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A key element of professional carpet cleaning is stain removal. Whether or not a carpet is dirty, often it is a particular stain that will initiate a call for our services. Obviously, there is a hugely diverse range of stains than can cause issues. Green Man carry a broad spectrum of eco-friendly treatments to tackle most with success.

Off-the-shelf treatments such as Vanish and 1001 are not necessarily bad news, this article is not about rubbishing these products. However, many such products do have the potential to permanently bleach carpets and fabrics, and it is important to take note of how this can occur. A brief glance at the back of a bottle of VANISH Gold Carpet Care Oxi Action Spot Stain Spray reveals the following ingredients:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Hydrogen Peroxide
Sodium Iminodisuccinate
Acrylate Copolymer Sodium Salt
Alcohol Ethoxylated C4-C8 5EO
Dipropylene glycol n-butylether
Citric Acid
Benzyl Salicylate
Hexyl Cinnamal

While some of these may be harmless, others (such as Hydrogen Peroxide) are bleaching and, if left, can create problems. Most off the shelf treatments carry general advice such as...

Vanish usage instructions

It is useful to have a sensible dwell time of 5 minutes advised, but where is there a precaution for pre-testing for colour fastness on a discreet area? With such a range of fabric and dye types out there, this surely seems a recipe for trouble.

Photo of bleaching damage from Vanish use on wool
Bleaching damage from Vanish use on wool

As for Blot & rub, this is terrible advice. We have seen countless examples of home stain treatments where excessive agitation (in the panic of the moment) has literally worn a carpet through to its backing. Professional stain treatment will never involve rubbing, as this has the potential to degrade the carpet pile.

The final element in most stain removal is rinse extraction, where the stain and the solutions used to treat it are rinsed and recovered with a powerful vacuum. It is this stage that is usually missing in most home treatments and, even if the home-owner has a domestic carpet cleaning machine, often the detergents in the rinse mix will cause rapid re-soiling.

What is re-soiling?

One of the key advantages in being an eco-friendly carpet, rug & upholstering cleaning company is that, as well as delivering an outstanding level of professional cleaning, the results we achieve last longer because the solutions we use are free-rinsing. Many carpet cleaning companies continue to use detergent based solutions. These products tend to leave a residual amount of detergent in the carpet which, over time, forms a sticky residue that actually attracts soil and quickly deteriorates.

In a similar way, it is difficult for an amateur to entirely remove Vanish or 1001 from the carpet and it will remain in the pile, accumulating dirt and may rapidly make the area look worse than it was before.

If in doubt, you can look at our DIY section for helpful tips on how to treat stains, or always feel free to get in touch with any questions via our Contact page.

Thanks for reading!

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