Act Quickly! Most carpet available today has been treated with a stain-resist treatment, so many spills can be removed if immediate action is taken.The longer you wait, the higher the probability that a spill will become a permanent stain. No carpet is completely stainproof. So to knock out spots, give them a one-two punch. Spotting and pretreating allow you to use specialized chemicals to breakup problem soil before you begin the general cleaning. They are distinguished from general cleaning because the type of soil is different from the typical makeup of carpet soil. It differs in both kind and quantity. Spots are caused by some foreign substance being tracked or spilled on the carpet. |
The shape of the spot gives an indication of its source and cause. A spot that is round, square, or geometric in design would not have come from a spill, but rather may have been transferred by contact from an object such as a round mahogany chair leg. An irregular shaped spot may indicate a spill. Spots in a line indicate dripping from a moving object. The thickness or depth of the substance on the fiber will help to determine the composition, and the amount of time required for removal.
When cleaning stains and spills, don't become overzealous. Mix the cleaning solutions according to the directions. In truth, more is not better. Don't use too much water; try to keep the carpet as dry as possible. And always remember to pretest the product on an inconspicuous spot of carpet.Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to make certain the solution will not damage the fiber or the dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for 10 seconds. Examine the carpet and cloth for color transfer, color change, or damage to the carpet. If a change occurs, another cleaning solution should be selected.
After the spill has been completely removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and blot with a dry cloth until all of the solution has been removed. Some cleaning solutions will cause rapid soiling if the solution is not completely removed. Apply a one-half inch layer of white paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed.
How to Absorb the Spill
Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels (no prints or colors). Use of a printed or colored material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet. Start at the outside of the spot and continue toward the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Continue step one until the area is barely damp. Semisolids, like food spills, may need to be scooped up with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed up. Warning: do not scrub or use a brush. Scrubbing and brushes can damage the carpet. Fraying and texture change is the likely result.
Use plain water. Surprisingly, water often works better than untested carpet cleaners do. Use a detergent solution. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of a clear (nonbleach, nonlanolin) dishwashing liquid with one cup of warm water. Never use laundry detergent; it may contain bleach or simply be too harsh. Use a white vinegar solution. Mix one cup white (not red wine or cider) vinegar with 1 cup of water. White vinegar (5 percent acetic acid) is sometimes effective on tannins (weak vegetable dyes found in tea and coffee), and it leaves no residue. However, be careful because acids can set some other dye stains.
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