What Can You Do To Reduce Stain Damage

It happens to the best and the neatest of us – a klutzy or inattentive moment leads to a spill and then a stubborn stain that "ruins" the chair, rug, carpet or other innocent victim. But, according to Claudia Ramirez, Executive Vice President of the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration (ASCR International) with a little bit of knowledge and some quick thinking, you can limit your losses.

To prevent new spills from becoming permanent stains, follow these basic rules for spill and spot removal:

  • Immediately blot up spills using a clean, white absorbent material such as napkins, towels, etc.
  • Retest spot removal formulas in an inconspicuous area of the fabric. Put a few drops of formula on each color in the textile and, using your white absorbent material, hold it against each color, count to ten, and then examine the results. If the dye has bled into the absorbent material, or if there has been a change in the colored area, call a professional cleaner for advice.
  • Do not overwet. Work with small amounts of spot removers and blot frequently. Problems can result from using large amounts.
  • Blot - do not rub or brush. Excessive agitation may cause unsightly distortion which could be permanent.
  • Always work from the outer edge towards the center of the spot.
  • Have patience – some spots respond slowly.

Remember, haphazard attempts at spot removal may result in indelible stains and / or permanent damage to fabrics. If you have any doubts about a procedure or if you are having difficulty with a particular stain, seek the advice of a professional cleaner. A reputable cleaner will know that many spots will become permanent stains if the wrong remedies are used.

Untreated spills and spots will, with time, become hidden by soil. After the fabric is cleaned and the soil is removed, however, the forgotten stain may reappear.

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