carpet cleaners
  • A mild mineral spirit solution
  • Nonflammable dry cleaning solvent
  • Aerosol shaving cream, club soda, or carbonated water
  • Baking soda, cornstarch, cornmeal, or talcum powder
  • White vinegar

Speed Counts
Clean up a spill or spot immediately after it occurs. The faster you treat it, the better your chances of removing it. If it’s a liquid spill, blot quickly with a clean white cloth or towel. Press firmly all around the spill to absorb as much liquid as possible. Do not rub, as that will spread the soil.

If the spilled material or spot is dry, loosen any residue with the dull edge of a knife or a spatula. Scrape up or vacuum away as much residue as you can.

The Spotting Process
Using the proper cleaning agent, follow these steps:

  1. Dampen a clean white cloth with the proper cleaning agent for the specific type of stain.
  2. Blot the area gently, working from the outer edge to the center of the spot. Turn the cloth frequently so you always use a clean area.
  3. Repeat this process until the spot is removed or until it no longer transfers to your cloth. Be careful not to get the carpet excessively wet.
  4. Rinse the cleaned area thoroughly with water and blot any excess moisture. If not removed, residue from cleaning products may attract dirt.
  5. Protect the treated area from any traffic. Align the carpet pile so it dries straight. Dry the carpet by weighing down some absorbent tissue or dry cloth that will absorb the moisture. If you prefer, place a fan nearby to circulate air around the cleaned area.

Pick the Right Cleaning Agent
When using any cleaner, dilute it according to the directions. A mixture that is too potent can cause damage. Also, pre-test the surface to be cleaned. Apply cleaning solution to an inconspicuous area of the same material. After waiting five minutes, if the carpet’s color transfers to your cleaning cloth, you’ll need to try another product.

Use this guide to select the best cleaning agent for your particular type of spot:

Greasy Stains (oil, butter, salad dressing):
Use a nonflammable dry cleaning type solvent, following all product instructions and warnings.

Use a nonflammable dry cleaning type solvent, following all product instructions and warnings.

Light greasy stains:
Coat with aerosol shaving cream or carbonated water. Speed dry with a hair dryer and vacuum. You can also sprinkle the stain with baking soda, cornstarch, cornmeal or talcum powder. Leave on at least 6 hours, then vacuum.

Water-Soluble Stains (soft drinks, fruit juice, alcohol, candy, sugar and starch, mud):
Mix one teaspoon mild detergent and one teaspoon white vinegar with one quart water. Dab a clean cloth into solution and apply as needed. Place several layers of white tissues or paper towels over the spot and weigh down with books or pots and pans. Let stand about one hour. Replace with fresh tissues or towels and leave overnight. Then fluff up the carpet pile with your fingers.

Combination Stains (coffee with cream, gravy, lipstick, ice cream):
Use both the dry cleaning solvent and the wet cleaning agent to remove the stain.

Red Wine:
Use club soda to flush the wine from the carpet fibers.

Treat fresh spots with a paste of water and cornstarch, cornmeal, or talcum powder. Let dry and brush off. Cover fresh or dried stains with meat tenderizer and add cool water. Sponge off with cool water after 15-30 minutes. Avoid hot water, which will set the blood.

Pet Urine:
Dilute with cloth dampened with water. Then clean with an acid solution consisting of one teaspoon white vinegar mixed with one quart water. Or, apply a pet bacteria/enzyme digester according to the directions. Saturate the spot, cover with plastic, and allow to work as long as indicated.

For more assistance removing carpet stains, schedule carpet cleaning from the professionals at ServiceMaster Clean.  Just call us at (419) 861-9602!

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