Posts Tagged: carpet cleaning

Tea Stains


Hot beverage spillages have the potential to permanently stain your valuable carpets. Tea has a natural pigment present in the form of tannin. Indeed, many crafts people will use tea as a natural and effective dye for their yarns and textiles.

It cannot be stressed too much how important “first aid” treatment is at the time of the spillage. See my blog entry below “Spillage First Aid”. Briefly, as much of the spillage is removed first before you try to treat the stain. This is done by absorbing the tea from the carpet by placing a folded cotton towel or cloth over the spillage and kneeding or dabbing to lift and absorb the liquid. NEVER rub or scrub. To finish off, or if only a small spillage, repeat the procedure with a few plain white paper kitchen towels folded into a pad. Repeat this procedure until the last paper towel you use remains dry. The more soil and spillage you remove in this way means you will have less soil to clean out later.

If the accident happens at a time when it would be inappropriate to treat the spillage, for example in the presence of visitors, merely placing a thick folded towel over the affected area and placing a weight of some description on top would be a second, but lesser option to the above.

For the cleaning action, mix some white distilled vinegar with cold water at between 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water, increasing the concentration to 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water for more severe staining. Test each and every batch of this solution on an out of sight area of the carpet to ensure that it does not cause any colour or texture damage.

Apply the vinegar solution using a small garden spray bottle with the nozzle set to a fine mist. Wear protective gloves. Starting at the outer perimeters, apply enough of the solution to the stain to wet out the pile of a small area, but not too much that it penetrates through to the carpet backing. Using a dry clean cotton terry towel or cloth, dab at the area to remove the applied liquid and you should see a reduction in the severity of the staining. NEVER rub or scrub. Repeat as required. Continue over the whole area until all of the stain has been treated. Finish off by absorbing any residual moisture with some folded white paper kitchen towels.

If necessary, you can speed dry the area afterwards by placing a fan to blow air over the treated carpet.

Any further treatment would require the use of a professional carpet cleaner who may be able to achieve better results.

Safe and happy cleaning 🙂

Ken Wainwright

Rock Salt Stains


During the winter months, it is not uncommon for rock salt to be carried on peoples’ shoes and into our homes and offices.

Rock salt will stain carpets in an unusual way. The colours may look as though they have been bleached rather than stained, especially the tips of the yarn which can look white in colour.

Rectification is usually possible, but it’s not a quick and easy fix.

DO NOT apply water to the carpet.

DO NOT apply detergent to the carpet.

A vital process with rock salt stains is to firstly remove as much of the dry soiling as possible. The more crystals of salt and grit removed, the lesser the problem. Start by vacuuming the carpet. Not once, nor twice, but over and over again. An upright type machine is preferable and you should move the machine quite slowly, backwards and forwards, over an area well beyond that of the visible staining.  See the KenDry Vacuuming Tips published earlier in this blog.

Once thorough vacuuming has been completed, you can then start to work on the actual stains.  For this you will need a small hand sprayer that can deliver a mist or spray of water rather than a water jet. Some warm water and white distilled vinegar. Mix the vinegar at about one part per ten parts water and fill the spray bottle. Wear rubber gloves. Test this solution on an out of sight piece of the carpet to ensure that there is no colour or texture damage. When you are satisfied that the product will not damage your carpet in any way, mist this solution onto the stained area of carpet.  You are looking to apply just enough to wet out the pile, but not the carpet backing. Leave to dwell for about 10 minutes.

You now need to remove the solution and contaminants. Using a clean towel or cloth, DAB the carpet to remove the moisture and lift off the salt residues. DO NOT rub or scrub.  At this stage, the staining may appear to be gone, but then return when completely dry. Just repeat the spraying, dwell and towelling process. You may wish to increase the distilled white vinegar concentration to 1 part to 5 parts water, but take care and pre-test again as above.

If you are unable to remove really stubborn rock salt stains, you may require the services of a professional carpet cleaner.

Safe and happy cleaning 🙂

Ken Wainwright

“As Seen On TV”

There has been a lot of “buzz” both from customers and within our industry following an item on BBC’s Watchdog in their Rogue Trader section.

The BBC featured a company called  Enterprise Cleaning Services UK Limited from Wimborne in Dorset. It would appear that this company would “bait” a customer with a very attractive and unbelievably low price of £8.99 to clean two rooms of carpet. Upon arrival, the technician would inform the customer that the £8.99 service was merely a “maintenance” clean and would be ineffective on their carpet. A thorough deep clean was then offered at vastly inflated prices, often running into several hundred pounds.

At Ken Wainwright Of Alvechurch, our business ethics do not allow for this type of practice. Our various  KenDry carpet and upholstery cleaning systems are completed in their entirety to the highest standard. We charge one price for each carpet, or suite/chair, and, if required, one price for the application of Stainguard/Enviroshield.  We do not compromise on standards and we don’t compromise on value.

To add insult to injury, the Rogue Trader featured didn’t even vacuum the carpet first!  This is an essential part of the cleaning process as any dry soil such as sand, grit, hair etc. in the carpet would be turned into wet mud as soon as water hit the carpet. Vacuuming with a good quality upright vacuum cleaner is an essential process in the cleaning of your valuable carpets. See my blog KenDry Vacuuming Tips.

Safe and happy cleaning.

Ken Wainwright

Red Wine Stain

Red wine stains are a common and troublesome stain for the householder. Fortunately, for the professional carpet cleaner they are usually quite easy to treat successfully.

Most successful treatments are dependent upon prompt and correct first-aid treatment. Use a folded cotton towel or cloth and absorb/blot the excess liquid. DO NOT RUB, BRUSH OR SCRUB. DO NOT ADD ANY WATER/LIQUID OR DETERGENT. Once this process has removed the bulk of the spilt liquid, take at least three sheets of plain white kitchen paper towel and fold into a pad. Continue to absorb the spillage, applying a little body weight to attract any deeper down liquid. Repeat as required.  The last paper towel you use must remain dry.

If your carpet or fabric has been treated with a good quality stain protector such as Enviroshield or Stainguard Professional, this may be all the treatment required.

For any remaining soil, treat the stain with a (preferably) Woolsafe Approved spot/stain remover or diluted carpet shampoo. Test the carpet/fabric in an out of sight area first to ensure that there will be no damage caused to the dyes or texture.

Working in small areas at a time, apply the minimum amount of product, place a clean cotton towel or cloth over the treated area and using the bowl of a teaspoon, make gentle circular motions over the treated area. This is all the agitation your carpet needs. The towel will absorb any released soil/spillage. Repeat as required, using only minimum amounts of  product at a time. Always start at the outer edges of a stain and work towards the centre.

When you are satisfied that there is no further soil removal, as observed on the absorbent towel, it is important to remove the shampoo residue, just as you would when washing your own hair with shampoo. Again working a small area at a time, apply a small amount of water to the treated area. Gently tap/massage with a finger to create a little foam then absorb with a clean towel as in the first aid treatment above. On most carpets, a teaspoon of water will treat an area approximately the size of a 50p coin.         

Many red wines have the characteristic of an indicator dye. A bit like the litmus paper we used to use at school to identify acids and alkali.  If your red wine stain should turn a dark blue/black colour, don’t panic. It can easily be corrected by a professional carpet cleaner using a mild reducing agent.  This is not the type of process I would recommend for the untrained householder. 

Ken Wainwright