If you drop or spill something on your carpet (or upholstery), your first instinct is to grab something to try and remove it as quickly as possible. The first thought is to obviously wipe it up, and then maybe go to the cupboard under the sink to use a cleaning product that may be inappropriate, even though it may say that it is a carpet cleaning or stain removal product on the label.
Unbeknown to you that ‘All in One cleaner’ that you purchased from the supermarket and hope is going to rescue your carpet, could contain something very harsh that might not only LOCK the stain in but actually ruin your carpet, with NO possibility of returning it back to how it should be. ARE YOU SURE? I hear you say! There are two major issues with these supermarket available products, we see these on a regular basis, and the worst thing is you are probably completely unaware of their destructive nature. I mean they are brands on TV so they must be ok right? I'm afraid not!
1). Colour loss Due to the harsh nature of the cleaning product, it could be quite quick in fading the colour. We all know that when you remove colour from something - it won't look the same again, unless you return the colour. Well this is essentially impossible and the expensive carpet or upholstery item is now affected by PERMANENT colour loss and basically ruined. Do not make the common mistake of presuming that you have merely made a 'clean patch', it could well indeed be the colour that's vanished!
2). Dirt attracting residues Most of these cleaning chemicals are detergent based, and usually quite high in foam. Because you are not removing this residual foam from the carpet or upholstery item (you can't unless you rinse it out with a machine), then it will simply make the area go darker and darker over time as the dust sticks to it. Think about it for a minute, imagine washing your hair - but not rinsing it out afterwards. Yes it’s exactly the same i.e. Soapy and sticky! You have in effect created a ‘dirt magnet’ on that patch of carpet you thought you had cleaned.
Have you now ruined your carpet or upholstery?
After you have made your attempt to remove the stain (and been unsuccessful), you may now be considering calling a professional in, in the hope that they can now 'sort it out'. But now we have a major problem, by applying the supermarket bought ‘MAGIC’ product, it can now unfortunately cause what we professionals call 'locking in the stain'. This means that the stain structure has been altered by the wrong chemical ingredient applied to it. Yes, the cleaning product used may well be a household name, but they certainly are not 'professional' products. So now the professional you called has a very difficult stain to try and remove, and the truth is it may not be able to be removed; not because he is incompetent but because it has been 'locked in' and changed chemically.
So, what is the moral of this story? If you value your carpet or upholstered items and their upkeep is of great importance to you, it would certainly be more cost effective to call out a professional carpet & upholstery cleaning company in the first place who may have complete success in removing it, and without ruining the carpet or upholstery, saving you money in replacing the ruined items.
If you do spill something on your carpet or soft furnishings then just blot the area (NEVER SCRUB) working from the outside in with a damp terry towel or kitchen roll. Repeat as necessary until the stain no longer transfers. Whilst this may seem simple and basic it will assist in a professional’s chance’s to successfully remove the stain should you find that expert assistance is required.
Can a small bottle of 'carpet cleaning' or 'magic stain remover' product costing a few pounds from the supermarket potentially cost you thousands of pounds?
Yes it can!!
There's something special about having fresh, clean carpets. It makes you feel better and gives your guests a great welcome. Cleaning them yourself may have been an idea you may have thought about before, after all there are lots of adverts saying how you can hire 'professional' machines and the results look great! BRILLIANT! You may think, I'll get them done at the weekend and save money too!
So off you go to the DIY store and hire a machine with the ‘recommended’ detergents and you get them in the back of the car and get home ready for action! After a whole day of slogging away, filling up, emptying etc , will you be amazed and impressed with the results? The honest answer is more than likely not. But why after you have worked so hard with a ‘professional machine’? It's quite simple really....so be prepared for a little education based on facts, and ignore it at your peril.
A small machine from a hire store has to be small for a reason. If it's too big you won't be able to lift it or fit it in to your car. Now being so small (and light) means that there is a limit on power. ‘But hold on’ I hear you say, ‘surely a carpet cleaning machine is a carpet cleaning machine?’
Yes, but there are MASSIVE differences between different types - and ALL giving different results.
Basically the bigger the machine the heavier it gets - due to much bigger internal motors and pumps for example, meaning it will have more power, allowing much better results to be had. Let’s take this further. As the power increases even more (and again, along with the weight and size of the machine) the better it will perform in the worst conditions. There will be more VACUUM, more HEAT and more water PRESSURE leaving carpets much cleaner, brighter and dryer.
So you really have to try and ignore the suggestively 'amazing' sales videos and literature that are associated with these machines and realise that it is essentially impossible to achieve the same result as a genuine professional machine (hire machines are certainly not professional by the way). You have to understand that they want to sell the 'hiring' of these machines for a reason; it makes them money (hey they are a business after all). So yes they will have great 'images' etc, merely offering visual representations (as opposed to actual genuine cleaning photos).
If you think about this situation logically, if it were true (i.e. they do the same job as any other machine) then companies (certainly in our case), wouldn't buy machines costing many thousands of pounds. No-one would want to waste that sort of money right? - ABSOLUTELY! But they don't do the same, nowhere near, which is why some companies invest heavily to give the ultimate cleaning experience to their clients (note: not all companies/individuals do).
So What Are The Hidden Dangers? Well they certainly are present that's for sure, and we occasionally
SEE the result - and rectify issues commonly experienced with them. I will list them - and if you have used one before you may notice one of them - or even all of them.
1) Poor results - They can give an acceptable "cosmetic clean" but never a deep down clean due to lack of power from the machines
2) Cross contamination (harmful bacteria in your home) - as it is rare to find a hire machine that has been sanitised inside let alone properly cleaned out. Would you like to hire a rug doctor that has been used to clean up after a viral infection? Is your family's health worth the risk?
3) Damp carpets for days - causing smells
4) Mould build up - due to incorrect cleaning attempts
5) Delaminated carpets - caused by over wetting, this is when the carpet comes away from the backing due to the adhesive in the backing being over wetted. This can also leave carpets smelling like vomit when these adhesives break down.
6) Browning discolouration - caused by over wetting, Cellulosic Browning is when the moisture has penetrated the Jute fibres in the backing which in turn will release a lignin dye which during extended drying will slowly wick up to the surface.
7) Shrinkage - caused by excessive moisture. Shrinkage is caused by over wetting the carpet so that moisture is allowed to penetrate into the backing materials. The warp and weft threads then expand causing the carpet to pull in on itself
8) Rapid re-soiling - caused by high residue content of detergent left behind
The actual dangers to you and your family are mould spores being breathed in which can cause health issues, and physically damage carpets which may have to be removed & replaced.
THIS IS NOT A SCARE TACTIC. These are genuine problems that arise because of these machines. So, the idea of saving a few pounds now.......well could it actually cost you more financially in the long run.