Stains and soiling are often thought of to be one in the same, but in reality, they are completely different. If you read through any carpet manufacturers’ warranty information guide, you find that they are classed differently and carry different lengths of warranty.
So what is the difference? Here, is a brief overview of the causes and ways to remove some of the most common stains and soiling.
A stain is supplely a spot that has discoloured the carpet. They can occur when a substance comes in contact with the carpet and embeds its self into the carpet fibre. For example, spilling a drink onto the carpet may leave behind a stain. A carpet stain happens when a substance soaks its way into the empty dye sites in the fibre of the carpet.
Empty dye sites are spots in the fibre that were not coloured when the carpet was dyed post-production in the manufacturing process. [The fibre is first produced then dyed the desired colour]. Solution-dyed fibres have the colour dyed into the fibre before the fibre is produced when the fibre is still in a liquid form. In this process, the colouring goes all the way through the fibre and leaves no empty dye sites in the fibre that a stain can absorb its self into.
The quickest way of preventing a stain is to get to it as quickly as possible. Remove as much of the substance as quickly as you can by blotting it up using a white towel or paper towel and warm soapy water. It is important to blot and not rub a stain as you may make the stain worse by rubbing the substance further into the fibre.
A simple home stain remover that you can make using products you may have in your house are as follows,
White towel or paper towels
Half cup of warm water
Steps in removing stains
Firstly, remove any solid material from the stain, then blot the stain using the towels. Blot as much of the stain as you can by pressing down onto the stain with the towel, letting the stain absorb into the towel. Repeat this until no more of the stain transfers onto the towel.
Then rinse the stain using warm water. Try not to over saturate the area with water as this releases some of the spills from the fibre. Again absorb as much of the water onto paper towels as you can until no more water transfers.
This may be all you need to do to remove the stain but if the stain persists try the following steps:
- Mix one cup of warm water with 2-3 drops of dishwashing liquid. Do not add more than this amount of liquid as a sticky residue could be left behind. Be sure you use a clear dishwashing liquid as a colour added one could potentially stain the carpet.
- Then dip the towel into the solution and gently blot the stain working from the outside to the middle. This helps the stain from spreading. Do not rub the stain as it may damage the fibre or embed the stain further into the carpet. When you have finished blotting up, as much of the stain as you can, use a dry towel to remove the cleaning solution from the carpet.
- Next rinse the area again with warm water to remove the soapy residue. Then blot with a towel until the carpet is as dry as you can get it. You could place a fan near the area to help dry the carpet totally.
A soiling spot may look like a stain but is not necessarily the result of a spill. Usually, it is caused by a sticky or oily residue left on the carpet that attracts dirt particles. The residue can be from a spot that was cleaned and the cleaning product was not totally removed, or from an oil-based product such as baby oil or cooking oil spilt on the carpet.
If not totally removed the residue then attracts dirt particles and make the carpet look dirty. Most commonly walking on carpet with bare feet causes this to happen as we all have natural oils in our skin. And this oil can transfer onto the carpet. So it is advisable to wear socks or slippers when walking on carpet.
As with the stains, it is important to remove any soiling as soon as possible. Then all cleaning products are removed and rinsed clear from the carpet to avoid dirt particles sticking to any residue left behind. Soiling can be removed by using the same procedure covered in the above stain removal section.
Also after these steps have been followed towels should be placed over the affected area and a heavy object placed on the towels and left overnight. This helps draw any remaining cleaning product or oil from the carpet.
By wearing socks or slippers when walking on your carpet you can prevent this build-up of oils in the first place and lessen your chance of dirt particles sticking to any residue. Also, regular vacuuming of the carpet removes the dirt before it sticks to any residue, remember prevention is better than any cure.
Here at Deluxe Carpet Cleaners, we have had many years’ experience in removing stains, soiling, and other specks of dirt. We use only the best and most proven chemicals and procedures to remove most common stains and soiling and leave your carpet looking clean and fresh.