Posts Tagged: Spot

Spots And Stains

Many people will regard spots and stains as being one and the same. Here at Ken Wainwright’s of Alvechurch, we look at them as two very different problems.

These are typically spillages, some of which, over time, will attract soil to become a black or dark coloured spot. Simple spot removal techniques or even straight forward cleaning can successfully remove the spot. They will often contain sugar or grease/oil/fat which may or may not be colourless, but over time will attract soil. Spots can be small or large.

Stains are very different to spots but may contain some of the soil attracting contaminants of a spot. We describe a stain as being a source of soil or spillage that will actually change the appearance of the carpet or fabric by adding or removing colour. Classic examples are bleach, which will remove colour from many carpets and fabrics, or red wine which will add a red colour to the textile.

There are three primary colours which, when mixed together in certain quantities, will produce all other colours. Black and white are classified as being extremes of dark and light, so are often not strictly regarded as colours. But black can be made by mixing large equal amounts all three primary colours and can then be used for shading other colours.

Red is usually the easiest coloured stain to remove, followed by blue with yellow being the most difficult. It is, however, always a balancing act for the professional carpet cleaner to remove as much of the staining colour as possible, but without removing any of the carpets own colour.

Many carpets will be made with a polypropylene yarn. The manufacturers will advise that stains can be removed using household bleach. Beware, bleach is a dangerous product to work with. Never use it neat on any textile. Take appropriate personal Health and Safety precautions as advised by the manufacturer. Before starting work with a bleach, make sure you have the ability to safely rinse away any residues, and NEVER mix a bleach with any other chemicals.

Finally, when treating spots and stains on your own carpets and fabrics, always treat an inconspicuous area first and allow to dry. You are not only looking for colour/dye bleed, but texture change and other discolourations too.

Safe and happy spot cleaning
Ken Wainwright

Spillage First Aid

The successful removal of spills and spots is usually dependant upon the initial “First Aid Treatment”. Do the wrong thing and you could permanently damage your valuable carpets or upholstery.

Immediate attention to a spillage is essential. Even distilled water can damage some carpets and fabrics if not attended to.

For all but the smallest spillage, absorbing the liquid with a towel is essential. Fold the towel into a pad, place on the wet area, apply some pressure and allow the wicking action of the towel to absorb the spillage. Repeat this procedure until you have absorbed as much as you can.

The next stage, or the first stage for a small spillage, is to make a pad from some plain white paper kitchen towel, I use three sheets, and place the pad over the damp area and continue to absorb any residual liquid. With paper towels, you will be able to see if any further liquid is being removed. Repeat this process until the last pad you use remains dry.

If your carpet has been treated with a stain resist protector such as Enviroshield or Stainshield, this may be all you need to do to completely remove the spillage. Any residual staining will be less concentrated than otherwise would be the case, so the likelihood of complete stain removal is more likely.

You must never rub or scrub your carpets or fabrics. This will frequently lead to permanent damage.

Never treat a spot or stain without first carrying out the First Aid Treatment described above.

Don’t pour white wine on top of red in the hope that some miraculous chemical reaction will make the stain magically disappear.

If in doubt about what to do, contact a professional carpet cleaner FIRST. Afterwards may be too late.

Safe and happy cleaning 🙂