Caring for your Carpet

Cleaning Up Spills

Many carpets available today have been treated with a stain resistant treatment and/or a soil repellent treatment. Most food and beverage spills can be cleaned easily without leaving a permanent stain; however, even carpet with a stain resistant treatment is not "stain proof". The longer the spill or staining material is allowed to remain on the carpet, the more difficult it may be to remove.

Change of colour may occur as a result of contact with certain household products. Some, such as acne medicines, will cause a gradual change while others, such as bleaches, strippers or products containing bleaching agents, will cause almost immediate change. This type of change is due to the destruction or severe modification of the carpet dye and cannot be corrected.

Staining of carpets can be caused by contact with products such as beverages, mustard, foods, medicines, iodine, hair products, pesticides, vomit, urine, feces and indoor plant fertilizer. In effect, the carpet fibre is dyed by the colourant in the product and many such stains are therefore virtually permanent.

For both colour change and staining, prevention is the best cure. Products such as those noted above should be kept away from carpets.

Follow these general procedures for emergency stain removal:

  • Act quickly when anything is dropped or spilled. Remove spots before they dry.
  • Remove any loose material prior to cleaning up the stain.
  • Never scrub - always blot. Do not rub vigorously.
  • Blot liquids with a clean, white, absorbent cloth or paper towel. For semi-solids, scoop up with a rounded spoon. For solids, break up and vacuum out as much as possible.
  • Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to make certain it will not damage the carpet or its dyes.
  • Apply a small amount of the recommended cleaning solution to the cloth. Work in gently. Do not scrub. Work from the edges of the spot to the centre. Blot thoroughly. Repeat until the spot is removed.

What about tough stains? Well, there are easy ways you can remove even the toughest stains on your carpet. First, you must act quickly because delaying may cause the spill to become a permanent stain. Do not scrub the area - always blot with either a cloth or a paper towel and work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent it from spreading.

If all else fails, remember that you can contact a professional cleaner to handle the stains. Specific care information is available from your carpet dealer or from a toll free number usually provided by the carpet manufacturer or fibre producer.