- What to do in the event of a spillage.
- Quick Recap!
- Cleaning and Stain removal guide.
- Stain removal chart
A little common sense has to come into play here when a liquid spillage occurs it should first be blotted up immediately ( never rub ) using a clean absorbent cloth. White only kitchen towel, White tea towels or Terry towelling nappy type cloths are ideal for this purpose. (something that colour is not going to come out of and add to the problems! )
After blotting up as much of the liquid as is possible, using these dry cloths try rinsing the remaining part of the spillage off the pile using cold or tepid water initially. A trigger spray applicator bottle is ideal for this purpose. The action should be to spray water from close to the pile followed by blotting to both dilute and then absorb the liquid from the carpet pile surface. ( Tip – Always work from the outside of the spillage towards the centre to avoid spreading it but take care not to over wet the area. ) This method works well for most spillages that contain very little strong colourant. If it is obvious that the spillage has not been removed, then carpet cleaning shampoos can be used by applying and then rinsing off using the same blotting technique. If the stain is stubborn then extend the time after applying the shampoo before rinsing off to allow the chemicals in the shampoo to loosen the spilled materials off the fibre.
Because polypropylene fibres do not absorb liquids the spillage can only dry onto the surface of the fibre. The trick is to remove it fully before it dries onto the fibre surface where it then becomes more difficult to remove and you may have to then resort to bleaching it off.
If the stain appears to have been fully removed during normal cleaning then place a dry white absorbent cloth ( terry towelling) over the still damp area and a sheet of plastic on top of this ( carrier bag or cling film should do to stop the book getting damp ) on top of the plastic place a telephone directory or flat object with a similar weight to press the absorbent cloth onto the pile to absorb any materials not rinsed out. You cannot always see traces of the spillage so it is better to assume it has not been fully removed.
Because polypropylene fibres do not absorb moisture water can enter the backing during the spillage and cleaning processes. It is this liquid that wicks back to the surface during the action of drying. Any materials not removed in cleaning are deposited onto the tips of the tufts as a stain when the liquid evaporates and it is carried to the surface. The use of an absorbent cloth will reduce this possibility and pull the un-removed part of the spillage into the cloth thus helping prevent a stain from forming on the surface. Leave the cloth under light pressure overnight or until the carpet feels dry. Check after a few hours and if necessary replace the cloth with another dry one. Do not use too heavy a weight otherwise a pressure mark can form on the pile surface and do not walk on this area until it is dry.
More solid spillages should be carefully scraped up using a plastic spatula or large spoon in the direction of the pile so it presses the pile down making removal of the solids easier. After as much of the solids have been removed as is possible by this method rinse off the remainder and clean as described above.
If a stain forms on your carpet containing a colourant then a solution of bleach can be used to remove the colour of the stain off the fibre surface without damaging your carpet. If the stain is slight or light in colour try a 20% solution of bleach and water. Spray this solution onto the affected area so that it is moistened and then leave to dry. If no improvement has been made after 4 hours use a solution of 50% bleach to 50% water and spray onto the affected area covering it with a clear plastic sheet for 2 hours to 4 hours allowing time for the bleach to react with the spilled materials. Rinse with water and cover with the absorbent cloth technique once removed.
Other more complex spillages can be tackled on a DIY basis but serious consideration at this stage should be given to call in a professional carpet cleaner ( Not Uncle Fred who know a man who bought a machine last week but a qualified professional - after all you would not let your best friend cut your hair you would go to a qualified hairdresser.)
If you are determined to tackle more complex stains or spillages yourself then exercise care. Only attempt a very small 10p size area initially. Remember if you cannot remove it off a small area you cannot remove it off a larger area! If you have an unused offcut create the same spillage or stain on that and practise on this first before attempting to do it on your carpet. When you are confident you can remove the stain proceed taking the same level of care and caution. The stain removal chart gives an indication of the chemicals to use and the procedure for most stains.
- Don’t rub - blot with absorbent white cloth initially.
- Rinse with cold water using a spray applicator bottle and the combination of a spray & blot technique will remove most spillages – but don’t over wet it blot well.
- Use warm carpet shampoos if water does not rinse off the spillage allowing time for them to work before rinsing off.
- Place a weighted absorbent cloth over the damp patch when you have cleaned the area to pull any materials out of the carpet that were not fully removed during cleaning to help prevent a stain occurring on the surface. Leave overnight or when dry remove.
- If a stain containing colourant does occur that cannot be removed with shampoo try bleaching it off with 50% bleach 50% water solution.
- Still a stain present then call in the professional or consult the stain removal chart.
- If the professional fails then contact us. www.StainClearCarpets.co.uk but have copies of your professional cleaning history invoices if over 2 years old and stain removal invoices for this claim ready.
Our recommendations for how to keep your carpet looking good for longer.
Vacuum your carpet frequently from new.
