While the ideal way to remove stains from your carpets and upholstered furniture is to call a professional cleaning company, it’s also true that the less time a stain is given to soak into the fibres of a fabric, the easier it is to remove. To this end, Marc Du Chenne, MD of CCM has provided these tips to remove stains at home when you need to act fast.
The first step is to gently scrape away solid stains using a plastic spatula – not a knife or any other sharp metal tool.
Liquid stains should quickly be absorbed using paper towel (which is highly absorbent). Place the paper towel over the stain and soak it up, moving from the outside of the stain inwards, so that it does not spread.
The golden rule when treating a stain yourself is never to rub too hard, as this causes additional damage to the fibres.
Stains on clothing, tablecloths and napkins should also be treated immediately so that they do not set into the fabric. First, the item should be treated with a pre-stain remover, which must be left on long enough to fully absorb into the fabric. Next, the item should be washed according to the washing instructions on the label. If the stain is still there after this treatment, the process should be repeated, before the fabric is ironed or placed in the tumble drier, which will cause the stain to set permanently.
Adhesive substances such as gum, Prestik and glue can be removed from fabrics by applying ice to the area, which will harden it and allow for it to be removed. Any stain residue can then be treated by using pre-stain remover.
Other handy tips:
- Salt is effective for removing oil-based stains
- Lemon juice is recommended for removing ink stains on fabric and carpets
- Coffee stains respond well to a mixture of water and glycerine- one teaspoon each
- A combination of warm water and vinegar is a good way to work on water-based stains
Du Chenne points out however that removing stains can be tricky, and it is possible that the methods above may not work. Ultimately, calling a professional cleaning service is the best recommendation for successful stain removal.