A stained carpet or piece of furniture can be a headache for many homeowners. While there are a variety of products that can be used to remove stains from upholstery, it can be difficult to know if a cleaning product will leave residue or discoloration. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks on how to clean stubborn stains with science!
Clean the Area
When cleaning a stubborn stain, it’s important to make sure that the area is clear from all physical residue first. If you leave any debris or dirt on a stained surface, an attempt to clean may grind it deeper into the fabric. To avoid the odds of this happening, be sure to use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean a stained area. This will pick up any loose debris that could be absorbed into the fabric after a liquid is applied. A wet/dry vacuum system can be a great choice for this initial cleaning stage.
After you have removed any dry material from the area of a stain, it’s time to make sure there isn’t any hardened dry debris that could also cause problems. For example, a spilled yogurt may leave a thin layer of dried dairy product on the top of a fabric surface. Using a knife, carefully scrape the top layer of a stain to remove any material. You might also need to boil water and use this to help loosen hardened grease, oil, or other spills. Once this is done, it’s time to use the wet/dry vacuum system once again to remove any loose debris.
Solvents and Stains
After removing any loose debris, it’s time to add a solvent to remove the stain. In most cases, regular household laundry detergent can remove stains from upholstery, carpet, and furniture. However, it’s important to dab a small quantity of detergent on a corner of a fabric before applying it to a large section. In the event that the laundry detergent leaves a lasting stain, you’ll know far before applying it to a visible area.
Finally, it’s important to protect a cleaned surface from future accidents. There are a variety of polymer-based agents that can be applied to fabrics that help them repel liquids. While this may not be a good choice for carpets, it can be a great way to preserve the look and feel of furniture, curtains, and other items in a house that have fabric.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to eliminate bothersome stains quickly and easily without a lot of expensive chemicals.