Posts Tagged: stain

Lily Pollen Stains

Lily pollen stains can be problematic if you do not know what to do. Incorrect processes can make the successful treatment of the stain more difficult or even impossible.

Lily pollen is a very oily and sticky substance which can easily be driven deeper into a textiles core or foundation.

NEVER rub, scrub or vacuum lily pollen.

NEVER apply water or detergent to lily pollen.

NEVER use a cloth or towel to absorb lily pollen, as you would with a liquid spillage.

For fresh accidents, try carefully and gently to lift the soil using sticky Selotape or similar. Keep using a clean area of tape for each “dab” and be careful not to redeposit lifted pollen elsewhere.

For more resistant deposits, a chemical approach will be necessary.

ALWAYS test every product you apply to a carpet or textile somewhere out of sight. Check for colour loss/change and texture damage.

Ventilate the room and keep all other persons away. Avoid naked flames. No smoking. Wear protective gloves and any other safety equipment as appropriate.  Apply a little surgical spirit to a clean towel or cloth and gently lift the pollen from the fabric or carpet with a gentle dabbing action. Many other solvents eg white spirit, will also perform well, but solvent residues may themselves create a greasy spot which itself may need to be cleaned.

If the above treatments are not successful, you may need to call a professional carpet cleaner for more advanced procedures to be carried out.

Safe and happy cleaning
Ken Wainwright

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 🙂