If you’ve been keeping up with our series, The Bane of Stains, you might have noticed that we use the term “stain” much more often than “spot”. In the U.S., the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, if you want to get technical, there is a difference between the two terms.
- Spots – When something is dropped or spilled onto the carpet but does not have the ability to permanently bond to the carpet pile, this is called a spot. Good examples of spots would be things like dust, mud, chow mein, or a knocked-over potted plant. These substances do not have artificial dyes or consistencies that could affect the color or fibers of your carpet, and often can be cleaned up with nothing left behind.
- Stains – When the spilled substance can change the color or consistency of your carpet, we call that a stain. These substances have components that can bond with the carpet fibers or backing, make them lose their integrity, change color or texture, or even disintegrate. Examples of stains are things like sodas or coffee, food coloring, inks, spaghetti sauce, or pet accidents – basically anything that can seep into and directly affect your carpet’s look and feel.
If you use the wrong cleaning products on a spot, the solvents could leave a stain behind by reaching in and changing the consistency of your carpet. Heavier cleaning products have more aggressive ingredients that could permanently change – or even destroy – your carpet, especially if acids or alkaline levels are involved. If you have a question or a concern about a cleaning method, call Preferred Carpet Care of Redding to get a professional opinion.
Deal with Them Differently
With stains, time is of the essence. The longer they’re allowed to stay, the more damage they can do to your carpet. Getting up as much as much of the spill as you can might not be enough – for example, if bleach is involved, the stain might permanently remove some dye from the carpet fibers, resulting in a permanent color change in the affected area. You can search through our blog entries for the kind of spill, spot or stain you’re dealing with, and how to address it. Also, you can give us a call to discuss what to do next.
With spots, you can often remove the dirt, dust, rice, or other item with a broom, cloth, vacuum or other removal tool without much concern of permanent damage to the carpet. Granted, you might experience a mix of both a spot and a stain – spaghetti noodles with sauce, for instance – which means cleaning up as much as you can and then addressing the liquid or fluid residue.
So, there you have it: the official difference between spots and stains. Realistically, cleaning a spot is much easier and you probably won’t need much help with it. Stains, however, can become a bane to your carpet (hence the title of our series) and we’re happy to offer our skills, experience, and equipment to remove them from your carpet. Whatever spot or stain you are currently dealing with, we are happy to assist! You may contact our team of carpet cleaning professionals by calling 530-243-8400 or through our website.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On October 3, 2019