A common question our customers ask before an item is cleaned is if their staining will come out. It’s a complicated question with a complicated answer, because you wouldn’t be able to find the answer without trying first. There are many factors that could cause a permanent stain, like the type of stain, how acidic it is what spotting products were used and what type of fiber is stained. However, before attempting to remove it’s important to know how a stain is made and what can cause it to stay.
Accidental stains consist of anything spilled or smeared into a textile like food, urine, feces, or liquids. These stains are created when the substance is trapped in the fibers of you area rug, carpeting or fabrics. After the substance is caught onto the fibers, it creates a coloring where it’s trapped. Substances with higher acidity in them may also take a toll on the fiber, and could cause damage.
There are spot cleaners made to “remove” the staining, but some over the counter products use lighteners that are meant for permanent stains. These lighteners can get the colored stain to lift up, but it may also lift the color of the actual fiber. This reacts in the same way bleach is with colored fabrics. Because these products can be harsh or have lighteners in them, they can make the stain worse or make it permanent in the fibers.
The safest way to try and remove a stain (other than stains that need a solvent spotter like grase, nail polish or oil) is to blot with a mild detergent or to completely flush out the stain using a hot water extraction. When it comes to spot treating a stain, blotting will be the most gentle and effective procedure. Never try to rub at the stain, or it can push the substance deeper into the fibers causing the substance to stain. Extractions can be handled either by a household machine or professionally. These extractions shoot water and detergent into the fibers and suck it back up so it’s left damp to dry. Any substance stuck between the fibers can be flushed out in the process.
When it doubt, leave it to the professionals. If this is on a delicate fiber or the stain is higher on the pH scale, it may be worse to do it yourself. Do not try to mix over the counter products or over soak the stain alone, because this alone could ruin the texture of coloring of your fibers.
To learn more about our methods, check out our spot cleaning video here.