Eclectic Homes

Do Not Touch Another Stain Before You Read This

Put the OxiClean down and step away from your java spill. If you don’t want that carpet or sofa permanently stained, then there are a few things that you should understand about fabrics and how they react to different liquids.

“There are so many unique fabrics, so many unique alternatives and problems you can run into,” says Alec Houle, a carpet and upholstery cleaner in the Boston area who’s been eliminating stains for 50 years. “You will need a real strong background in chemistry to know it. If you don’t know it, you’re likely to get in hot water.”

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Speaking of which, hot water is something which you don’t wish to place on a spill. In fact, apart from club pop, Houle does not suggest putting anything on a spill. Sure, vinegar alternatives and other all-natural cleansers do the task for smaller spots on rental carpets and thrift shop finds you have been meaning to reupholster, but if you’re dealing with your preferred — and pricey — sofa or rug, you don’t wish to take any opportunities.

Most spills are acid established. Coffee, wine, tea, salsa, juice, even pet vomit are all acidic and also have the capacity to set the colour of the stain right into cotton, synthetic and other all-natural fibers. “Very few fibers are acid resistant, even with protective finishes like Scotchgard,” Houle says. “The protective finishes will merely permit the consumer a bit more time to react to a stain before it will become irreversible.”

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The worst carpet for acidic spills? Nylon, which is 60 to 70 percent of the carpets sold, says Houle. A chemical agent added to nylon carpets helps them get acid dyes. Without it, colors fade quickly. Great if you like bright colors; bad if you’ve got a tendency to knock over glasses of red wine. Should you spill something acidic onto a carpet that’s designed to accept acids, you have got a major problem on your hands and you will need to act quickly.

For an acid-based spill on carpet or upholstery, the optimal solution would be to instantly neutralize the spot with club soda. Then don’t do anything. From that point you’re best off calling at a pro to finish the job. Houle says once you place club pop onto the spill and allow it dry, it can sit there for months so long as the spot does not get resaturated. “Wetting it disturbs the pH and makes it consuming again. It attracts the stain back to life, so to speak.”

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A seasoned upholstery cleaner will consume around a hundred cleaning solutions to fight different stains on several different fabrics. But once you start ditching supermarket cleansers or home made remedies and blotting, wiping and drying, it reduces the professional’s probability of completely eliminating a spot.

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What to do with nonacidic spills: Nothing. Two common problems with non-acidic stains are ballpoint pens and nail polish. Houle says a carpet and upholstery cleaning professional has a 95 percent likelihood of eliminating an ink line on upholstery so long as nothing was done for it. “If you put anything on it just dab it, there’s only a 5% likelihood it can be eliminated,” he says.

For an whole inkblot, no such fate. It’s just too much ink. “It may be a 1/16 of an inch blot, and you would not believe how much ink that is,” he says. “When you try to clean it spreads and ends up being a 3-inch blue stain.”

The exact same pretty much goes for nail polish. “I can always get out nail polish on a carpet supplied people don’t touch,” Houle says. “I have eliminated an whole bottle of black nail polish from white carpet before.” If anything, blot the spill lightly with a dry tissue to consume as much of the heavy stuff as you can. But don’t rub it in. Then call an experienced carpet and upholstery cleaner, who will use a distinctive solution designed for paint, oil and dirt.

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How do you keep upholstered furniture clean along the way? Straightforward: Vacuum all cloths. Run the hand attachment of your vacuum over sofas, seats and decorative cushions at least one time every three months to eliminate dust mites and pollen. More if you have pets.

For leather furniture, first you will need to find out what type of leather you’ve got. There are generally three kinds: protected, aniline and nubuck. You can usually recognize protected leather because it’s a sheen. You can clean this lightly using a damp cloth of warm water every month or two. Aniline and nubuck should be cleaned only by a professional. A damp cloth can make colors bleed, rings appear and the fabric stiff.

If anything looks soiled or filthy — and can not be zipped off and tossed in the washing machine — it is probably time to call in a pro to clean it. Houle says on average it costs about $90 to clean a sofa. Carpets vary based on floor area and fabric.

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Eventually, that age-old question that has perturbed us all at one stage. Why do stains reappear on carpet after they’ve been cleaned? Oftentimes once you clean a carpet stain, you’re eliminating only the top stain from the fibers. When a liquid has penetrated the carpet backing, then a process called wicking happens, through which the stain rises through the fibers again. (Think of a kerosene lantern wick.) This can occur within days of cleaning, so it appears like the stain has simply reappeared. Sometimes up to three cleans are needed once a week to eliminate the whole stain.

Sugary spills sometimes hold hidden secrets, also. A spilled can of Sprite or ginger ale seems innocent and manageable. It’s relatively obvious, after all. But if it is not completely removed from the carpet backing, the sugars will wick into the surface fibers and also bring dirt over time. In two weeks or a month, then you might have a large, dark spot where you shattered this pop.

Inform us : Have you had much success removing stains from carpets or upholstery?

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