Before using any carpet cleaning product or stain remover, always check the colour fastness of your carpet or upholstery. Simply apply a little of the product to an inconspicuous area – behind the TV or settee for example – and allow to dry. Now see if any colour change or colour bleeding has occurred. If none the product is unlikely to cause any damage to your carpet, although the original stain may have.
It’s best to remove stains whilst they are still fresh, so test any products you’ve bought before you use them for the first time. Do it as soon as you bring them home from the supermarket. If you do, you’ll know it’s safe to use them straight away in an emergency without the stain drying whilst you’re waiting for the results of a colour fastness test.
Always try to work from the outer edge when removing a stain. If you start in the centre, the stain will get bigger as it spreads. NEVER RUB OR SCRUB – simply BLOT. Otherwise you’ll cause permanent damage to the carpet pile. You may get rid of the stain but you won’t be able to correct the damage. Try not to overwet the carpet. On jute backed carpets this may cause additional problems as the carpet dries as coloured pigments from the jute may wick to the surface resulting in a difficult-to-remove stain known as cellulosic browning. Shrinkage may also occur.
If the stain has a solid ingredient, such as food spillage or vomit, scrape up as much of the solids as possible using a kitchen spatula before you begin to work on the residue.
Remember, whenever you remove a stain using a 1001 product, you’ll also remove dirt from the carpet. So when the carpet is dry it may look cleaner in the area that had been stained because you have worked on it with a detergent. Consider finishing the job off properly by cleaning the remainder of the carpet using 1001 Shampoo or 1001 3 in 1 Auto.
Swift action is the key to effective stain removal. For fresh spillages of water based stains such as coffee, orange juice, and wine, first blot up as much as possible using kitchen tissue. Don’t be stingy. Don’t use single sheets – use the entire roll. Press the roll firmly into the stain until it won’t absorb any more. Then turn it round and use another part of it. Repeat, using more rolls if necessary, until you can remove no more. Remember, kitchen rolls are cheaper than carpet!
If you’ve no kitchen roll, use toilet roll – but beware. Some toilet rolls are highly coloured and could actually stain your carpet. Most of the stain will be absorbed by the tissue making it much easier to deal with what remains.
Fresh greasy stains should first be treated in the same way but expect to absorb far less with your kitchen roll. Don’t worry, Troubleshooter or Spotshot will see to the grease.
Often you discover stains only when they are already dry. If it doesn’t seem greasy, wet it with water, taking care not to overwet. Then try blotting with kitchen tissue or white towelling. If the stain starts to transfer onto the tissue or towel, keep blotting until it stops.
Now finish it off with 1001 Troubleshooter.
Some tough dried in stains may need to be assisted in the final stages of removal using a hot iron and a damp towel. When you’ve removed all you can by blotting and with 1001, try covering the stain with a wet white towel and placing a hot iron on top. The steam can release more of the stain.
Take great care not to place the iron directly onto the carpet as you may melt the pile. Make sure the towel does not dry out under your iron, as this could also damage the pile
A few stains need treating in a different way.
It’s everyone’s nightmare! However, it’s much easier to remove chewing gum if it’s hard. Put some ice cubes in a polythene bag and place it over the gum. Once hard, it’s easier to pick the gum off the carpet. Take care not to spread it or when it softens again you will have an even bigger problem to deal with.
Candle wax can often be removed using the freezing technique above to get rid of the most of the wax. Then finish off by placing kitchen tissue or brown paper over the remaining wax and treating it with a hot iron. Do not let the carpet too hot or you may leave a permanent imprint of the sole plate of the iron on your carpet, or worse, you may melt the pile.
Some stains are impossible to remove successfully. These include non-washable inks, mustard and lily pollen. With small stains on a valuable carpet try to get the carpet repaired by a specialist.
DO NOT USE BLEACH.
Cigarette burn damage to a wool carpet may be reduced by abrasion. Simply rub the surface of the carpet with the edge of a coin and most of the charring will be removed. DO NOT try this on synthetic carpets.