It is really annoying to find that your new carpet, sofa or curtain has been marked with an unpleasant stain, usually in a spot difficult to conceal. And in most cases, the stains appear or get noticed by us in the most inappropriate moment – just before guests come in, when we welcome everyone to get seated, when we close the curtains so sunlight would not get in.
Whatever the circumstances might be, it is important to understand that acting fast is essential, if we want to get rid of the stains on our own. Any delays will make it necessary to call domestic cleaning professionals, who use special detergents and steam cleaners to take all stains out.
What are the rules for cleaning stains on your own, in an efficient manner?
Take immediate action
There are certain stains that, unless treated immediately, would hardly get out completely. An example is the paint – paint spillage can easily get out while still wet, but when it has dried out – it will be hard, if not impossible at all to clean.
Identify the nature of the stain, so you may clean it appropriately.
Unless you have seen what exactly caused the stain, try making a guess on the type of substance that triggered the mark. Feel it if it’s greasy, if it’s dry or wet, smell it, figure out whether it has penetrated the material or is just a surface spot. Try evaluating the material it has stained. These would help you get a basic idea of the stain and figure out how to treat it afterwards.
Always have a few general use cleaning agents handy in your home
Shops are full of cleaning detergents for both general and specific use and if you are to keep a supply of all those at home, you might invest a good deal of money. Rather, you better be aware of some simple but efficient cleaning agents, that, in most cases, would do the job perfectly. This is especially important if you have small kids or pets, in which case stains are almost inevitable.
Always spot-test first
To make sure the fabric you plan to spot treat will not get damaged or discoloured by the cleaning, first test the cleaning agent on a part of the fabric that does not show – like inside seam, inside pocket or other.
Be careful with the chemicals
Many substances used in the stain removal process might be dangerous, especially if found by kids. So, store all treatment substances in a locked cupboard, far from the reach of children. Also, consider that some solvents like paint remover, turpentine and white spirit are highly flammable – don’t use them near flame and always ventilate the premises cleaned.
Be gentle with the stain
Do not rub and scrub vigorously, however badly you want the stain to get out. When rubbing energetically, you will push the staining substance further into the material, making it even more difficult to get out. Additionally, you are wearing the material out and even if you get rid of the stain, a rubbing spot will still remain.
Use first the mildest treatment substance, if it doesn’t work – move on to the stronger one
If you have several options to treat a stain, always start with the mildest one. Stronger cleaning substances pose a higher risk for damaging the material or fading the colours. Why risk when some simple treatment methods like rinsing with soap and water (which actually work for a broader ranger of stains than you might expect) might actually do the trick.
For expensive, delicate or rich-colored fabrics – better turn to professional domestic cleaning services.
For simple and fresh stains – these stain cleaning rules would certainly help get the stain out, in most cases. But when the stained fabric is velvet, taffeta, suede or leather – better turn to professional sofa cleaning or upholstery cleaning services.