Dealing With Spots And Stains

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In the realms of carpet cleaning the words spots, stains, and spills are often used interchangeably. Not surprisingly, this can cause confusion. Accordingly, for the purposes of this article we will define these terms as follows:


Spot – this term means a removable stain, that is a mark on carpeting which is capable of being removed, provided the appropriate removal methods and cleaning solutions are apllied.


Spill – this term is used to denote any wet material which is on the surface of the carpet yarn and which can be removed, againemploying the correct cleaning solutions and procedures.


Stain – for the purposes of this article a stain denotes any substance that has permanently damaged or changed the colour of the carpet fibre or yarn. A stain cannot therefore be removed, no matter which method of cleaning or stain removal is employed.


When a professional carpet cleaner is consultedby a customer to handle spots, spills or stains on his/her carpet it is crucialthat the cleaner and the customer fully appreciates the above terminology so as to take a realstic approach about the chances of successfully removing material from the carpet.


It is therefore worth considering some of the factors which may affect successful spot or spill removal – remember stains are permanent and cannot be removed.

For some expert input we spoke with Proclean Domestic Cleaning Glasgow who had the following things to say on the topic:

Age Of The Spot:  this is the main consideration, because spots oxidise – that is, they mix with oxygen in the air – which can alter its chemical makeup, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove. The best advice is to handle any spots, spills or stains as quickly as possible.


Temperature Of Material When Spilled – heat is used in the process of dying carpet fibres in the first place, so it it makes sense that substances which contain natural dyes, such as coffee and tea, can themselves dye carpet fibres, making removal impossible in some cases. For example hot coffee can often produce a permanent stain which cannot be removed, whereas cold coffee spots are often capable of being successfully treated.


Type Of Carpet Fibre – The type of material your carpet is made from can have an effect on if spots or other mnarks can be removed. For example wool carpets can be more prone to permanent staining than nylon or some other man-made fibres


Construction Of Carpet – It may seem obvious but it can sometimes be easier to treat spots successfully on a carpet with a lower pile. The reason is pretty straightforward – a higher pile carpet has more surface area which can be affected by the spot or spill, making it more difficult to attend to.


Previous Cleaning Attempts –  It may be human nature to try to handle spots or spills yourself when they occur but you should bear in mind that using the wrong materials or techniques in an effort to remove problem spots or spills can, in fact, make aggravate matters resulting in a permanent stain. If in doubt obtain the assistance of a professional carpet cleaning service as soon as you can.




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