Get Ready for the Stains!
For this installment in our Bane of Stains series, we’re not addressing a specific stain, but how to be ready for the unforeseen stains of the future. Our series of blogs often lists several products, solvents, mixtures or solutions that are effective on multiple spills and stains. As such, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit with some of these items ready to go.
The Right Stain Removing Tools
Some of the equipment you might want to have ready for an unforeseen accident include:
- A sanitized spray bottle
- A second spray bottle with distilled water
- A 2-quart sized bowl
- Supply of paper towels
- Clean, sanitized, white cloth towels or rags
- A sturdy instrument with a straight, dull edge (like a putty or butter knife)
- Clean carpet sample for testing concoctions before applying to your carpet
- Flat, weighted items like books or bricks
Do you really need all these items? Perhaps not, but we recommend you consider your circumstances and the likelihood of certain spills, then make up an emergency kit that’s right for your household.
Agents of Cleaning
Unfortunately, there is no single ‘winner cleans all’ solvent that you can apply to any spill or stain – though there are plenty of items making such claims. Other than the carpet protection and similar items offered by Preferred Carpet Care, we will not make general recommendations for brand-name over-the-counter cleaning solvents. If you have a certain product in mind, please give Preferred Carpet Care in Redding a call and we’d be happy to discuss the product with you.
On the other end of the spectrum, many Do-It-Yourself mixtures do not work as well as reported by online sources. Therefore, we will not recommend dangerous, unverified or off-the-wall products to use (hairspray, lighter fluid, shaving gel, acetone, etc.). For this article, we will focus on general household options.
- Rubbing alcohol – isopropyl alcohol is a common item used to neutralize damaging agents within spills before they become stains. This alcohol helps with spills like grease, oil, paint, and Sharpie pens.
- Mixture of ¼ teaspoon hand or dishwashing liquid with 1 quart of water – designed to break up oils, dirt, grime, baked-on foods, and other things, it makes sense that hand or dishwashing liquid removes many spills from carpet fibers, including things like chocolate, grease, ink toner, and asphalt. But make certain the liquid soap you use does not contain bleach or lanolin, as those ingredients can permanently damage your carpet.
- Spray bottle with distilled water – many spill removals require rinsing the area with water. Having it in a handy spray bottle is an effective application method. Distilled is best, since minerals in ordinary water may react with molecules in the stain. If you don’t have distilled water, tap water will do, but it’s second best.
- Dilute hydrogen peroxide – typically found in a dark brown bottle, hydrogen peroxide is very effective in neutralizing things like grease and blood. It’s often used as a disinfectant. When exposed to sunlight, it eventually converts to water, making cleanup easy.
- 1 tablespoon clear household ammonia with ½ cup water – household ammonia, or ammonia hydroxide, is very good at breaking down fats and oils. Ammonia works well as a second cleaning phase when addressing a wide variety of spills, like grease, colas, egg yolk, spaghetti sauce, glue, blood, and ketchup. It evaporates quickly, so mixing it with water provides more application time.
- 1/3 cup white vinegar and 2/3 cup water – this mixture helps to neutralize acids and tannins, so it’s a good choice with coffee, tea, or other drinks with such ingredients.
- Club soda – there are no available scientific reports documented about using club soda on stains, so this gets close to the edge of the do-it-yourself line. Nevertheless, there are verified reports of neutralizing red wine, beer, and other “mystery” stains. It often takes less than ½ cup applied and a little patience for the club soda to have an effect. (Make sure the soda water does not have a sweetener, coloring, or flavoring added.)
Always Get a Second Opinion
Our intermittent article series about stains explains that these household options may only be temporary fixes until Preferred Carpet Care arrives. We use our specialized cleaning solvents and powerful equipment to get deep in between the fibers, breaking up bonding agents and washing away stains while still protecting your carpet from discoloration or damage. If you aren’t sure about using certain mixtures listed here, or you would like an expert to discuss the issue with you, Preferred Carpet Care in Redding is only a phone call away. You can also contact us with our online form. We’ll prove that the real Bane of Stains is Preferred Carpet Care!
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On September 16, 2021