Carpet Cleaning News & Updates by Wrennalls
Experts and homeowners are always coming up with new ways to rid of stubborn stains and hard to lift marks from carpets and rugs. Here at Wrennalls, we like to keep out customers in the loop and informed about all the new found ways of lifting these footprints, spillages and smudges. Whenever someone comes up with a new found technique we like to try and test whether it really works. All our staff are trained to be able to support customers with any queries and questions that they have relating to not just carpet and rug cleaning but also upholstery, floor cleaning and damages from floods and fires. This article will focus on the tips and tricks and methods to try (and to avoid) when you are faced with a carpet or rug stain.
Expert tips for tackling tricky stains in your living room
Expert advice from the BT lifestyle blog page:
Ideally, you don’t want to leave spillages to soak in – taking quick action is usually the best bet.
“Over a sofa’s lifetime, we know that however hard we try, accidents happen and spillages can occur. Quick action can help minimise the risk of permanent stains. As soon as a spill occurs, take a kitchen roll or a clean towel to soak up as much of the excess spill as possible, and then consult your manufacturer’s care guide to treat the rest of the spillage,”
advises Simon Nicholson, furniture buying director at sofa and carpet specialists ScS.
Remember: Blot don’t rub
Rubbing a spillage is never a good idea – or you could end up ‘spreading’ the stain.
Glen Ball, furniture technologist at Sofology explains:
“The aim is to absorb the excess liquid, so remember you only ever blot a stain or spillage. Rubbing will only cause the stain to become further embedded in the fabric. Use a clean, dry cloth and always ensure that it’s colour-fast. Cotton is best, but if in doubt, tissue paper will do the trick.”
Raid the kitchen cupboards
For a carpet/rug red wine or coffee spillage you’re tackling yourself, some quick action with a homemade remedy might be useful. We’ve all heard about chucking white wine on top of a red wine spillage… the jury’s out on how effective this really is, but lots of people swear by using baking soda, or a baking soda paste (mix three-parts baking soda with one-part water. Apply to the affected area and leave to dry and ‘suck’ up the offending spillage, then vacuum it up – hopefully lifting the stain in the process). Another method is to mix a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with a tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water. Then apply this to a clean cloth and repeatedly blot the stain, alternating with a separate dry cloth, until the stain lifts.
Know when to call in the professionals
“Everyday stains and spillages are fine to deal with yourself. Liquids like cordials and hot drinks can be removed with a little gentle persuasion,” adds Ball. “Things like red wine and orange juice are better handled by the professionals once you have tried the ‘blot, don’t rub’ approach.”
The experts at ScS also advise seeking help from a professional upholstery cleaning service or visiting an upholstery specialist, who may be able to offer a specialist cleaning kit for stubborn stains, or if the manufacturer’s care guide recommends it. This is especially important with fabrics that are delicate or require specialist care and cleaning methods.
Be careful about the products you use
This might sound like a no-brainer, but make sure you check that any cleaning products you’re going to try are definitely suitable for your sofa/fabrics. If in doubt, call the manufacturer’s customer helpline, or pop into a specialist store to ask for advice.
The same applies when using substances that might seem completely harmless, like water. Peter Hollier, a cleaning expert with home appliance manufacturer Vorwerk states:
“Many people think using water to clean their carpets will mean fresh, bright floors, but over time, the repeated wet cleaning can wash out wool’s natural waterproofing, resulting in the carpet acquiring a hard, crusty feel. Water can also cause the carpet fibres to shrink and stretch and the dye to bleed, leaving a less-than-luxurious finish. So, if you are going to clean your carpets with water, it’s important you don’t use too much and you dry the carpet quickly.”
Factor in some thorough deep-cleans
To really keep carpets and rugs looking their best, the experts advise routine deep-cleans twice a year, or when required. Peter Hollier adds-
“Carpets collect a lot of dirt and dust over time, from children running in with their shoes on after they’ve been to the park, pets rolling on the floor, and not forgetting the countless times food or drink has been spilt. Regularly vacuuming your carpets will result in the top layer of dust and grime being sucked out, however, you are leaving behind worn in dirt and allergens that only a good deep-clean can remove. So, in addition to regular vacuuming, your carpets and rugs need a deep-clean to remove stubborn dirt that’s become embedded in the fibres. We believe dry-cleaning is the best solution, with a powder-based cleaning agent that you sprinkle on the carpet, massage in and then vacuum away. It might take a little longer than other cleaning methods, but it will ensure you achieve the desired results without damaging your carpet in the process.”
Spring Cleaning: Tips on cleaning your carpet yourself and hiring professionals
The Washington Post discusses their best tips on carpet cleaning and when to accept a professional is needed:
You might be looking around and thinking that your carpet could use a good cleaning. Or you might think that your carpet looks pretty good but that you want to have a contingency plan should someone accidentally spill a glass of red wine. Either way, there are a few things you can do every day to maintain your carpet’s appearance and a few things you should know before hiring a professional cleaner.
The best way to protect your carpet day to day is to remove your shoes when you get home. But don’t go barefoot; your feet have natural oils that rub off on the carpet. Those oils act like a dirt magnet, so it’s a good idea to always wear slippers or socks.
If possible, vacuum your carpets daily to remove surface dirt and dust. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and change the filter every six months so you don’t blow pollutants back into the air. And for maximum effectiveness, change your vacuum bag when it is anywhere from one-half to two-thirds full or when the outside of the bag feels firm.
