How to clean stains on carpet, sofa or rugs?
I would like to introduce myself; I am a hard working professional and I started working in the carpet cleaning business as a helper and now I own my company for more then 8 years. During the years, I got certified in carpet cleaning and in water damage restoration. I always search to improve my knowledge and experience in my field by doing research and trying new products and cleaning techniques. I am looking all the time to get the best results in restoring the carpets, sofas, rugs and everything that I have to clean. There are constantly new cleaning methods coming into the market, some good while others bad. I do not make any compromises when I buy detergent as I want to have the best results so I always buy the best I can find on the market.
The following statements are generated from over 13 years of experience working in carpet and sofa cleaning industry.
For some stains, I am still expecting a miracle detergent which is not yet available. As an example, cool aid, or any juice with red dye inside, is the hardest to remove. I have had some success in removing it most of the time when the costumer did not apply any cleaning solution to it. There are products available for red dye removal but most of the time they don't work. I can now remove urine spots from synthetic carpets because of the new encapsulation method available these days and its odor 90% off the time. With gum tar paint (or any gummy stains oil stains and black stains) I have a 98% removal rate. Amid everyday liquids like coffee, tea and cola stains I have the same very high percentage of success. If you have coffee stains you always have to let the technician know in advance because if the coffee stain is not treated correctly it will resurface the following day. So, if the technicians know exactly the type of stain, they have a better chance of removing it.
Many of the household cleaning products one can find in stores today are giving me a lot of trouble when cleaning rugs, carpets and sofas. I know when an accident happens in your house you get scared and start using all kinds of fabric and cleaners to take out the stain. I tend to do the same and then I stop myself because I know it is better to be done right.
How to clean a stain.
First and foremost never use any towel or paper towel or any fabric with dyes: just white fabrics.
Secondly, the cleaner you are about to use on the stains has to be white, free of bleach or any chlorine inside; the best is something neutral like hand soap. Dish washer and laundry detergent are no good because sometimes they discolor or leave permanent stains on the carpet. Try not to use Resolve on natural fiber as it will forever damage the fabric. The same goes for Oxiclean, especially if used on wool carpets, as it will bleach or yellow the carpet and the stain will reappear.
Thirdly, try to know more about the stain.
A true "all in one" stain remover does not exist.
A particular spot remover may completely remove one type of stain but not budge another kind of stain. That same spotting agent may safely remove a stain on one type of fiber but cause damage to another fiber type. Knowing the behavior or characteristics of cleaning products formulated for removing stains will:
· help to ensure greater stain removal success
· reduce the risk of damage to the carpet
· eliminate wasted time experimenting with different cleaning products
Do some research to see what the pH of the stain is, acid or alkaline. If you use the wrong stain remover, it might never come out.
· Acid spotter (pH 2-3): this solution is on the acid side of the pH scale and is useful for removing coffee and tea stains, browning water stains and urine or feces stains. This will also help to neutralize alkaline based cleaners and stabilize fugitive dyes.
· Neutral cleaning solution (pH 7): Since this spotter is neither acidic nor alkaline it should be the first solution utilized on water soluble stains.
· Alkaline solutions (pH 9-10): This stain remover is for neutralizing acidic based stains. Examples include many food stains, vomit and blood.
Some higher pH (over 10) alkaline spotters are effective in removing dye or pigment stains, however, dye loss or color bleeding may occur. Always pre-test in an inconspicuous area for colorfastness.
Fourthly, never rub hard on the carpet, rugs or sofas!!! Why? Because rubbing hard produces heat and you are settling the stain. It is very hard to remove it after. Instead, you can gently move side to side (what to move side to side?) and always try to remove the extra liquid by pulling it out don't push it in. (e.g. use a towel and press on the stain to absorb the liquid as much as possible).
Try to not over wet because you can leave water marks (yellow rings) on carpets made of cotton and those are hard to remove.
If the carpet or sofa hasn't been professional cleaned in a while, it always will leave another stain when you try to remove a stain. This is the reason I do not do spot cleaning unless the carpet was been professionally cleaned in the past 6 months.
I recommend cleaning the carpets once a year or use your own best judgment.