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  • Carpet Cleaning: Spots or Stains?

Carpet Cleaning: Spots or Stains?



SPOTS or STAINS:  What’s the Difference?


When it comes to Carpet Cleaning, you have to know the difference!  According to Ask CleanFax (11-2011 edition), basically a SPOT is a substance on the outside of the fiber, such as chewing gum, paint and many common food residues.  A spot is something you can feel with your fingers.

A STAIN is a substance inside the fiber, such as caused by most synthetic or man-made dyes and many natural food dyes, like turmeric dye found in condiments such as mustard.

And NOTE THIS:  Some materials can be both a spot and a stain!  Once you remove the material on the outside of the fiber, you have some material that has penetrated into the fiber.  This can happen with dry solvent-soluble materials like ink and tar.  It can happen with mustard, which we all know, you can feel on the fiber but when you remove the “crusty” part of the spot, you have a tough yellow stain underneath.

If you can determine something is a spot, it’s usually easy to remove.  Most spots come out simply by using a quality pre-conditioner, some agitation on the carpet pile and rinsing.

Removing Stains – Not So Easy
With stain removal, the quicker you can get to it, the more you can remove and the easier it is to do so.  If you haven’t identified the stain correctly, or if you use an improper stain-removing agent or technique, you may make the stain permanent and cause additional damage to the stained object.

Three Types of Stains
Generally, stains may be divided into three types.  According to www.HowStuffWorks.com/Stain Removal, each type dictates certain general treatment procedures.  These basics are identified below.

Greasy Stains:  Lubricating and cooking oils, butter, machine grease, etc, produce greasy stains.  Grease spots are sometimes removed from washable fabrics by hand or machine laundering.

Non-greasy Stains:  Non-greasy stains are produced by materials such as tea, coffee, fruit juice, food coloring and ink.

Combination Stains:  Coffee with cream, Thousand Island dressing, and lipstick are items that cause combination stains; that is, they combine greasy and non-greasy elements.

If you’ve read enough now, just contact a local, professional company to handle the problem for you.

For FREE CONSULTATION in the Tampa Bay Area in Florida, contact Sayyah’s Cleaning at 813 961 1445

(OR select “Contact Us” Tab above…)

Your complete commercial janitorial service—-“We Make You Look Good.”


Should you be interested in reading further, here are the Basic Rules for Removing Stains:
Once you understand the basic rules about treating stains and spots, you’ll be able to deal with them more effectively—no more wasting time trying to rinse away a stain with tap water when what it needs is to be treated with a stain-removal product.  The following rules apply to almost every spot and stain.  Rules Number One and Number Two are top on the list and key to remember in treating every spot and stain across the board.

1 – The quicker, the better.  The optimum time to treat a stain is within moments of its occurrence.  The longer a stain sets, the more likely it is to become permanent.

2-Identify or try to identify both the staining agent and the stained surface before you begin treatment.  Both factors affect how you treat the stain.  Materials are treated differently.  Knowing what the stained surface is helps you choose the proper treatment technique and avoid damaging the surface.  This is important because the wrong process may unintentionally rub the stain into the fiber, making it more difficult or even impossible to remove.  In addition, incorrect procedures can cause permanent discoloration.

3- Remove as much as possible of the staining agent before treating with a stain-removal product.  The less mayonnaise you have to deal with, for example, the better; so scrape off as much as possible.  Excess liquids may be blotted out.  (If there is enough liquid to form a puddle, spoon it out or remove it by dipping the corner of a clean, white cloth or paper towel into it and allowing the cloth to draw up the liquid.)  If the staining agent is a solid, scrape off excess with a dull knife, spoon or spatula.  Powders can be vacuumed off or brushed off.  Be careful not to spread the stain when removing the excess staining material.

4-Handle stained areas carefully.  Rubbing or squeezing can cause the stain to penetrate more deeply and may damage delicate fibers.

5- Avoid using heat.  Don’t use hot water on stains.  Don’t dry stained areas with heat.  Heat can make a stain impossible to remove.  (Heat, however, is used to remove wax from certain fibers.)

6-Pretest any stain-removing agent.  Even water may damage some surfaces, so always run a sample test on some inconspicuous spot–the corner under a table or chair or elsewhere, a part that faces the wall or corner to avoid costly mistakes.  During experimentation, if one product doesn’t work, rinse the area as well as possible before moving on to the next test product in order to reduce the potential for interaction.

There are detergents which penetrate soils well.  Enzymes will do a good job breaking up organic stains.  In other cases, a solvent could work best; such as, natural citrus solvents on greasy soils.

When dealing with water-based stains, use a water-based product.  Conversely, if you are dealing with other types of stains, such as paint, crayon, lipstick, etc., use a solvent-based cleaner.

So, pretesting on carpet is important, it’s even more important in upholstery and fabric applications.

7-Follow directions to the letter.  Read all the manufacturer’s directions on the product container. Make sure you’re using the proper ingredient and that you are using the cleaning agent exactly as described.

8-Work from the center of the stain outward.  Most stains are best treated with movements that are directed outward.  Such movements help avoid leaving a ring around the cleaned area.

This is just a brief review to understand carpet spots and stains and by all means is not a complete study on the subject.  Know your materials and products, follow manufacturer instructions and rinse, rinse, rinse.  More and more chemicals and products are introduced all the time; and, should they be wrongly used, may leave residue attracting more dirt and causing a dingy and dull looking traffic area.

If you find your high-traffic areas are dingy, call in a professional service!  This is way beyond spots and stains.

For FREE CONSULTATION in the Tampa Bay Area in Florida, contact Sayyah’s Cleaning at 813 961 1445

(OR select “Contact Us” Tab above…)

Your complete commercial janitorial service—-“We Make You Look Good.”


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