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Carpet and Upholstery Care Advice

Don’t Panic!

Accidents will happen and most can be resolved, however, sometimes not without the help of a professional, but the following advice should assist you in the first instance. If something gets spilled onto your carpet or upholstery prompt action is required to help prevent permanent staining.

Be Prepared

It is preferable to have the following items and solutions to hand for dealing with a variety of common accidents and spillages, bearing in mind it is important to deal with the spillage immediately:

  • Clean white absorbent cloth or towel
  • Dry cleaning solution – surgical spirit (usually available from chemists)
  • Detergent solution (one WITHOUT optical brighteners) – one teaspoonful of gentle detergent for washing woollens, to half a pint (0.3 litres) of warm water
  • White vinegar – add one teaspoonful of white (not malt) vinegar to the detergent solution
  • Ammonia solution – one teaspoonful of branded household ammonia (available from hardware stores) to one cup of warm water

General Tips

  • Do not over wet into backing materials
  • Always test any solution/detergent on an inconspicuous area prior to treating a stain
  • Use detergents/solutions using the recommended dilution ratios
  • Only use detergent WITHOUT optical brighteners
  • Scrape up or blot up any excess of spillage prior to treatment
  • Blot, never rub or scrub
  • Do not use inappropriate detergents on carpets or upholstery i.e. (washing up liquid, wash powders, household bleach, disinfectants etc.)
  • Always work from the outside of the stain inward to avoid spreading
  • Always apply the cleaning fluid to the absorbent spotting material (i.e. the cloth or the towel) not directly onto the carpet or fabric
  • Encourage quick drying (carefully use a hairdryer on mild heat to assist)
  • Deal with stains as quickly as possible for increased chances of success
  • Keep the fabric or carpet as dry as possible

Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Liquid Foods, Urine

  • Blot up surplus spillage
  • Use detergent vinegar solution, a little at a time
  • Work from the outer edge of the stain inwards
  • Frequently blot with dry cloths
  • Use final rinse procedure

Chocolate, Sweets, Blood, Glue, Egg, Ice Cream, Milk, Soft Drinks, Vomit:

  • Scrape up excess with a blunt knife
  • Use a detergent solution starting at the outer edge
  • Blot dry
  • Follow up with ammonia solution
  • Blot dry
  • Use final rinse procedure

Solids, Fats, Tar, Chewing Gum, Oil, Ointment, Shoe Polish:

  • Scrape up excess with a blunt knife
  • Use a dry cleaning solution followed by detergent vinegar solution
  • Blot dry
  • Use final rinse procedure

Unknown Stains

  • Scrape up or blot surplus spillage
  • Use a dry cleaning solution followed by clean “luke” warm water
  • Blot dry
  • If further treatment is needed, use either detergent or detergent vinegar solution
  • Blot dry
  • Use final rinse procedure

Final Rinse Procedure

  • Mix one-part white vinegar and four-parts water
  • Pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray over the stained area
  • Blot dampened area (do not rub) to remove excess moisture
  • Spread white kitchen towel (stacked 6-8 sheets deep) or absorbent cloth over the affected area and place a weight, such as a telephone directory, on top
  • Leave overnight and repeat if necessary

This stain removal guide is basic but it should help prevent some quite common and expensive DIY stain removal damage. Unfortunately, there can never be a guarantee of complete removal of a stain, but the correct routine will give RedKite Carpet and Upholstery cleaning, or another carpet and upholstery cleaning professional, the best possible chance of success.

REMEMBER: Act Quickly. Scrape up solids, blot up liquids. Take plenty of time, it is worth the effort. Mix the solution accurately and test it on an out of the way piece of carpet. Always work from the outer edge of the stain to the centre. Dab or blot rather than scrub or rub. And, most importantly, never over wet.

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