Spot Cleaning Tips
IN THE EVENT OF SMALL EMERGENCIES:
1. Keep a first aid kit for carpets handy consisting of:
Laundry detergent – liquid and granular [dry]
Oxygen bleach [do not use chlorine bleach]
Grease solvent – dry cleaning fluid or spot remover
Nail polish remover
2. Act fast!
Scrape or blot up all excess spill or blemish.
Waiting may cause permanent damage.
Some stains can be made worse by improper treatment, so if you cannot remedy it with a solution from the list below, or do not feel comfortable removing it yourself, call us for an emergency cleaning.
3. Pre-treat. When water is called for, use only lukewarm to avoid setting stain.
Greasy spills – sponge gently with grease solvent or apply granular [dry] detergent.
Non-greasy spills- sponge gently with solution of one teaspoon liquid detergent to one cup water. Do not use soap.
Animal stains- sponge freely with cold water. Apply solution of three tablespoons white vinegar to one quart water. Sponge with detergent suds and rinse.
NOTE: How to sponge.
Work lightly. Work from center to edges. “Feather” area by sponging edges irregularly. Blot damp/dry quickly to avoid rings.
IN THE EVENT OF MAJOR MISHAPS.
Call Spectrum for suggested remedy and action until help arrives.
TYPICAL EMERGENCIES AND TREATMENTS.
Candle Wax: Scrape off excess wax with dull knife. Sponge spot with grease solvent. If spot remains, use oxygen bleach. Sponge throughly with clear water.
Car Grease: Apply cooking oil sparingly and let stand 15 minutes. Blot up excess oil and sponge with grease solvent.
Cigarette burns: can be partially remedied by clipping of blackened ends with small, sharp scissors. Then work in detergent solution and rinse well.
Coffee, tea: sponge with grease solvent first, then sponge with detergent suds. If stain remains, use oxygen bleach and rinse thoroughly.
Crayon: moisten spot and rub in full strength liquid or granular detergent. Repeat if necessary. If color remains, use oxygen bleach. Rinse well.
Fingernail polish: sponge with acetone or nail polish remover. Blot up color and repeat as often as necessary.
Fruit/Berry juice: sponge immediately with cool water. If stain remains, use oxygen bleach. Rinse well.
Glue, Elmer’s, household: blot with warm water. Sponge with detergent suds. Epoxy, contact, animal base, etc– treat with solvent or thinner recommended on container. Blot up excess. Rinse well when finished.
Grass: same as for crayon. Or sponge with alcohol diluted with two parts water.
Grease: sponge with grease solvent. Work liquid or granular detergent in to spot. Rinse thoroughly.
Gum: harden gum with ice cub, then scrape off with dull knife. Sponge with grease solvent. Rinse well.
Ice cream, chocolate: sponge freely with cool water. Work detergent suds into spot. Rinse. Treat with oxygen bleach if necessary. Rinse well.
Ink, washable: flush with cool water and blot up excess. Work in detergent suds. Rinse. Apply oxygen bleach if necessary. Rinse well.
Ink, permanent: cannot be completely removed by spotting. Minimize stain by flushing with cool water and blotting.
Ketchup: sponge with cool water. If stain remains, work detergent suds into fabric, then rinse. If stain remains, use oxygen bleach and rinse thoroughly.
Lipstick, rouge, eye shadow: rub liquid or granular detergent into dampened stain. Rinse and repeat until outline is gone. Treat with oxygen bleach if necessary. Rinse.
Liquor: same as fruit/berry juice.
Mud: let dry, then brush. Rinse repeatedly with cool water.
Mucus: sponge in solution of 1/4 cup salt to quart of lukewarm water. Wash with detergent suds. Rinse well.
Mustard: rub full strength detergent into stain and rinse. Repeat and use oxygen bleach if stain persists. Rinse well.
Paint: sponge with thinner recommended on can, or with turpentine until paint disappears. Wrok full strength detergent into stains, then rinse well. Repeat if necessary.
Rubber cement: scrape off gummy excess carefully to avoid damaging fibers, then sponge thoroughly with grease solvent and rinse.
Rust: usually require professional cleaning service for removal, but fresh stain can be helped by working detergent solution into spot and rinsing with lukewarm water.
Soft drinks: sponge immediately with cool water. Work liquid detergent into stain, then rinse. Apply oxygen bleach if necessary. Rinse well.
Shoe polish: treat with grease solvent. Blot and sponge with detergent suds. Rinse well. Repeat if necessary.
Shoe dye: sponge and blot repeatedly with cool water; call Spectrum.
Tar: sponge with turpentine. Work in full strength detergent solution and rinse thoroughly.
Urine: must be treated before spot dries to be successfully removed. Sponge repeatedly with cool water. Work liquid detergent into stain and rinse thoroughly. If still discolored, sponge with white vinegar and let stand 15 minutes before rinsing. Or cover with table talk and leave overnight.
Vomit: same as for mucus.
NOTE: Dry carpet as completely as possible immediately after spotting to avoid other damage, especially mildew. Raise dampened are of floor when possible to improve circulation. Direct stream of air from fan, vacuum cleaner or fair dryer to hasten drying.