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Tips for Stain Removal

Stain & Mildew RemovalUgly stains can completely ruin the look of your carpet. Many Southern California residents waste time and money on consumer-grade cleaning products. These “off the shelf” products may often not even work and can even make the problem worse.

Even though a lot of stains can be removed easily, many people simply are not aware of the proper steps for removing a stain. Southern California Carpet Cleaners firmly believe in educating our clients on the best ways to remove common spots and stains. We highly advise that you make yourself a stain kit, especially in the event you have children and pets.

Items Needed for Your Kit:

  • A mild dish soap, such as Joy or Dawn
  • Clear household ammonia
  • White vinegar
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Wet spotter
  • Dry spotter
  • Spotting brush
  • Paint thinner
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Bacteria/enzyme digester
  • White cloths
  • Wet/dry vacuum

Common Stains

The following is a list of some of the most common household spills, stains, and spots and some great ways to remove them.

TIP:  If you are unsure whether any chemical or mixture might harm your carpet or upholstery, first test on a hidden, low traffic area before attempting on the stain.

Alcohol/Wine – Immediately blot with soap and water. Follow up by then blotting with a mixture of water and vinegar. For colored stains, such as red wine, use hydrogen peroxide. These stains can at times be somewhat stubborn, so be prepared to repeat the process until the stain has lifted.

Candy – Parents will be only too familiar with finding candy stuck to carpets or upholstery. Scrape some of it up with a spotter brush or butter knife. Follow with a sponge in conjunction with mild soap and water. Ensure all the sugar is out of the carpet, as it can attract dirt and particles. Blot dry with a towel.

Chocolate – If it is in a solid, hard state, simply scrape it off. If the chocolate is in liquid form, blot it out. In the event that a stain has started to form, use a mild soap and hydrogen peroxide.

Coffee — Time is always of the essence when dealing with a potential coffee stain. Immediately blot with a mild soap and water. Clean up anything left over with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Crayon – As crayons are made of wax, always harden the spot with ice first before trying to remove it, otherwise the color can spread into a much larger stain. Once the crayon is hard, it should be very easy to remove with your hands. Use a dry cleaning solvent to remove any leftovers.

Grass – First attempt to blot out grass stains with a mild soap and water. Should this not work, try ammonia or vinegar.

LipstickTry to scrape off as much as you can without spreading it further. Apply ice to harden the stain if needed. Ammonia is an effective way to remove darker colors.

Mildew – Start with a dry brush.  Be prepared to spend a little time in order to remove all of it. Apply a disinfectant with a clean sponge, then follow up with some ammonia. Finally, use some hydrogen peroxide on the mildew area. Remember to keep checking back over the next few days to ensure the mildew has not returned.

Mud – It is imperative that you allow mud to dry before cleaning it up. Use a brush to crumble it in order for you to vacuum it up easily. In the event that a stain has in fact occurred, you can use either ammonia, or a dry cleaning solvent to remove it.

Mustard/Ketchup – Attempt to blot out as much as possible before using a mild soap and water. If a stain has occurred, apply a rust remover or hydrogen peroxide.  Always avoid ammonia for this type of stain.

Oil – Immediately apply a dry cleaning solvent to the area. Work from the outside of the stain inward to avoid leaving a ring. Follow up with a mild soap and water to ensure you’ve completely removed the stain.

Soda – It is very important to blot up any soda spills the moment they happen. Once you have blotted the area, use a mild soap and water. If a stain has occurred, allow to dry, then apply glycerin for half an hour, then rinse with warm water.

Contact your Southern California water damage cleaning experts for all your carpet and upholstery needs by calling 888-446-7146.

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