Mark Goodman is a second generation carpet, upholstery, area rug and leather cleaning, restorative, protection and restoration expert. Located in Santa Monica, CA. Mark and his company are contacted from designers, showrooms and manufacturers from around the world to help problem solve issues they may have. If you have questions or need a cleaning tip, feel free to use the discussion forum below where Mark provides expert advice and responses to your questions. Mark can be reached at his office at 310-399-2066 or by email Mark@fibermarkmtc.com.

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Simple Steps to Manage Household Spills and Accident Stains

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The majority of our emergency calls have to do with stains. The new baby went potty on the sofa or the dog had an accident on a twenty thousand dollar rug.

We always tell them,

  1. Don’t be frantic.
  2. The worst has already happened, and
  3. Just DON’T work on it.

Because, 99 out of 100 times, people make the problem worse in their attempts to handle a stain. So we tell them to stop so we can inform them what to do.

Google does not know how to answer “my dog just peed on my silk sofa” but it does say “silk sofa… do this”.

What we have found is, almost always, the worst part of what we do is correcting what someone else tried to do to fix the problem.

So here is some advice we commonly give concerning treatment of stains prior to calling us or any professional.

If it is a liquid stain, you need to blot. If you add something to it you only make the spot grow larger and deeper. What we advise is blotting as much of the stain up as possible.

Not with a cloth towels, but with paper towels because they are more absorbent.

So by blotting and flipping the paper towels over to grab as much of the moister as you can, you are not making it worse or adding anything to it causing it to go lower or deeper, or to grow larger.

Then when we get to it, a lot of it is already gone and moisture wicks out. As stuff drips it tends to whip up. But when people add cleaning product to it, it will stay wet.

People’s natural instinct is to go grab something to try to clean something up before it dries and that is usually the exact wrong thing to do.

Let me give you an example that might make sense. You have a kid who walks in the house across the carpet with muddy shoes and jumps up on the sofa.

The first thing people want to do it spray something and get the mud stain out. But mud is just dirt. What I tell people is let it dry and they usually think I am nuts. But if you let it dry it will crumble and brush out.

The same with dog poop. If you just let it dry, after picking up what you can, the rest will usually vacuum out and crumble. Using water in any of these situations will make things worse. You turn it to liquid that will draw downward and grow wider.

So whether it is mud, poop, vomit, or whatever, the best action is to grab up what you can, blot the rest, and let it dry. Once it dries, anything that has substance will vacuum out.

It may not all come out, but at least you didn’t over work the fibers, you didn’t fray the fibers, you didn’t worsen the situation with soap so you are 90 percent ahead of the game is resolving the issue if just let it dry.

At the time of this article, I have at least ten pretty expensive area rugs in my shop with pets stains where someone has attempted to scrub it out. So it is a common occurrence.

In some cases they have scrubbed it so hard with cleaning product that the color is gone or that the material in that area is now fraying. Sometimes both.

On most carpets, when you scrub too hard, you are going to mess up the nap making it impossible to look like the other areas once it is cleaned. So even when we can fix the spot, often we cannot fix the damage the person did to that area of the fabric.

Another common example is people tend to work on the spots that freak them out the most. And by the time we get there, the spots they left alone come right out for us but the areas they worked on are much harder to fix.

So our advice remains to resist the urge to grab that cleaning product from under the sink for stains. These practical approaches will serve you and your furniture, carpet, and fabric investments much better in the long run.

Mark Goodman is a second generation carpet, upholstery, area rug and leather cleaning, restorative, protection and restoration expert. Located in Santa Monica, CA. Mark and his company are contacted from designers, showrooms and manufacturers from around the world to help problem solve issues they may have. If you have questions or need help, Mark can be reached at his office at 310-399-2066 or by email Mark@fibermarkmtc.com

 

If you are going to work on something yourself, at least take our advice…

  1. Do not pour anything on the spot. The goal is to remove the substance or liquid, not add to it.
  2. Do not rub or scrub the spot. You may get the spot out but you may also ruin the nap or distort the texture.
  3. Store bought items frequently cause serious problems, because people automatically pour cleaners onto the spot without removing the substance first.
  4. We recommend a wet / dry vacuum that you should keep in the home for emergencies. This will help remove substances and liquids. We have these vacuums in stock for purchase at our plant. We also have a product we sell to spot your carpets.
  5. When you have the vacuum, you can use it first to vacuum up the liquids and substance. the vacuum will help you avoid the above mentioned difficulties.
  6. If you do not own a wet / dry vacuum, use a large soup spoon and a bowl. Carefully scrape at the carpet to remove any liquid, substance or residue that you can.
  7. Now you are ready to call us for immediate advice on what to do next.
  8. You may not have been able to get everything out, but at the very least our advice may help you avoid ruining your carpets and fabrics
The Art of Spot Removal