Best Those Stubborn Stains

With day-to-day living, our carpets/rugs are bound to get stained from time-to-time. Here's some handy whatvacuum.com advice to help remove those dreaded stains.

Red, red wine

Red wine is one of the worst offenders. A glass of red wine spilt accidentally on your carpet can ruin the best of parties and spoil your living room. That red wine stain can be permanent. Getting rid of it can be very difficult, leaving you with a headache of a different kind! If spilt drink is allowed to soak into the fibres your carpet can be damaged. Carpet fibres become stained, right through to the back of the carpet. If left, the stain becomes almost impossible to clean and remove. Surface cleaning fluids and quick-fix spot and stain sprays won't always work effectively.

There are solutions - just follow these whatvacuum.com stain-busting tips:

Don't

  • Never pour salt on red wine. Liquid may be absorbed, but will permanently set tannin pigments (same for tea, coffee, cola).
  • Don't rub soap into red wine stain (or tea/coffee). It may set stains nb those with tannin pigments.
  • Do not over-wet with water/stain remover. Small, repeated applications work best.
  • Never use very hot water on fresh stain. It can permanently set it.
  • Never mix cleaning solutions on a particular stain. It could damage your carpet.

Do

Before treating any stain firstly:

  • With a spoon/spatula, gently scrape up semi-solids.
  • Do not use knife or other utensil with sharp edges as this could damage the carpet/upholstery.
  • Blot-up liquids with absorbent cloth/paper towels.
  • Use white materials. Certain dyes may 'bleed', worsen stain.
  • Remove remaining semi-solids/residue with carpet sweeper or vacuum cleaner.
  • Pre-test any spot removal solutions or chemicals on inconspicuous area of carpet. Cleaning solution could damage/discolour different dyes/materials.
  • If so, try a different solution or call cleaning specialist.
  • Brushing-up carpet pile helps carpet regain appearance as it dries out.

The Carpet Foundation recommends giving spills immediate attention. Longer red wine spillage is left, removal becomes more difficult. Frequent routine maintenance and regular cleaning of your carpet is a must, helping prolong carpet's life - and beauty.

Carpet first aid kit

Keep a small stain removal kit readily to hand for prompt use when required - white tissues, household towels, small brush, spoon, sponge, proprietary spot remover, carpet shampoo, cleaning formula etc.

Get deep down

Don't panic - whatvacuum.com knows there's a wide choice out there of effectively performing carpet washing appliances and efficient cleaning solutions to confidently take on the most stubborn red wine stain. If you haven't yet purchased a deep cleaning appliance, or if you've lent it to a relative or friend, that resistant red wine stain can be treated manually. Just follow the whatvacuum.com advice:

  • Use a pet stain/odour remover trigger spray type cleaning formula. Special enzymes break-down stain. Generously spray stained area with the cleaning formula.
  • With a cloth or towel, gently work the formula into stained area using light strokes, from the stain's edges towards its centre.
  • When your cloth reaches the stain's centre, lightly pinch the area in an upward motion.
  • You may repeat the process several times.
  • Do not rub the stain.
  • If the stain is really stubborn, cover the affected area with a clean, damp towel.
  • So the enzymes can work effectively let the stain stand for no less than 3-5 hours and up to 24-48 hours. Ensure the stained area remains moist.
  • Next, use a deep clean appliance to treat the stain (following instructions).
  • After treating the stained area, an electric fan will speed-up the drying process.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, certain really stubborn stains won't come out. Then you may need to contact a specialist carpet-cleaning firm (which will have appropriate tools to help remove difficult stains. They can repair damaged carpets too).

No stain is safe

Certain spot cleaners are ideal for busting those red wine stains. Some Oxi-type cleaning products clean dye and oil-based stains in one formulation. Choose a quality cleaning solution utilising the power of oxygen for dye-type stains and tough cleansing agents for greasy household stains. While great for removing red wine and most other kinds of stains, some spot cleaners are available in special pet formulations to combat those little mishaps pets make from time to time, efficiently removing tough pet stains and odours.

