Today I had a call from a customer who spilled wine on their carpet last night and he wanted to know what to do.
Way back, when I was in a training for upholstery cleaning, something the instructor said resonated with me and has stuck with me ever since. Water is a chemical, we all know this. But also what we don’t realize is that water is a surprisingly good cleanser. The other thing he said that I will never forget is first in, first out.
People call Mother Nature’s Cleaning all the time because they spilled something on their carpeting or on their upholstery and they want to know what to do, and our first response is wipe up the stain and then try water. Now – I don’t want you to take this next part to an extreme – because people also call us frequently and ask if they can clean their carpeting or their rugs with just water and we say no.
The biggest concern with people self treating stains and spills is that most homeowners don’t have the ability to extract what they’ve put in. So, even if an over-the-counter spotter is expertly formulated and has a potential to work very well, few people have tools on hand to rinse it out well enough that it doesn’t cause some damage. When you start a chemical reaction, you must be able to stop it and this is what stain treatment often is. Rinsing and extracting stops the chemical reaction, sometimes as professionals we actually add a second chemical to neutralize the first one that we put on. You’d be surprised how much chemistry is involved in carpet cleaning. I certainly was.
This is why water which has a neutral pH is good to use for cleaning. It will not damage your fibers, it will evaporate with very little residue (distilled water is best,) and it will not cause a reaction with whatever spilled.
The additional reason that water is good to use for cleaning is that when you’re dealing with a carpet fiber the first thing you put in is the last thing that will come out. So if you keep adding cleanser onto a spot or stain, and you don’t have the way to extract it, you’re not going to actually be able to lift the stain, you will just be lifting out the cleanser you have added on top of the stain, leaving the stain properly buried in the fiber.
Now, the last thing I want to review with you is the over the product over the counter products available to you. Resolve stain remover comes to mind first. The biggest problem with these is if they aren’t successful, they will have the opposite effect than intended. If they don’t work, you will in fact have made your stain so permanent that even your professional carpet cleaner cannot get it out.
So your best defense against a stain is to try to remove it with nothing first, then try it with water, and then, if water doesn’t work, and you have the ability to extract it, maybe a mild stain remover. But be careful with this, because if you don’t remove the stain remover, you can end up with mold or bleach your fibers or worse.
Unless you have a pretty substantial knowledge of chemistry, a powerful extraction, tool, and know exactly how to treat each stain, sticking with a low amount of water you can do no damage*.
Why should you call us?
- Mother Nature’s Cleaning uses cleansers that are specially formulated for different stains and we have the ability to extract them and rinse your fibers completely clean.
- We know how to neutralize a chemical reaction in order to get the exact outcome that we need.
*This does not apply to viscose, linen, or other cellulosic or dry clean only fibers.