Spot and stain removal
Your basic spot and stain removal kit
Keep the following items on hand so you will be prepared to handle fresh spills on your carpet:
- neutral dish detergent (dilute 20:1)
- clear household ammonia
- white vinegar (dilute 1:1)
- wet spotter such as Master Stain Remover®
- dry spotter such as Dissolve®
- paint thinner
- hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) for bleaching
- denatured or isopropyl alcohol
- a good supply of white terry cloths
- a spotting brush
- if you have pets, stock a bacteria/enzyme digester such as Liquid Alive®
- a wet/dry vac is great to have as well.
The eight steps to spot and stain removal
Catch it while it’s fresh, when chances of spot and stain removal are 75% better. Don’t iron or hot-air dry until the stain is gone. Heat will set most stains.
- Use a spoon or dull knife to remove solid materials.
- Blot up liquids with a clean, white, dry towel. Never rub, scrub or brush the carpet as this can cause excessive wear and permanently damage carpet fibres.
- Work from the outside to the centre with large spills.
- Apply all cleaning agents to a white towel, never directly to the carpet, as this can damage the backing.
- Use the steps and solutions in the cleaning code in the order given until you no longer see improvement, then proceed to the next step if the spot remains.
- Always use white distilled vinegar as the last step before rinsing if you have used ammonia during the process, even if the spot is already gone. Vinegar (low pH) neutralizes ammonia (high pH) and is a safe product to leave behind. It is not necessary to neutralise vinegar.
- Rinse the last cleaning solution you’ve used by spraying with clear water and blotting the area with a clean, dry, white towel. You may use a wet/dry vacuum to extract excess moisture, prior to using a towel, if you have one but this is not necessary.
- Once you have removed all of the visible stain, place a clean, white, dry towel over the area and then place a heavy, colourfast object such as a plastic waste basket with a weight inside on the towel. Leave overnight. Continue this procedure by replacing the wet towels with dry ones until the area is nearly dry. Remove the weight and towel, then gently brush the carpet fibres with your hand to lift the tufts. Allow the area to dry completely before walking on it.