The key to successful spot removal is getting to it as quick as possible. Keep this page book marked, or make a copy of it so you will be able to refer to it when you need it. Be sure to let your friends and family know about this spotting guide so they will be able to use it as well.
YOUR BASIC SPOT REMOVAL KIT
Keep the following items on hand so you will be prepared to handle fresh spills on your carpet: Nutral dish detergent/ no dyes such as Ecover (dilute 20:1); white vinegar (dilute 1:1); hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) for slight bleaching; denatured; a good supply of white terry cloths; and a wide tooth come. If you have pets, stock a bacteria/enzyme digester such as Bac-Out and Natures Miracle. A wet/dry vac is great to have as well.
THE 6 STEPS TO REMOVING SPOTS
1. Catch it while it's fresh, when chances of removal are 75% better. Don't iron or hot-air dry until the stain is gone. Heat will set most stains.
2. First blot up all the liquid and scrape up all the solids you can. On a large liquid spill you can use a wet/dry vac. Be careful not to spread the stain.
3. Test any chemical you intend to use in a hidden area to make sure it won't discolor or damage the surface.
4. Apply spotter and work from the outside of the stain in, to avoid spreading. Blot, don't scrub; strike with the flat face of a spotting brush if needed to help break up the stain.
5. Rinse chemical spotters out with water, blot the area dry and feather the edges. Brush or fluff up pile or nap.
6. On carpet and upholstery, put a thick pad of toweling over the spot, weight it down with books, and leave it there overnight to "wick up" any remaining moisture.
No one likes it when there is a spill on the floor, but with the help of this information from Swept Away Carpet Cleaning, it can be cleaned before becoming a permanent part of the carpet. The information listed below will prepare you to properly deal with spills and keep your carpet clean for years to come. What you do initially can either help or render the spot a permanent stain. Even if what you do doesn't remove the spot 100%, stop and call me at 541-482-3660 to see if I can be of further assistance. Even if the spot doesn't come out all the way for you, doesn't mean it won't come out with my equipment.
If you keep going and start mixing all sorts of different cleaning agents into that spot, you may create a permanent stain! The different chemicals will react with one another and may render that spot a stain. Please refrain from doing this.
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 the delay, the higher the probability of a spill becoming a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors, and no carpet is completely stain proof. The longer a spot stays in your carpet, the better chance it has of becoming a permanent stain.
Blot up liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (non printed) paper towels. Terrycloth towels work best due to their absorbancy and you may want to keep some on hand just in case. If the liquid happens to be pet urine, see below.
Do not scrub the area! Scrubbing can cause pile distortion in the affected area. Continue to use a dry cloth or paper towels until the area is very dry. For semi-solids, gently scrape up with a rounded spoon. Solids should be vacuumed until nothing more can be removed.
(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.)
Flush the spot with water, as water is the universal solvent. It has a nuetral pH and will not damage your fibers. Be careful not to drench the spot with water, you do not want to wet the backing or the pad, you do not want to get the area 'squeeshy' wet. You want to rinse the fibers on top, the ones you can see. Now, repeat the drying method with the terrycloth towels, as already described, as that will remove any of the spill that is now suspended in the water. GREAT. Do this several times, until you are satisfied, and then dry quickly by placing a fan in front of the area, or by placing several absorbant towels over the area with a heavy weight such as a book. (Just make sure you have something like plastic to protect the book from getting damp.) This will help to pull the water out of the carpet, remember to replace the towels several times while the area is drying.
If the spot still remains after flushing with water and allowing to dry, please consider only a few products to use. (See cleaning solutions below.) One safe solution is my professional spotter fluid, the others are enzymes. The enzymes that I suggest are BacOut by BioKleen, found at the Ashland Community Food Store, or Natures Miracle, found at BiMart or the grange. Apply a small amount of the selected cleaning solution to a white cloth, and blot the carpet gently, then allow to sit for about 10 minutes and repeat, bloting gently. This should take the spill out the rest of the way.
Work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. Do not scrub! Blot, absorbing as much as possible, and repeat as many times as necessary. At the same time do not allow the carpet to become soggy. That is way too much solution. If at any time it gets too wet, take a dry towel and absorb the solution back out of carpet. Use as many towels as necessary.
Continue using the first cleaning solution as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. It is not necessary to use different cleaning solutions if the first solution removes the spill. Be patient! Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same step several times.
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. Don't forget to dry the area as described above.
Plain water- water is the universal solvent and has a nuetral pH. It won't hurt anything, chemically speaking. Be sure to use sparingly. Apply to towel first and then blot spot after all solids have been removed or liquids absorbed of the origional stain. You want to flush out any soil remains from the carpet. When finished, allow carpet to thoroughly dry before deciding if you need to take another step.
Water with a few drops of odorless, colorless dish washing liquid: One cup of water, 3-4 drops of dish washing liquid. The strongest concentration of this cleaning solution is listed below. Always start with the most mildest, and move to stronger solution if needed.
Solution of 50/50 water and distilled white vinegar: this is great for the last remnents of odor in your carpet. Nuetralizes it very quickly. Don't mix stronger than 50/50. Don't flush this out, it needs to work until it dries.
Solution of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water: this is great for a persistent discoloration from the spill. Use a lot of caution on wool or cotton carpets. Use sparingly, and let dry. This works best if placed in a spray bottle and lightly misted on damp carpets.
PET URINE: Pet urine is a difficult spot. Caution needs to be taken not to spread it. Most of the urine is below the surface of the carpet, unless you catch it right away. First, blot as much as possible. Than use towels with a weight on it, to continue pulling the urine from below the surface. When you are satisfied that you have removed as much fresh urine as possible, then flush with water, being very careful to not spread the urine below the carpet. Once you have removed as much urine as possible, use an enzyme. (See below.) I can get it out with my tools, and this is the best time to remove urine, when it is fresh. If allowed to dry in your carpet, it will take 30 days for you to smell an odor, and at that point you have the most difficult problem there is to correct. At that point you will need professional help. Call 541-482-3660 if you think you have left any urine in the carpet. Call while it is fresh and you will never have an odor problem!!
|Detergent Solution - Mix 2 drops of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid re-soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Choose a colorless, odorless dishwashing detergent, such as Ecover. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.|
|Warm Water - Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.|
|Natures Miracle or Bac-Out||This is an enzyme solution. This is great for pet stains and many food stains, after initial blotting and flushing out with water. Let dry and then add an enzyme to ensure no odor occurs. At the first hint of odor, do as you would do if fresh, flush with water, as many times as necessary and in between blot the excess water back out. Finish with letting it set up until almost dry and then applying Natures Miracle or Bac-Out. Check for odor when dry and repeat as many times as necessary. Never allow urine to dry in the carpet. It will become a big problem for everyone, but mostly you, because you will be living with an odor that you will stop smelling. You are living in your home and your body has one more pollutant to fight on a constant basis. The larger the pet, the more serious you have to be about this. A small pet can pee a quarter of a cup, while a large pet can pee half a gallon or more at a time. Also, if you have a large pet, you may want to do the initial steps and call me out to professionally extract what you can't.|
|Call a Professional - Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. Call Joanna at 541-482-3660. We are always happy to assist out clients!|
Many spot removal solutions leave residues in the carpet that may attract soil. Thoroughly rinse the area several times with lukewarm tap water. A mist type sprayer is recommended to prevent overwetting. Blot with paper towels and pat dry after each rinse. Several rinses are often necessary to thoroughly remove residues. Never use any of the solutions in concentrations stronger than those recommended.