Thursday, 12 March 2015

Stain Removal Guide - Techniques for Cleaning Fabrics, Upholstery and Carpet

      Stains are not hard to remove, if you know what to do and act as soon as possible. It is essential to understand the logic behind every stain cleaning technique, so you can properly handle any spotty situation.

1. Gently blotting (not rubbing) /For splatters and spills/  - Usually performed with a clean dry white cloth or paper towel while the stain is still fresh. This removes excess to prevent further smear. Work it from edge towards the centre of the stain.
2. Brushing off /For dried mud and other gunk/ - If the stain had dried, this step is to be done before any other treatment. Perform with a clothes brush, for small stains and delicate fabrics use a clean toothbrush. Do light wispy one-way stroke motions, no hard rubbing back and forth.

3. Scraping off /For wet stains with excess/ - Perform with dull knife and don't apply pressure. Work it from outside to inside. No grinding and scratching. 
4. Soaking up /For greasy stains/ - If the stain is oily, do this step before further cleaning. Perform with salt, baking soda, cornstarch or similar product that acts as an absorbent. Sprinkle some and wait for about 15 minutes. Then brush off following the guidelines of #2.
5. Flushing with running water /When all previous steps are done and all that has left is the stain/ - Perform with cold water, as hot water may set the stain. For small items like clothing, run directly under tap water.

For carpets and upholstery, use clean white dampen cloth and blot (see directions in #1). You may want to put a cry cloth under the carpet to draw the excess water.
/*Warning! If you don't own the property and the stain is on delicate or natural rug or upholstery, you'd better consult with professional end of tenancy cleaners before attempting to remove the stain.*/
6. Sponging with stain removal or solvent - Place a small amount onto a sponge or clean cloth and dab onto the stain. Let it sit for awhile, if remover instructions suggest so. Then sponge with water and blot - repeat several times, until the solvent is gone.

7. Pre-soaking - Pour water into sink or washing basin and add stain remover or bleach (for whites). Pour some detergent on the stain and soak it in the basin. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Bear in mind, that chlorine detergents (like bleach) may cause fabric damage or fade, if soaked in for too long.

     These are the very basic techniques which can be used in stain cleaning and spot removal. A couple of additional tips I can give are: Freezing before scraping off (for bubble gum and candle wax) and Using sticky tape instead of brushing off (to pick up any powdery substances that may cause additional stains - powder paints and some spices). And finally if you have any doubts or you are afraid you'll ruin your precious Persian rug, simply call a reliable carpet cleaning company.

Good luck with stains!
Stay positive :)


  1. I love to read tips like these and have tried a few. However, I just can’t bring myself to try and remove a stain from my carpet. I spent a lot of money on my living room carpet and the idea of ruining it with a homemade stain removal tip fills me with dread. I get the professional carpet cleaners in.

    Lucy Andrews @ Safeclean Westminster

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