No matter what the staining substance is your final step is ALWAYS a light flush of the area and extraction with a shop vac or by blotting. Similarly you will ALWAYS finish up by draping a white cotton cloth over the spot with an appropriate weight of some sort on top.
The goal is to keep pressure on the spot and have the cloth soak up any substance which may rise to the surface during the drying process. And finally, ALWAYS first test whatever cleaning solution you apply to an inconspicuous area prior of the same carpet prior to application on the affected area.
Everyday House Hold Items Needed to Treat Spots and Spills
- Shop Wet-Dry Vac
- White paper towels or white cotton terry cloths
- Powdered laundry detergent (nothing with BLEACH)
- Spray bottle (used for applying your home made cleaning solution)
- Over the counter house hold ammonia, white vinegar, isopropyl rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide
- Tea spoon, dull knife or butter knife
- Heavy book or a light brick
The Carpet Cleaning Process
Process for greasy spots or unknown spots and spills...
1- Use a white cotton terry cloth or paper towel to absorb (via blotting) the substance which is on the surface of your carpet. You may also use a spoon or butter knife to gently remove the substance. Next you will apply isopropyl rubbing alcohol to a clean paper towel or terry cloth and gently wipe the surface (gentle blotting if spot is deep in the carpet fibre). However, because isopropyl is a solvent you MUST not allow it to reach the backing of the carpet. Carpet backing is latex and a solvent will degrade or even destroy the latex bond.
Process for spots with a water base...
2- Using paper towel or cotton terry cloth, or wet-dry vac if large quantities, you will blot up fresh spills. Conversely, if you were not able to treat the spill immediately and it has dried you will have to perform a light flush of the carpet tuffs with tap water. It is VERY important not to add to much water to the affected area. Blot dry then cover with a book or brick on top of a FRESH terry cloth or section of paper towel.
3- If step 2 does not work you will have use your own home made cleaning solution. Your solution will consist of 1/4 tea spoon of dry laundry detergent (without bleach) mixed with 1 litre of fresh tap water. You will then apply a minimal amount of cleaning solution to the affected area via blotting. If you see that the cleaning solution is working and the spot is being removed continue. Follow up with a light water rinse from a spray bottle and blot up with a clean paper towel or terry cloth (if available use a shop-vac) to soak/suck up remaining moisture.
If the spot remains after dry blotting then apply 3% hydrogen peroxide to the carpet tuffs and allow 1 hour for the peroxide to dwell. Rinsing peroxide out of the carpet is not needed since the peroxide will reduce to water once exposed to light. Once again you will want to remove all water by applying paper towel or terry cloth to the surface which you will cover with a heavy book or brick.
Treatment for different types of stains...
A) Nail Polish: remove most substance by spoon or butter knife. Using a non-oily nail polish remover, apply to white terry cloth and delicately rub affected area in one direction or blot as needed. Proceed to step 3 to complete treatment.
B) Mud: must be completely dry prior to removal. Once dry, use butter knife to shatter dried mud and vacuum up immediately after. Proceed to step 3 to complete treatment.
C) Chewing Gum: use an ice cube to freeze the gum and then shatter the gum. If this does not work you may use a citrus based cleaning product or freeze the gum with an over the counter freezing agent found at most hardware stores.
D) Candle wax or other types of wax: a brown plain paper bag with no lettering and an iron set on medium heat is all that is needed to remove wax from synthetic, but not Olefin, carpets. Wax from the carpet will be absorbed onto the brown paper bag once the iron is place on it. You will have to change the paper bag according to the amount of wax saturated per section of bag. Remove the left over wax with alcohol or a dry cleaning agent.
E) Cough Syrup, pop, mixed drinks, soy sauce, starch, toothpaste and blood and other food products: you will want to use a wet dry vac for large spills and the blotting methods for small spills. You will neutralize the spot with 1 tablespoon household ammonia (clear variety) and 1/2 cup of water once you have removed as much of the spot as possible via the blotting/ shop-vac procedure. Never saturate the carpet to the point that the backing gets wet. You will then revert to step 3 and use hydrogen peroxide to treat (misting) the affected area. It is very important, and for best results, that solutions used for cleaning blood is cooled. You will continue treatment of the affected area over the course of 2-4 days by gently applying a light mist of hydrogen peroxide.
F) Coffee, tea, beer, wine and perfume: you will use the same method as E) but will use 1/3 of a cup of vinegar to 2/3 cup of bottled water in lue of the ammonia mixture. This mixture will be applied with a spray bottle to the point of complete saturation. Once again you will revert to step 3 and use hydrogen peroxide to treat (misting). It is very important, and for best results, that solutions used for cleaning blood is cooled. You will continue treatment of the affected area over the course of 2-4 days by gently applying a light mist of hydrogen peroxide.
G) Urine, vomit, feces: follow F)
If you have any questions or concerns you can always post them on this blog and we will try to answer them to the best of our ability and in due time. You can also post pictures to the blog. However, you must send an email to info@pacificmist with your contact information prior submitting a question. This service is for locals only.
Factors which will affect your results are time and other cleaning products you may have put in your carpet. We strongly advise that you check the ingredients of the product prior to applying it to your carpet. Beware of wide ranging sweeping claims made by advertisers who sell products to the general public. They may do more damage to the carpets then the spill you intend to clean.
Some stains are permanent. For example, bleach hair dyes, acne medication and plant fertilizers are just a few types of stains that cause permanent damage because they change the carpets colour.