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Article is courtesy of the Carpet and Rug Institute
Editors note: Below are general guidelines for spot removal, for specific stain problems go immediately to Carpet and Rug Institute Spot Solver and scroll through their "Select Stain Type". This is wonderful site.
No one likes it when there is a spill on the floor, but with the help of the CRI, it can be cleaned before becoming a permanent part of the carpet. The information listed below will prepare you to properly deal with spills and keep your carpet clean for years to come.
Spot Removal Steps
Act Quickly! Most carpet available today has been treated with a stain-resist treatment, so many spills
can be removed if immediate action is taken. The longer the delay, the higher the probability of a spill
becoming a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors, and no carpet is
completely stain proof.
Blot liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no printing) paper towels.
Do not scrub the area! Scrubbing can cause pile distortion in the affected area. Continue to use a dry cloth or paper towels until the area is completely dry. For semi-solids, gently scrape up with a rounded spoon. Solids should be broken up and vacuumed until completely removed.
If the spot can be identified, locate the substance in the spot removal computer and follow the directions carefully.
Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to make certain the solution will not damage
the fiber or the dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for
10 seconds. Examine the carpet and cloth for color transfer, color change, or damage to the carpet. If a change occurs, another cleaning solution should be selected.
Apply a small amount of the selected cleaning solution to a white cloth, allow to sit for about 10
minutes and work in gently. Work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. Do not scrub! Blot, absorbing as much as possible, and repeat if necessary.
Continue using the first cleaning solution as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. It is not necessary to use all of the cleaning solutions if the first solution removes the spill. Be patient! Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same step several times.
After the spill has been completely removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and
blot with a dry cloth until all of the solution has been removed. Some cleaning solutions will cause rapid
soiling if the solution is not completely removed. Apply a one-half inch layer of white paper towels to the
affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed.
A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to accelerate drying time.
Difficult Stains Back To Top
Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the carpet fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.
Whenever using a cleaning solution on your carpet, make sure you pre-test the spot removal solution (for color transfer to the cloth or damage to the carpet) in an inconspicuous area.
Pet Stains Back To Top
Owners of even the best-trained pets will occasionally encounter pet accidents. Often, the urine is not discovered until long after the accident. The types of damage from pet stains can be diverse and are dependent upon the makeup of the urine. Urine content will change over the pets life because of the pets diet, medications, age, health, sex, and reproductive cycles. Because of these variations, some urine stains may not be removable.
To treat urine-damaged areas:
Urine can affect the dyes used in carpet, although not all occurrences will result in a permanent stain. Success is dependent upon the content of the urine, the dyes and finish used, and the time elapsed after the deposit. Some urine spots may be immediately noticeable, while others may take weeks or months for a reaction. The dyes may change color immediately after contact with urine. Color can sometimes be restored by treating the area with a solution of two tablespoons of a clear, non-sudsy ammonia in one cup of water. While this treatment is not always successful in restoring color, the ammonia can be effective in removing urine content and reducing objectionable odors.
When urine spots develop slowly and are noticed after much time has elapsed, the dyes and carpet fibers may be permanently damaged. In beige carpet, blue dyes are attacked by pet urine, leaving behind the red and yellow dyes with a resulting stain appearing red, yellow, or orange.
Pet urine, left unattended, can damage carpet in several ways. Moisture can weaken the layers of the carpet, allowing separation or delamination of the backing material. Seam areas can be particularly damaged and can separate.
Another problem, especially with cats, is odor. Unless the cat urine can be completely removed, complete odor removal is unlikely. A number of products are available to combat odor, but may simply mask the odor, and, in times of high humidity, the odor may reappear. Recently, enzymes, available at pet stores and veterinary offices, have been developed that are more effective; but they may be better used by a carpet cleaning professional. If odor cannot be removed, the damaged area of the carpet can be replaced with a piece from reserved scrap. If carpet replacement is necessary, then replacement of cushion and even subflooring may also be necessary.
Some carpet manufacturers have developed backings that resist spills and even prevent the spillage from penetrating the carpet into the carpet cushion and, perhaps, the subfloor. Check with your carpet dealer about these products.
Water Damaged Carpet Back To Top
How can I restore water-damaged carpet?
There is no single procedure for dealing with all flood damage situations. Each situation is different and must be evaluated individually by an expert.
Determine whether the flood water is sanitary, unsanitary, or black water. Only in sanitary conditions should you attempt to clean and restore the carpet yourself. Cleaning professionals should be called in to handle the adverse affects of disease-carrying bacteria contained in unsanitary and black water conditions. If you cannot reasonably determine the water quality, call the CRI information line for assistance.
Before restoration can begin, you must identify the source and stop the incoming flow of water from its source. In sanitary water situations, once the water has been stopped, extraction of excess water from the carpet must begin immediately. To reduce the possibility of fungal growth, the carpet cushion should be discarded. In natural flooding or rising water situations, the carpet and carpet cushion should be replaced immediately to minimize possible health concerns.
Because each situation is different, consult a cleaning professional to determine whether or not the carpet can be salvaged. Oftentimes, the insurance agent will hire a cleaning professional for the homeowner. The cleaning professional should extract the excess water, clean and disinfect the carpet, or remove it if necessary. Call the Carpet and Rug Institutes information line, 1-800-882-8846, to find out more about choosing a cleaning professional.
is available in the IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for
Professional Water Damage Restoration S500-94 document prepared
by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification
at 2715 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661, phone 360 693
5675.Back To Top<
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