As far as deep-cleaning your carpets, of course, you want to have it done if there are visible stains, but the Environmental Protection Agency recommends a professional cleaning one to four times a year, depending on how heavily trafficked the area is. A professional cleaning removes not only the dirt and stains you can see but also what you can’t see. Carpets are like sponges, trapping all types of pollutants, including dust, mould, bacteria, and mildew, that can be bad for your health.
When hiring a professional cleaner, choose a company that uses hot-water deep extraction; it’s the most effective way to clean your carpet. Professionals spray the carpet with a cleaning solution and then use high-powered machines that emit hot water at high pressure onto your carpet to loosen dirt. At the same time, a high-powered vacuum pulls the hot water out of the carpet, along with the dirt and soap.
There is a huge power difference between professional carpet-cleaning machines and those you can rent at home and hardware stores: Professional machines have a pressure measurement of 250 to 1,200 pounds per square inch (PSI), as compared with the machines you can rent, which have a 35 to 70 PSI. A lack of powerful pressure could leave a soapy residue, which will then dry and attract dirt.
Professional cleaners have hundreds of cleaning solutions to choose from, each formulated for different types of carpet fibres. Make sure the person you hire knows which formula is best suited for your carpet. The wrong formula could lead to shrinkage and discolouration.
When it comes to emergency spills, Andrew Ross from Triangle Legacy, a carpet-cleaning and flood restoration service in the Washington, D.C., area, says to act quickly. Use a white cloth or towel (the dye from a coloured cloth could rub off on your carpet) to blot the affected area. Do not rub, or you will just push the stain in deeper.
‘‘You can use a little water on the stain but not too much — you don’t want to douse the stain or the water will seep into the carpet pad and will take longer to dry and also possibly mildew, don’t wait to call a professional, thre longer you do, the more the stain sets in.’’
This Big Stain Cleaning Mistake Can Ruin Your Carpet
The Good Housekeeping Institute Team give the heads up on a common mistake people make when it comes to attempting to clean stains on the carpet:
What’s the first thing you do when you find yourself with a tricky stain on your carpet? Do you go straight for your trusty carpet cleaning spray, or frantically wet it with a bit of cloth? If it’s the latter we’ve got some news for you – stop.
According to the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute, pouring water on to carpet stains isn’t the best idea.
But while it’s easy to resort to soaking the area with water, oversaturating the stain can actually cause more damage.
“It’s easy to panic and douse the area with cold water (or worse still, hot water) – don’t,’ says the GHI. ‘Oversaturating the stain can damage the carpet fibres and excess moisture can leak through to the rug pad and flooring, where it can get trapped.’
So what the best course of action if you’re faced with a red wine stain in the middle of your carpet.
‘Be patient and blot carefully to lift stains,’ advises the GHI. ‘Lightly spritz with a little sparkling or soda water to rinse (followed by more blotting with a clean paper towel or cloth), and then apply a specialised cleaner.
Verity Mann, Head of Testing at the Institute says it’s also a good idea to try a stain removal on an inconspicuous area first, perhaps one hidden by furniture, to check for colour fastness.
And if you’re faced with a not-so-straightforward stain, such as pollen from flowers, Verity recommends using sticky tape to lift it off the carpet surface, while disinfectant or even vinegar, can help remove pet poop stains.
So next time you knock that glass of red wine over, head for the paper towels and soda water first.
How to Remove Rug Stains, According to a Professional Carpet Cleaner
Paul Iskyan from ABC Rug & Carpets discusses how he goes about tackling those tough stains:
“The biggest problem that we have in the industry is that people don’t clean, period. And then they don’t clean frequently enough, then they wonder why their carpet doesn’t look good, or they wonder why their kid is at the doctor with big allergy problems.”
According to Iskyan, you should be getting your area rugs professionally cleaned every year or two, especially if it’s in a high-traffic area like a living room or if you have pets or kids. And for these big, intensive cleans, you’re better off hiring a professional who takes the rug out of the house and into a carpet-cleaning facility. There, they beat out the excess dirt that’s stuck deep in between the fibres with high-powered machines, things you can’t reach even with the most high-powered vacuum.
They then properly soak, lather, and rinse the rug. Iskyan explains:
“If we took a 9-by-12 rug and we cleaned it in the factory, we would use hundreds of gallons of water. If we took a 9-by-12 wall-to-wall carpet and cleaned it in the home, we would put two gallons of water in and extract out about a gallon and a half, It’s almost like someone washing their hair in the shower, versus someone taking one of those spray bottles when their hair is dry and just buff it up a little bit.”
Those regular, professional cleaning sessions can do wonders for keeping your carpet or rug dust-free and looking nice. But that doesn’t mean you should let your rug sit there collecting dirt and stains in the interim. There are a few things you can do to keep carpets clean like a professional carpet cleaner, including investing in a good vacuum and learning how to deal with spills before they become stains. Below, some tips from Iskyan about what carpet spot cleaners and carpet-cleaning tools a responsible rug-owner should keep at home, just in case.
Wrennalls use all the latest technology to ensure we get the very best results when it comes to rug cleaning, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning and floor cleaning. We offer our high quality and affordable carpet cleaning services to homes in Leyland, Southport, Wigan, Blackburn and everywhere in between. If you would like to find out more please give one of our team a call on 01772 978 507. Or visit our areas we cover page to find the relevant number for your area. Alternatively, you can go online and get a free quote.
Laurence is a content writer and marketing manager for Wrennalls. He helps publish regular content and insights for customers and industry personnel.