If the carpet is heavily used every day then it is better vacuumed every day. However for most people vacuuming 3-4 times a week is sufficient. If the carpet has a cut pile then an upright vacuum cleaner is better suited to remove soiling and keeping the pile aligned. The appearance is better maintained if the carpet is vacuumed leaving the pile in the same direction as it was manufactured. Don’t forget to vacuum the stairs frequently using the correct attachments for the upright or cylinder vacuum following a direction down the stairs to maintain the pile direction. We find that loop pile carpets are better maintained with a suction type (cylinder) vacuum cleaner. It is kinder to the pile surface when new and reduces the possibility of damage to the loop pile surface such as fuzzing and snagging the loops.
Keep it looking Good:
It is during the first few days to two months of normal domestic use when the traffic the carpet is subjected to affects how the pile will settle out in usage. It is key to keeping the carpet looking good that you vacuum (if possible) every day during this initial period leaving the pile direction aligned the same as it arrived. Modern carpets have a more upright tuft direction which allows it to change direction more easily. The vacuum is the only tool you have to try and maintain this pile direction with because everything else in normal usage try’s to change this direction. The carpet will wear just as well if you fail to keep the pile aligned but for most people it just looks better with the pile all aligned the same way!
The most affected areas:
Soiling deposits tend to build up at the points where you enter the rooms, at the points where you are seated and on stairs nosings. Concentrating more on these areas during regular vacuuming will help keep the appearance for longer and also if these areas soil noticeably in between periodic cleaning, spot cleaning or wiping with a damp cloth should help improve the appearance. Most soiling enters the carpet from the kitchen area or any other smooth floor area such as wood or tiled rooms. Effectively the carpet acts as a mat and wipes onto the carpet by direct contact with footwear as well as carrying charged particle soiling from around and under the foot which is more difficult to remove. Soiling coming in from outside is best removed by wiping footwear well or removing outdoor shoes at the door. It is easier to keep soiling out than to remove it once it is in the carpet.
When to have it professionally cleaned:
If the carpet is never used soiling is present in the atmosphere which settles onto the pile and this will still affect the carpet which is why periodic cleaning remains necessary no matter what the levels of usage are. Soiling from kitchen areas is generally more sticky and since polypropylene fibres are oliophilic ( hold onto oil based soiling ) they require specialist chemicals and knowledge that a true professional carpet cleaner will use to remove that type of soiling and to help keep the carpet in pristine condition. We require the carpet to be cleaned a minimum of once every 2 years and on some light shades it will require cleaning more frequently. Stain resistance does not stop a carpet becoming soiled but it does make it much easier to remove soiling and staining compared to if it was not a stain resistant fibre.
|Method 1||Allow to dry if not dry and then vacuum off.|
|Method 2||Spray lukewarm water onto the pile surface from around 5 cm ( 2”) distance to the pile surface using a spray bottle and blot using absorbent white cloth Repeat process as necessary.|
|Method 3||Use a branded carpet shampoo and apply by spraying onto the pile surface. Allow a couple of minutes for the chemicals to loosen the soiling and then rinse off using method 2. This often works better when warm not hot.|
|Method 4||Dry cleaning solvent ( available from chemists ) Apply a small amount to a white cloth and dab onto the pile surface taking care not to wet the backing. Blot immediately with a dry white cloth and repeat process where necessary.|
|Method 5||Turpentine ) Apply a small amount to a white cloth and dab onto the pile surface taking care not to wet the backing. Blot immediately with a dry white cloth and repeat process where necessary.|
|Method 6||Acetone ( None Oily Type Nail polish Remover ) Apply a small amount to a white cloth and dab onto the pile surface taking care not to wet the backing. Blot immediately with a dry white cloth and repeat process where necessary.|
|Method 7||Sodium Hypochlorite ( domestic bleach ) Mix with water in a 50% bleach 50% water solution and apply using a spray bottle to moisten the pile surface.|
|Asphal||4||Jam / marmalade / preserves||2|
|Blood||7||Lard||3 + 4|
|Butter||3 + 1||Lemonade||2|
|Chalk||1 + 2||Mud||1 (+3+2)|
|Chewing Gum||4||Paint ( oil based )||5|
|Chocolate||2||Paint ( water based )||3 + 2|
|Coffee||2||Peanut Butter||3 + 4|
|Cooking Oil||3 + 4||Rust||3|
|Cough Syrup||2||Salad Dressing||3|
|Egg||2||Shoe Polish||3 + 5|
|Excrement||2 + 7||Soya Sauce||3|
|Fruit Juice||2||Sugar or sticky sweets||3 + 2|
|Furniture Polish||6 + 3||Tea||2|
|Soil||1 + 2||Tomato Juice||2|
|Glue ( white copydex type )||2||Toothpaste||2|
|Glue ( Other liquid types )||4||Typewriter Ribbon||4|
|Grease||4||Urine||2 + 7|
|Ink||3 + 4|
3 indicates the shampoo should be warm ( not hot ) stand in a bowl of warm water to warm it if already mixed in a spray bottle.
Always follow the instructions for use on the labels of household chemicals.
Concentrated spillages of peroxide and nitric acid may cause long term damage to the fibre and if dyes are spilled or migrate onto the fibres we recommend consulting a professional carpet cleaner.