With prompt use of the correct procedures on fresh spillage or recent spots and stains, you can minimize or remove spills or spots from textile furnishings such as carpet, rugs or upholstery. The best time to remove any stain is as soon as it occurs. Once dried or aged, that same spot has migrated well inside the fiber or hardened so that removal is much more difficult. Here are a few tips on spot removal to help avoid a permanent stain. We can advise you on a treatment if needed.
1. Remove residue and blot. Blot up or remove as much of the fresh spillage or discoloration as possible. Keep blotting using absorbent or paper towels for 15 to 30 minutes or more, until no further residue can be removed. Weight down the absorbent toweling with a telephone book or any large book, and keep changing the towels to a fresh or unused area every 5 to10 minutes. Blot only—do not rub and do not press down heavily onto upholstery fabric as you may damage it. Be patient; continue the blotting until no further discoloration is seen.
2. Moisten lightly and blot again. If the stain is water based such as cola, fruit punch or juice, tea, coffee, latex type paint or animal/pet urine, you can moisten the absorbent towels with water and repeat the blotting process above to see if any more of the stain or residue is removed. An alternate method is to dissolve a few drops of a mild, colorless dish washing liquid in a cup of water, moisten the stain or towels and blot as above. Be certain to rinse with water any detergent or soap residues even after the spot is removed.
If the stain is oily or greasy such as butter, milk, crayon, shoe polish, tar or asphalt, motor oil or lipstick, use an evaporating type dry-cleaning solvent or cleaning fluid. Many Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration professional cleaners sell these products. Follow the product directions and safety warnings. Apply the spotting solution to your absorbent toweling rather than to the stain and again blot as in 1 above. Repeat as necessary.
3. Check with your fiber company, carpet mill or upholstery manufacturer. Most of the fiber companies and several carpet mills or upholstered furniture manufacturers have toll free numbers or consumer "hot lines." Contactthese manufacturers as soon as possible. Obtain their specific recommendations for stain removal procedures and confirm that the spot removal product is safe to use on their fiber, carpet or upholstery. If not, you may void the warranty as to stain resistance(where appropriate).
4. Avoid use of any harsh chemicals, strong cleaners or "home remedies." There is always some risk in spot removal of damaging the textile, irreversibly altering the stained color, or otherwise setting the stain. This is especially true if using strong chemicals, improper products or procedures. Avoid overuse or over-wetting the stain, as this may cause it to spread or be absorbed deeper into the carpet pile fibers or fabric. Harsh rubbing or use of cleaners with optical brighteners will result in variations in color, pile direction or “shading.” These changes may remain even after stain removal or following a thorough cleaning.
5. Multipurpose carpet or upholstery stain removers. There are spot and stain removal products specially formulated for consumer use. These can be effective on certain water- based and some oily or greasy stains. If you have used these successfully before and know how they work, you may try it on your current spillage. If in doubt about the product's safety or applicability, do not risk further damage. Follow the product directions and pretest all spot treatments in an inconspicuous area before using; otherwise, color damage may result. Avoid over usage of the product (less is often better than more). Rinse and blot any residual chemicals or spotting agent as the last step.
6. Some stains are tenacious or impossible to fully remove. Without prompt treatment using the right methods, a fresh spill or spot will dry into the fibers and be much harder or maybe impossible to remove. Prompt attention to spot and stain removal is really your best ally. Some spillage or stains, however, contain dyes, colorants, bleaches or strippers that can permanently discolor the fibers and no heroic treatments can remedy the discoloration.