Carpet enhances a room’s appearance. The carpet will inevitably get stained, by either food, drinks, grease, and other substances. There’s many stain-removers on the market, but not all are created equal. Sometimes the stain itself is merely stubborn and will not come out the carpet. Before you attempt to clean your carpet; first you need to know the difference between a stain and spot, then how to clean each one.

Cleaners sometimes use the words “stain” and “spot” interchangeably, but there’s a difference. A stain is on the inside of carpet fibers, whereas a spot is on the outside; this could explain why at some point you used a cleaning agent to remove a spot, only to find that the carpet now has a stain. It’s also helpful to note another difference: spots have texture, but stains do not.

Before cleaning the carpet, it’s helpful to know what type of spot or stain is on the carpet. It’s useful when someone knows what it is so you can choose the best cleaning agent to remove the stain or spot. Even if someone provided information, it’s not always accurate; this is when you must rely on your incredible sense of smell and analyze the location and appearance of the stain or spot. After you have identified the type of spot or blemish, now it’s time to clean the carpet.

Grease and Oil Stains

For greasy-like stains, try using dry solvents; it will dissolve oil-based soils through careful agitation. Keep in mind that water-based detergents, which contain surfactants, are sometimes used in conjunction with sterile solutions.

Bodily Fluids

Enzyme treatments are useful for cleaning bodily fluids such as vomit, blood, and feces. The enzyme products work well if you follow manufacturer directions. Enough contact time with the stain is especially important, so make sure you adhere to manufacturer-recommended dwell time.

Water-Soluble Stains

Water-soluble stains include food and beverages; tracked-in mud, markers, and pens. Use a water-based cleaning agent to remove these types of stains easily.

Natural Stains

Coffee and tea are water-soluble stains that’s more difficult to remove. Even if you remove the stain, the substances tend to leave a tannin stain behind. If that’s the case, then follow up with an oxidizing agent.

Synthetic or Man-Made Stains

Human-made stains made by products with red dye, such as in Kool-Aid and sports drinks, require a reducing agent. These types of stains affect nylon material.

To remove synthetic stains, apply reducing agents with a wet towel and a steam iron; this process requires careful attention, so you don’t discolor the carpet or melt fibers. Use a damp white cotton towel between the steam iron and the carpet to keeps the heat from negatively affecting the fibers.

The first step to successful carpet cleaning is differentiating between a spot and stain. If possible, you need to identify what is the exact spot or stain that’s on the carpet. Once you’ve gathered this information, you can choose the best cleaning agent to clean your carpet.

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