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SPOT CLEANING GUIDE

Wool and synthetic carpet

Prompt and immediate attention to any spills is paramount to avoid staining of the carpet fibres. Liquids, particularly hot liquids, must be attended to immediately. If allowed to cool or dry, the stain may be impossible to remove. Care must be taken as haphazard attempts at spot removal can cause permanent stain setting, pile distortion and loss of colour.

Basic cleaning steps

1. Immediately remove as much of the spill as possible. For solids use a blunt knife or spoon. Blot up liquids by applying pressure with white paper towels or tissues. Use a wet/dry vacuum for large spills. NEVER scrub or rub the carpet during the stain removal process as a fuzzy area may result. Always work from the outside of the stain or spillage towards the middle to avoid further spreading using a blotting or dabbing motion.

2. Determine the appropriate method of stain removal. See the treatment table below.

3. Pre-test any treatment on a small inconspicuous area of carpet to guard against damage and possible colour change.

4. Ensure carpet is press dried with a clean white cloth or white paper towels between any steps in the treatment process to remove excess moisture. Do not rub, as rubbing can alter the carpet texture.

5. After the spill or stain has been treated, place several layers of white paper towels over the area and place a flat weight on them until dry. A hairdryer may be used to speed up the drying process but do NOT overheat the area. Do not walk on the carpet until dry.

6. If stains fail to respond adequately to treatment, call a professional carpet cleaner immediately.

Stain versus soiling

Stains should be differentiated from soiling. Ensure that any residue from spills or cleaning mixtures is fully removed. For example, many sugar based spills such as soft drinks and coffee will leave a sugar residue after removal. Similarly, when spills are cleaned with a detergent solution and the area is not sufficiently rinsed, a sticky detergent residue can remain. This sticky residue attracts soil from ordinary foot traffic and the resulting discolouration appears to be a stain.

TREATMENT

Common household food and beverages

Most common household food and beverages – not including spills containing strong dyes or substances that destroy or change the colour of carpet – need to be treated immediately, with warm, not hot, water. Repeat the above treatment until no stain is evident on the cloth or towels used to press dry the area. If you have a wool carpet and the stain is still visible, use a clean white cloth or sponge and treat the area with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of approved wool laundry detergent and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar in 1 litre of warm water. Rinse with warm water. If the stain is still visible, call a professional carpet cleaner immediately. If you have a synthetic carpet and the stain is still visible, use a clean white cloth or sponge and treat the area with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of mild laundry detergent in 1 litre of warm water. Rinse with warm water. If the stain is still visible, call a professional carpet cleaner immediately.

Other substances

It is important to identify the source of the stain to ensure that you use the appropriate method of removal. Supermarket cleaning products are not recommended. Removal of stains cannot be guaranteed. No responsibility is accepted by any carpet manufacturer or Flooring Foundation members for claims arising from any proposed treatments. If stains fail to respond to treatment, call a professional carpet cleaner immediately.

 

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