Spills and stains happen. But even more terrifying than the spill itself, is the way some people go about attempting to clean them. Below are the top 5 things to STOP doing while cleaning stains to avoid making them worse, or even ruining your carpet.
1. Don’t Rub!
This is probably the biggest mistake people make when cleaning a spot from their carpet and rugs. Rubbing the stain will risk it spreading and work it further into the carpet fibers. Instead, blot the stain, starting from the outside and working your way in. If blotting isn’t cutting it, then try laying a cloth down and putting a brick or heavy book on top. The pressure helps transfer the stain into the towel overtime. Do this as many times as necessary to pick up the stain and remove excess moisture.
2. Using the Wrong Soap
Not all stains respond to the same cleaning solution and not all detergents are safe to use on carpet or rugs. Cleaners that create a sudsy foam are near impossible to remove completely and can dry into your carpet, leaving a crunchy or stiff feel on your feet.
Also be aware of using multiple different soaps on a stain. They can have a bad reaction to each other and it makes it more difficult for a professional to clean the spot (if it comes to that) if multiple different cleaners have been used.
Look for cleaning solutions made specifically for this type of application for best results. Check out our Spot Cleaning Tips for different cleaning solutions and the stains that respond to them. You can also stop by our shop in San Antonio for a free sample of our carpet detail cleaner that is safe for use on most carpets and rugs.
3. Using Too Much Soap
Over saturating the stain with cleaner will not make it easier to remove. In fact, the more cleaner you use the harder it will be to ensure it is all removed. Cleaner that’s left behind in your carpet fibers will create a residue that attracts dirt and will only make the stain more visible.
4. Over Wetting the Area
It’s very easy to over wet your carpet while attempting to clean a stain. If you apply too much moisture to the area the carpet cannot completely dry and could lead to mildew problems. As a general rule of thumb – carpet should be dry within 24 hrs of cleaning at the most. (See tip 1 for blotting tips.)
5. Using Only One Towel
As you blot the stain, it will be transferred into the cloth you are using. The best way to ensure what was spilled is completely removed is to use multiple absorbent cloths. Use one cloth to apply the stain remover and another to dissolve the stain. Be sure to continuously turn the cloth to a clean spot to avoid working the soil back into your carpet.
Also, avoid using colored towels! When you use towels or rags with color themselves, you run the risk of the color bleeding onto your carpet or rug. Plain white cotton towels or white paper towels are best.
But don’t worry. A spill doesn’t have to mean the end of your carpet and rugs. By avoiding the common cleaning mistakes above, you can avoid stains and keep your flooring looking new and fresh.
Need help with a stubborn stain? Schedule an in-home service appointment and let our experts take over.