The ultimate guide to stain removal

Different stains require alternative methods of cleaning and it is always important to keep the surface in consideration too.

Stubborn stains can ruin the look of an otherwise pristine house and carpets are among the worst offenders. Whether something has been spilt during a party, dirt has built up over time from shoes or boots or you’ve made the mess yourself, you will want to remove it as quickly as possible.

FastKlean offers professional stain removal services for everything including red wine and blood, so that you do not need to replace your carpet or other soiled surface.

If you’d like to have a go at stain removal yourself, perhaps because you’re expecting visitors, then follow a few handy hints and tips from the professionals. You’ll have your home looking spick and span in no time.

Removing stains

Different methods of stain removal will be effective for a variety of scenarios. It’s important to take the type of stain and the surface it has marked into account. After all, you will not want to use a stain removal technique that damages the carpet or flooring underneath, or even bleaches it so there is a big white mark.

Follow these simple steps to tackle any stain

  1. Prepare the area – deal with the most immediate problem first and this means getting rid of as much of the substance that is causing the issue as possible.
  • If it is a liquid that has been spilt, blot the carpet to remove the excess and prevent more of it seeping into the pile.
  • For more viscous substances, you may need to wait until they’ve dried and chip away with a knife, being careful not to damage the surface underneath

2. Identify what type of carpet or surface you are dealing with. For example, polypropylene carpets that are solution-dyed can cope with chlorine bleach, making it an easy way to clear up a stain. Wool and wool blend carpets will be ruined if you use bleach on them and therefore require an alternative method.

3. Choose the right cleaning agent for the job. There are so many types of stain and treatments, it can be confusing, but they generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Water-soluble stains – these include things like drinks, washable paint and mud. They can be tackled with a solution of either detergent or vinegar and water.
  • Special water-soluble stains – tend to be trickier and include substances like red wine, coffee and blood. For red wine, use white wine; to remove coffee stains, add both the detergent and the white vinegar to the solution with water; and blood is best removed with a carpet or upholstery spray. Look for one that includes oxi action for the best results.
  • Oily, fatty or waxy stains – greasy finger marks on upholstery or a spilt candle can be unsightly, but placing a paper towel on top and applying a little pressure from a medium heat iron will transfer the substances onto the towel and away from your carpet.
  • Glue and nail polish – use nail polish remover.
  1. Pour the agent onto the stain, allow it to soak in and then press on it with a clean cloth. This will help to absorb the agent and bring the stain with it. Do not be tempted to scrub at delicate materials, as this will damage them and be just as unsightly as the original mark.
  2. Survey your work. It can be really difficult to decide whether or not a stain has gone completely when you have just treated it. Allow the patch to dry once more and see whether you can still see the mark, otherwise it could just be the damp that is visible. Look at it in different lights to ascertain whether the job is done.

Other surfaces

It’s not just carpets and upholstery where stains can be stubborn, but other places too.

Worktops

Even though worktops are designed for cooking on, sometimes they come into contact with something quite powerful, such as curry sauce. While normal cleaning will see this fade over time, it’s good to deal with it straight away.

Make up a paste with bicarbonate of soda and apply it to the worktop with a spoon. Place a wet paper towel over the top. Leave for an hour and come back to wipe the paste away.

Wood

Wooden furniture is easily marked and, even for the most diligent of coaster users, rings, splashes and spots can end up leaving stains. Toothpaste is the best option for those tell-tale rings left by glasses and cups, while dark stains can be removed using white vinegar on a clean cloth.

Pet owners with hardwood floors may be aware of the issues produced by dog saliva. They can be rectified with a spray bottle of window cleaner.

Unlike with carpets, rubbing the agent into the wood is a good idea. Just be sure to have another cloth to hand to buff it up again once you’ve finished.

Have you encountered any other tough stains in your home and found innovative ways to remove them? Let us know in the comments.

Author – Antoaneta Tsocheva CEO – FastKlean

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