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Don't Fret Food Stains This Holiday Season - Tips For Surviving The Holidays

Posted on November 24, 2010 at 4:15 PM

With all the guests coming in and out of our homes this holiday season we're bound to see some spills and stains at some point. If someone happens to accidentally spill their plate of food all over your freshly cleaned carpets, before going into complete panic, take a deep breath and use these following tips. Act Quickly! Delaying may cause the spill to become a permanent stain. Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or white paper towels. Gently scrape up semi-solids with a rounded spoon. Break up solids and vacuum.

Pretest any spot removal solution (for color transfer to the cloth or damage to the carpet) in an inconspicuous area. If a change occurs, select another solution.

Apply a small amount of the solution to a white cloth, and work in gently - do not rub -- working from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent spreading. Allow to remain on the spill a few minutes. Be patient. Blot.

Continue to use the first agent as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. Be patient. Complete removal may require repeating the same step several times. Or, you may need to move to the next solution.

When the spill is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry cloth until all moisture is removed.

A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to minimize drying time.

Detergent Solution - Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Vinegar Solution - Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.

Warm Water - Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Spot Removal Kit - Available from most carpet retail stores. Follow directions closely! Some spot removal kits contain: (A) a detergent solution and (B) a stain-resist solution. Use of the (B) solution prior to the complete removal of the spill may cause a permanent stain. Other spot removal kits may contain a dry extraction cleaning compound that can be used effectively for most common household stains.

Ammonia Solution - Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Call a Professional - Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question.

Many spot removal solutions leave residues in the carpet that may attract soil. Thoroughly rinse the area several times with lukewarm tap water. A mist type sprayer is recommended to prevent overwetting. Blot with paper towels and pat dry after each rinse. Several rinses are often necessary to thoroughly remove residues. Never use any of the solutions in concentrations stronger than those recommended.

Tips and Directions from The Carpet and Rug Institute

Follow these tips and Enjoy your holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: Carpet Cleaning Tips, Carpet Cleaning Portland Oregon, Clackamas Carpet Cleaning