Blood - without sweat and tears

Blood on the carpet, is enough to, well, make your blood boil. Follow these whatvacuum.com steps to remove blood stains from carpets/rugs.

Deep cleaning method

Use pet stain/odour trigger spray type cleaning formula containing special enzymes, which will break down stain.

  • Generously spray the stained area with formula.
  • Using cloth/towel, gently work the formula into the area using light strokes from the stain edges to the centre.
  • Gently pinch it in an upward motion.
  • Make sure to frequently turn/change your cloth.
  • Do not rub the stain.
  • You may repeat this process several times.
  • If the stain is especially stubborn, cover the area with a clean, damp, towel. Let it stand for no less than 3-5 hours, but up to 24-48 hours so enzymes can do their work. Make sure the area remains moist.
  • Use a deep cleaning machine to treat the stain according to instructions and manufacturer's recommended cleansing formula.
  • After treating the area, an electric fan helps speed up the drying process.

Dishing the dirt - manual cleaning method

This whatvacuum.com advice will help you get to grips with busting those hard-to-remove stains.

  • Before using a cleaning formula, test for colour fastness on hidden area. If carpet colour is affected, do not use that product. On upholstery, look for manufacturer's cleanability code tag.
  • Remove loose dirt, blot wet stains with a clean, absorbent cloth.
  • Begin by treating the stain with a fast-acting stain remover. An oxygen-active system will attack colour 'bodies', which stain fibres and penetrate deep below carpet fibres, even removing old stains.
  • If the blood stain remains, use a stain/odour removing trigger spray formula, which contains special enzymes breaking down the stain. Generously spray the area with formula.
  • Using a cloth/towel, gently work formula into the stained area using light strokes from the stain edges to its centre. When your cloth reaches the stain's centre, lightly pinch the area in an upward motion. Do not rub the stain.
  • Remove excess solution with a dry cloth.
  • Cover the area with damp towel.
  • Let it stand for 3-5 hours so enzymes can do their work.
  • If stain is especially stubborn, leave a damp towel on it for 24-48 hours. Uncover the area and allow to dry. An electric fan speeds up the drying process.

Food stains for thought

Deep cleaning method

Certain foodstuffs can create stains, which are difficult to remove from carpets/rugs. Try these whatvacuum.com methods.

  • Begin with pet stain/odour remover trigger spray formula containing special enzymes, which break down the stain.
  • Generously spray the area with formula.
  • Using a cloth/towel, gently work formula into area using light strokes from the stain's edges to its centre. When your cloth reaches the stain's centre, lightly pinch the area in an upward motion. Do not rub the stain. You may repeat this process several times.
  • For stubborn/large stains, evenly squirt an oxygen type cleaning formula over the stained area. Do not overwet. Wait 5-10 minutes. Use a deep cleaning machine to treat the stain according to manufacturer's instructions. After treating the area, an electric fan will speed up the drying process.

High traffic areas

Manual cleaning method

Some carpeted areas in the home are used more than others - hallways, stairs, living room etc. These 'high traffic' areas need even more attention when cleaning floor surfaces. Follow these whatvacuum.com tips.

  • Before cleaning, test a cleaning formula for colour fastness on a hidden area. If carpet colour is affected do not use this product. On upholstery, look for manufacturer's cleanability code tag.
  • Remove loose dirt, blot wet stains with a clean, absorbent cloth.
  • Begin by treating stain with a fast-acting stain remover. An oxygen-active system will attack colour 'bodies', which stain and penetrate deep below carpet fibres, even removing old stains.
  • If the stain remains, use a pet stain/odour remover trigger spray type formula containing special enzymes, which break down the stain. Generously spray the area with formula.
  • Using a cloth/towel, gently work formula into the area using light strokes from stain edges to its centre. When your cloth reaches the stain's centre, lightly pinch the area in an upward motion. Do not rub the stain.
  • Remove any excess solution with a dry cloth.
  • Cover the area with damp towel.
  • Let it stand for 3-5 hours so enzymes can do their work.
  • If the stain is especially stubborn, leave damp towel on it for 24-48 hours. Uncover the area and allow to dry. An electric fan will speed up the drying process.