The Truth About Spots and Stains

Television commercials would have us believe that a bottle of spot remover can remove stains from carpet like magic. Red wine, ketchup, fruit punch, grass stains and more are removed in seconds with no rubbing or scrubbing. Just spray and blot!

If only it were that easy!

In reality, the ease or difficulty of spot removal depends on many variables: fiber type, age and condition of carpet, type of stain, and the cleaning agents and methods previously used on the carpet.

The first step is to identify the spot. Clues like color, location, texture, odor and shape can help us figure out what the spot might be. The next step is to categorize the spot. The four categories of spots are:

Category 1: Water soluble – These spots respond to water based solutions. For example, enzyme spotters break down protein spots like blood, milk, gum and adhesives.

Category 2: Solvent soluble – Solvent based spotters treat spots caused by tar, petroleum grease, lipstick, ink, dried paint and gum.

Category 3: Insoluble spots – Spots caused by graphite, carbon, fireplace ash and powdered copier toner cannot be dissolved with water or solvent spotters.

Category 4: Specialty treatments – Treatments such as strong acids, oxidizers, reducing agents are used to treat rust, food dyes, urine and mustard stains.

Before applying any spotting agent, the fiber type must be determined. Spot removal then follows 5 basic steps:

1. Remove excess material with scraping or blotting. 2. Apply the appropriate spotter to the spot. Do not oversaturate the carpet. 3. Agitate gently. Never scrub or rub the carpet. 4. Rinse 5. Blot with a clean white towel.

As stated, these are basic steps. Our techniques, tools and processes will vary depending on your unique situation. B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning technicians are experts at identifying, categorizing and treating the spots and stains that other companies can’t. Call us today if you have questions or need help removing spots, odors and stains from your carpet!

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