Our Carpet Cleaners' Guide for Understanding Stain Removal

May 24, 2022

carpet cleaners guide to stain removalSpots and stains can be one of the most frustrating aspects of owning a carpet. You’ve put time and effort into finding the perfect blend for your home, considering factors such as cost, longevity, comfort, and aesthetics during your research. After your chosen carpet was finally installed, you savored its sound-buffering qualities, its plush feel underfoot, and the way its appearance perfectly accented the style of your home. Then, the inevitable stain came, seemingly ruining your carpet as a whole. The carpet cleaners at Chem-Dry understand your frustration. We’re here to help get that stain out so you can regain your love for your new carpet. 

As careful as you may be around your carpet, odds are it will get soiled at some point or another. After all, your carpet is an integral part of your home, where you should feel comfortable relaxing rather than staying hypervigilant at all times. Plus, if you have kids or pets, you can only control so much. 

Whether it’s an errant drip from a wine glass, mud tracked indoors after a rainy day, a pet accident, or a source whose identity will forever remain unknown, spots and stains will appear on your carpet eventually. The key is to equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to deal with spills so you can move on with your life.

Understanding How Spills Become Stains

Understanding the details of carpet construction can give you insight into how to battle stains. As you can likely imagine, carpets are constructed of tiny fibers twisted together to create that plush surface you love. 

Similar to the way a candle wick absorbs wax, carpet fibers quickly soak up liquids, which travel to the tips of the fibers where they’re most visible. Certain liquids, such as fruit juice or wine, can actually act like dye and replace the original color of textiles. Some liquids can even cause a chemical change to occur. Unless you’re able to act fast, fibers can dry after absorbing the new color, resulting in a stubborn stain.

Tackling Different Types of Stains

There’s no one-size-fits-all remedy for carpet stains. That’s because the substances that cause stains are all different. The technique that will best work on one type of contaminant may actually cause another to set and become permanent. Understanding the most likely culprits for stains and how they react within your carpet can help ensure you don’t make a wrong move when an accident occurs.

Here are some of the most common stain types:

  • Oil-based. Oil-based stains often don’t have a dark color but can be tough to remove nonetheless because of their chemical makeup. These include stains from grease and cooking oil, salad dressing, body lotions, and lipstick. Since oil repels water, water alone won’t do the trick with these spots.
  • Water-Soluble. Unlike oil-based stains, water-soluble stains can often be dealt with using water. These stains can originate from beverages, fruit, mud, and pet accidents. 
  • Protein-Based. Blood, dairy products, and meat juices create common protein-based stains. The key with these stains is to avoid using heat or acid, such as warm water or vinegar, which can darken protein-heavy substances.
  • Solid residues. Spots created by solids like wax or gum are an interesting category of stains. These can often be removed not by dissolving the substance as with other stains, but by freezing it with ice and then carefully peeling it away from the carpet. 

Have Stains Taken Care of With Professional Carpet Cleaners

If you’re dedicated to extending the longevity of your carpet, it’s best to call in professional help with stains rather than attempt to tackle them on your own. This will prevent you from worsening the spot by spreading the stain-causing substance to neighboring carpet fibers.

As soon as an accident occurs, carefully blot it with a white towel to absorb excess liquid and stop the stain from growing as it seeps into the carpet. Be sure to avoid rubbing the spot, and don’t use a colored towel that could transfer dye upon contact with moisture.

Next, call our team of professional carpet cleaners. We have the tools, knowledge, and state-of-the-art formulas to take care of virtually any kind of spot, whether it be oil-based, protein-based, water-soluble, or a mystery stain. Our Specialty Stain Removal service has been specifically designed and perfected over many years to get out both the most common stain types as well as those that are more unusual.

Our Carpet Cleaners Can Help You Prevent Stains From Occurring

After you’ve dealt with a stubborn stain, you should protect your carpet to prevent a repeat occurrence. We encourage homeowners to take this proactive approach and offer to apply a special carpet protectant during the cleaning process. 

This tried-and-tested solution boosts the stain-repelling abilities of your carpet, creating a defensive layer around fabric fibers. As a result, your carpet will actually repel liquids that come into contact with it, giving you a longer window of time to soak up spills before they have a chance to set and become stubborn stains. 

Do you need help removing a stubborn stain? Contact our carpet cleaners today! Just call (800) CHEM-DRY to connect with a Chem-Dry technician near you.