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Spills, Spots, and Stains on Carpet: What Your Office Needs to Know

Spills, spots, and stains on office carpet are inevitable. But with the right action and cleaning procedure, permanent damage can be reversed, delayed, or completely thwarted.

How do Spills, Spots, and Stains Differ from each Other?

carpet spill, spot, stainThe IICRC S100 Reference Guide for Professional Cleaning of Textile Floor Coverings provides a clear and concise definition of each one.

Spills refer to various states of matter resulting to dry, wet, or oily substance deposited on the carpet fabric. The probability of it turning into a spot or a stain largely depends on three factors: its basic composition, cleaning procedure, and response time after the occurrence of the spill.

Spots refer to foreign material or residue that adhered to the carpet fibre which in turn changed its texture into any of the following: stiff, sticky, greasy, or oily. Like spills, it can be prevented from becoming a full-blown stain based on the same factors. However, there are spots that would be too stubborn to remove regardless of the type of cleaning agent or the manner of cleaning procedure.

Stains are spills and spots that have settled in or are deeply embedded to the carpet fibre. These are usually characterised by its obvious pigment form that is strikingly different from the original component of the carpet fabric. Various stains respond differently to varying removal strategies.

Five Quick Actions to Consider

If it is possible to make a proper identification of the carpet ‘perpetrator’ or the source of the contamination, this will greatly help in ensuring that the following process can lead to a successful result.

  1. Act quicklyCarpets used in commercial settings these days usually have already undergone stain-resistant treatment. This means that when accidents occur – e.g. spills, spots, and stains – the quality of the carpet can be maintained or restored if proper action and cleaning agent are administered right away.Remember, no carpet fabric is completely stain-proof so swift response is crucial to save the carpet from being compromised or beyond restoration.
  2. Act appropriatelyActing quickly doesn’t necessarily mean doing something with the carpet that will further complicate the spill, spot, or stain.The most sensible response is to use white paper towels or white absorbent cloth to blot, extract, or absorb excess liquid or any foreign matter in the carpet fibre.Never attempt to scrub off the affected area in an effort to effectively carry out the blotting/extracting/absorbing effort. This can lead to pile distortion and subsequent damage to the carpet fabric.When dealing with liquid matter, allow the dry compound to soak up on the affected area. If there are semi-solid particles, use a rounded spoon to gently scrape up the fragments. For any solid objects that might cause further blemish onto the carpet, break it up carefully until it can be vacuumed off completely.
  3. Act cautiouslyCarpet cleaning professionals use this strict rule when dealing with carpet spills, spots, and stains: following the exact directions indicated in the cleaning agent. This is not only to ensure optimal effectiveness but also to avoid allowing the cleaning solution to become a catalyst for rapid soiling or contamination to other parts of the carpet.If you intend to use more than one cleaning formula, make sure to completely rinse out (for liquid agent) or vacuum out (for dry agent) one spotting compound prior to the application of another.
  4. Act strategicallyThis involves pretesting of your selected cleaning solution in an inconspicuous part of the carpet before applying directly onto the affected area. This is not only to make certain of its maximum removal efficiency but to eliminate risks of damaging the carpet fibre or dye.Strategic movement means working from the edges of the affected area towards the centre to minimise spreading. You should also have to control the amount of cleaning agent you apply as well as the hand pressure to avoid unintentional over-wetting which can lead to separation of the backing of the carpet and/or growth of bacteria and mould.
  5. Act patientlyRemoval efforts of any spill, spot, or stains on the carpet also require patience. This may involve doing the same/multiple steps more than once, the repeated use of specific/combination cleaning formulas.

Five Basic Types of Cleaning Agents for Carpet Spills, Spots, and Stains

carpet stain

    1. Dry CompoundThis type of cleaning agent may contain liquids that are used for loosening the adherence of the spill, spot, or stain and to deter wicking.
    2. Non-Volatile SolventThis type of cleaning agent refers to grease, oil, and paint removers which are known for its slow evaporation and rapid soiling effect.
    3. Volatile SolventThis type of cleaning agent should be used with great caution as it can cause damage to any component that holds the carpet fabric together.
    4. Detergent SolutionThis is just a combination of non-bleach detergent and warm tap water. Professional carpet cleaning companies usually have their specially-formulated, neutral detergent solutions which go hand in hand with their carpet steam cleaner for removal process of spills, spots, and stains.Their own version of detergent solution does not contain optical brighteners or bleaching ingredients which can destroy carpet fibre or dye.
    5. Spot Removal KitThis type of cleaning agent can be purchased from professional carpet cleaning suppliers and carpet retail stores.

Professional Carpet Cleaning through Avalon Services

If you want a proactive and preventive solution to carpet spills, spots, and stains, choose Avalon Services as your professional carpet cleaner. Whether it is carpet steam cleaning, professional spot removal service, or carpet fibre protectors – its highly trained cleaning staff offers customised carpet solutions to effectively extend the life of your office carpet.

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