This is a very common question that we get asked all of the time. Store bought spotters are often misleading and many people do not take the time to read the instructions, but we urge you to do so.
Here are some red flags to look for:
Does the product have the word ‘oxy’ in it? We recommend that you steer clear of any product that has those words or a variation of them in it. Here is why – we do use products in our stain removal arsenal that are known as oxidizers. The purpose of these products are to remove organic based stains. We have spent hundreds of hours training and learning how to use these products properly. Oxy type products have the ability to remove color from your carpet causing an irreversible color loss to the carpet. This irreversible damage can generate faster with the presence of sunlight. We also completely rinse out any spotting products and cleaning agents that we put into the carpet so this never happens. Store bought ‘oxy’ products are rarely rinsed out and over time they can still cause damage to your carpet with the residue that they leave behind.
Residue, Residue, RESIDUE! We cannot stress enough how damaging residue can be to a carpet. Sure, the product you purchased may remove the spill but the residue that it leaves behind may do more damage than good. Many spills will ‘wick’ to the surface during the drying process. If you have ever successfully removed a spot, only to find it come back a day or two later – that is why. Now the big problem – many of the spotting products on the market are higher in alkalinity(higher pH), and most dyes are acid. When an alkaline meets an acid it can reach a mostly neutral state. What this means is if there were any dyes that came to the surface during the drying process, there is a good chance that they have now been neutralized and set – leaving an extremely difficult to remove stain and often permanent stain.
What can you do ?
The best thing you can do for a spill or spot is to first absorb as much of it as you can. If the spill is something solid such a food, you should remove as much of the food from the carpet before it dries as you can, and begin absorbing any liquid. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to scrub the spot! Scrubbing the spot will more than likely set it in because of the heat created from the friction of the towel and the carpet fibers. It will also distort the fibers or texture of the carpet leaving a noticeable spot.
A Clean Towel & Something Heavy
For liquid spills or even pet accidents try the following:
- Use an absorbent towel(or two) that you won’t be upset to possibly ruin – white terry towels are perfect. If the towel is not white, be sure you have washed it first so that no color transfers to your carpet.
- Place the towel over the spot and apply pressure with your foot for 30-60 seconds. This will help compress the spot to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Fold the towel to a clean spot(or grab another if the towel is small) and cover the spot once more. Place something heavy on it. This will again compress the carpet and pad to remove as much liquid as possible. Leave the towel there for a few hours. In most cases during the drying process the spot will wick right into the towel and there will be no noticeable spot remaining.
- Give us a call – we are always a call away for all of your carpet cleaning and spot removal needs.
Our goal is to help you maintain the quality, texture, and health of the carpet you worked so hard at picking out. We also want to help you maintain it to protect your investment. We are not trying to persuade you to never buy another store bought product again. We run into these mistakes and problems quite often and dislike telling our amazing clients that a store bought product has permanently damaged their carpet. We are more than happy to help advise you with spot removal tips and can even recommend products for your specific needs.