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If junior just spilled his grape juice box on your white plush you might be panicking but if you act fast you have a better chance of removing that spot before it turns into a stain. Here’s how to deal:
- Answer this Question: What kind of spot is this? Different substances call for different steps when they spill on your carpet. Refer to our handy guide to carpet spots and stains for guidance.
- Solid or Liquid? If there is solid material (like food) on the spot then remove that first with paper towels. If liquid is the problem then you will want to use a clean white cloth to soak up as much of the excess liquid as possible. Press the towel firmly over the stain in a downward motion. No rubbing! The idea is to absorb the liquid so as soon as your towel is too wet to soak up any more it’s time for a fresh towel. Repeat this process until your towel is coming up dry.
- Get Some Water.Seltzer water is great if you have it on hand but otherwise regular clean water will do. Dampen a fresh clean cloth with the water and blot at the stain. Don’t rub, rubbing only serves to spread the stain and push it deeper into the carpet. When your towel gets dirty get a fresh one and repeat until you have removed as much of the stain as possible.
- Try a Spot Removing Product. Again, make sure you check the guide first to see if that is recommended for your particular spot. If it is then apply the product, make sure to follow the instructions on the label very carefully for best results. Most products require a specified amount of time to do their job. After that amount of time is up you’ll want to blot the stain again with a clean cloth and some more water. You don’t want the area to be soaking we so go easy on the water.
- Let it Dry. Enough said.
- Assess the Results. Once the area is dried check to see if you can still see the stain. If you do then treat it one more time with the stain remover.
If you acted fast and followed these steps, then odds are your carpet looks fine and the spot has been removed. If your were unable to remove the stain then it’s probably time to get some help from professional carpet cleaners, give us a call!
Most people assume that a spot and a stain are pretty much equal when it comes to finding one on your carpet. But actually, there are very important differences that you should know about; they could mean the difference between a quick fix and a permanent mark.
What’s in a Name?
Carpet cleaning professionals define a spot as something that has spilled or fallen on the carpet but has not changed the actual fibers. Basically the spot sits on the carpet superficially. A good indicator is if your run your hand over the mark on your carpet you may be able to “feel” a spot.
Good examples of spots: mud or dirt, food with no artificial colorings
A stain is caused by a substance coming in contact with the carpet and that substance actually changes something about your carpet, typically it either adds color or takes it away.
Good examples of stains: bleach, certain medicines, foods or beverages with artificial coloring added.
Still Not Clear?
Try this simple metaphor: a spot is like a smudge of dirt on your skin while a stain is like a tattoo. I bet you can take a pretty good guess as to which one is more permanent. Spots are typically easy to clean for a professional carpet cleaning service while stains might in fact be permanent. That isn’t to say there is nothing that can be done in case of a stain; there are options like dying or patching for example; it just mean that removing a stain is considerably more challenging than removing a spot.
The Time Factor
There is an old carpet cleaning joke:
Customer: What is the difference between a spot and a stain? Cleaner: Time.
All stains start out as spots and while it’s certainly true that some substances can instantly stain your carpet ther stains are the result of spots that went untreated. In our next post we’ll talk about how to treat a spill and do damage control.
There are things you can do on a regular basis to protect your carpet and keep it looking its best for years to come. Here are some routine carpet care habits that you should get into:
- Carpet needs to be vacuumed at least once a week and more often than that if you have high traffic areas that get dirty quickly. Try to use the crevice tool around the baseboards at least twice a month.
- Not only should you vacuum often you should vacuum carefully; take your time and go over each section slowly several times. A good rule of thumb is that the thicker the pile of your carpet the longer it will take to vacuum. Plush carpeting needs slow, deep vacuuming to remove all the dirt and grit that can damage your carpet fibers.
- The right way to vacuum high traffic areas: go across them slowly, at least once vertically and once horizontally. High traffic areas usually include: hallways, areas near entrances or anywhere people are walking from one area to the next.
- You can add baking soda to your vacuum’s bag to deodorize your carpet.
- Place a washable, nylon backed mat by each entrance to avoid the influx of dirt from outside.
- Consider instating a no-shoe policy where the family should remove their shoes at the door. An alternative would be switching to “indoor shoes” when arriving home.
- Move heavy furniture around from time to time, this will prevent any one section of the carpet from getting flattened or damaged over time.
- Consider putting carpet protectors under the legs of furniture, especially furniture with metal legs or wheels.
- If you use area rugs make sure to have them cleaned regularly. Check any rug to make sure it’s colorfast before placing it on your carpet. After cleaning an area rug, make sure it’s completely dry before you put it back on the carpet.
- Keep the sun off of your carpet as much as possible, continuous exposure to direct sunlight can fade the carpet’s color. Use blinds or curtains to dim the sun’s effects in a room.
- Change your vacuum’s bag often (or empty the canister) try to do it when you notice it is halfway filled. A vacuum with a fuller bag doesn’t function as efectively.
These are basic, common sense tips of how you can care for your carpet and protect your investment for years to come!
Seems there are new carpet cleaning services popping up every day in Dallas; when you find yourself in the market you might be overwhelmed by the vast number of carpet cleaning companies. You should know that not all services are created equal and hiring an unqualified service can cost you more money than just the fee for services; property damage is a real threat, learn how to protect yourself here.
Look for a Company that will “Put it in Writing”
A reputable service should offer you a written estimate that details the exact service you will receive and have transparent, easy to understand pricing. That consultation should be free of cost. You should ask whether there are special circumstances that could potentially raise the cost of services.
If you decide to accept the bid and move forward with service you should be offered a written contract for services. Make sure you read it through before you sign. Written contracts are a great way not only to separate the pros from the fly-by-nights but to ensure that both parties understand their obligations.
Professional Carpet Cleaning Services Use Professional Equipment
If you wanted just a hand held steam cleaner you would go rent one right? No, you need a company with a truck mounted system, only a truck mounted unit will give you the carpet cleaning horsepower that you deserve when you pay for profession carpet cleaning.
In addition, your carpet cleaning technician should be able to easily answer any questions you might have. They should be knowledgeable, confident and friendly; these are hallmarks of an experienced professional.
References and a Proven Track Record
Ask to speak to some of their happy customers here in Dallas; a legitimate service will have a long list and be happy to provide you with some phone numbers. Also, do your homework online. Search for the company name and check for reviews. It’s safe to assume that references provided by the company will all be very positive but online reviews are a mixed bag and harder for them to manipulate.
Insurance: It’s Non-negotiable!
Bare minimum, you need to make sure that the company carries workman’s compensation in case a technician is injured on the job. Insurance covering potential damage to your property is a definite plus.
Other Documentation to Ask For
Check the Ethical Services List to see if the company appears in their registry, Ethical Services is similar to the Better Business Bureau but for carpet cleaning services. You should also ask the company if their technicians are certified through the IIRC, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This is professional training and certification for carpet cleaners, you’ll want to hire a professional who has completed the certification process.
Hiring a carpet cleaning service is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, the price for a hasty decision may be costly property damage and clean up costs. Luckily, finding a good provider is easy if you know what to look for. Protect your investment; hire a pro!