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All posts in “how to remove red wine on carpet”
How to remove vomit stains from carpet
How to Remove Vomit Stains from carpet

Top 5 tips on how to remove vomit stain from the carpet

How to DIY your vomit disaters!Remove vomit stains on carpet

So you want to know how to remove vomit stains from carpet?  We have all been there and this is a question we get asked a lot!  Big night out, big night in, the dreaded tummy bug, kids with gastro……..whatever the cause, the result is the same! A terrible mess that not only stains your carpet, but also leaves that odour! You know the one, a constant, lingering reminder! The longer you leave it, avoid it, hope it will magically disappear; the harder it will be to remove the stain.  Ultimately you need to act fast, but what can you do to remove vomit stains from the carpet?

Tip1 : Fast action

Never leave vomit stains on the carpet.  Always attend to them as soon as you can, otherwise the acids in the bile can damage your carpet fibres and leave permanent stains. The liquid will also soak through to the underlay and become even more difficult to remove.  The best thing to do is to remove as much of the vomit as possible.  Use a flat bladed knife or spatula to scrap away as much of the solid matter as you can. Then blot the remaining liquid with paper towels or clean dry cloths to absorb as much moisture as possible.

Tip 2: Remove Moisture

Baking soda or bi carb soda, as we call it in Australia, is a fantastic cleaning aid.  In this situation a fairly generous sprinkling of bi carb soda over the stain will help absorb any remaining liquid and also help neutralise the odour.  Leave the powder on the stain for at least 15 minutes before vacuuming away.

Tip 3: Stain RemovalRemove vomit stains from bedroom carpet

If there is still a visible stain on the carpet, then at this point, you might be best calling in a professional carpet cleaner.  Vomit is a protein stain, like blood and urine, so it is best removed with an enzymatic cleaner.  This is a process whereby, enzymes digest the protein molecules which cause the stain and odour.  You can purchase some over the counter enzyme sprays.  Often these types of products are sold for pet stains, but will also be effective in treating human stains as well! However, professional carpet cleaners are able to select cleaning agents appropriate not only for the type of stain, but also for the type of carpet you have. Some over the counter products may cause more damage to your carpet, particularly if your carpet is made from wool.  If you still want to try and DIY the stain, you could try a mixture of one part white vinegar to 2 parts water and a few drops of dishing washing liquid.  Make sure you test this on the carpet somewhere inconspicuous first!   Mist this mixture over the stain then blot with paper towel or a clean, dry cloth.

Tip4: Always Rinse & Blot

Whenever you try to remove a stain yourself, it is important to rinse the area with water, after applying any cleaning solutions.  Carpet cleaning solutions left on the carpet can cause damage such as bleaching or discolouration.  Even “natural” products such as, vinegar can discolour your carpet. Dirt particles also stick to the residue left behind on the carpet and will cause rapid resoiling.  Do not use a lot of water or you will end up with brown water marks on your carpet.  Just lightly mist water and dab dry.  It is important to dab or blot the carpet dry rather than rubbing it, as rubbing, will cause damage to the carpet fibres. I imagine you are beginning to understand why sometimes it is best to leave these jobs to the professionals! Carpet cleaners have powerful cleaning equipment, which can rinse and extract in one motion.  They also add an acid rinse to their finish to ensure all residue is removed.  All of this can be done quickly and easily with no risk of damage to your carpet.

Tip 5: Dry

The best way to ensure the stain does not wick back up the carpet fibres after cleaning, is to ensure you dry the area thoroughly. Air movement around the area is vital for quick drying.  You can place a fan heater near the area, use a hair dryer or just have a window open and the heating on.  Once the carpet is dry, there should be no odour.

That’s it….but if in doubt, a professional carpet cleaner like Black Gold Carpet Cleaning to remove vomit stains Vomit stain removal

If by this point, you still have a faint lingering odour or stain, I would recommend you call a professional carpet cleaner for advice.  In most cases a trained professional can remove stains that the average person cannot.  The key to successful stain removal is time!  Always act quickly to remove vomit stains using theses tips and ask for professional help if in doubt.

steam cleaning Melbourne mistakes
Steam Cleaning Melbourne: Top Mistakes

Steam Cleaning Melbourne Stain removal Tips

We have all experienced the frustration of spilling something like red wine or soft drink on the carpet. This especially applies if you have kids or pets or both! First comes the disbelief and then comes the panic!  When that panic sets in, try taking deep breaths and may be even walk away for a few minutes to restore calm to the situation.  What you do or don’t do during those first panicked minutes, can save your carpet or destroy it!  Most people in this situation either go straight to Google and see what the Internet “experts” have to say about removing stains or they rummage through their kitchen/laundry cupboard and grab anything that vaguely resembles a cleaning product.  In these emergency situations who has time to read instruction labels or warnings about spot testing first? Right? With great haste you spray, pour, scrub, sprinkle, vacuum and pray until you have enough chemical concoctions on the carpet, to write a science paper! But has it fixed the problem or just made a bad situation a whole lot worse?

In this article I will explain why some stain removal, home remedies are best used with caution.  Also, why sometimes it is best to call in a professional carpet steam cleaning Melbourne service rather than tackle the stain yourself.

Black Gold Steam Cleaning Melbourne

Vinegar

When it comes to most food and drink stains, vinegar is king! Vinegar is an acid and most food and beverages contain acid as well.  This is why vinegar works so well on these types of stains. Acids break down other acids.  However not all vinegars are equal! Only white vinegar is suitable for using as a stain remover.  Other vinegars such as balsamic, red wine or apple cider vinegar can leave stains of their own on carpet. Ironically you can use white vinegar to remove these other vinegar stains!

Adding a few drops of dish washing liquid to a spray bottle with vinegar diluted by water, adds extra oomph to the cleaning power of vinegar.

There are 3 important steps to remember when using vinegar as a stain remover on your carpet.

  1. Dilute the vinegar with water and mist it over the stain rather than pouring it on.
  2. Always do a spot test somewhere inconspicuous before spraying it all over your carpet.
  3. Be sure to rinse the vinegar thoroughly from your carpet with water

Vinegar can cause discolouration on some types of carpet fibres, especially if it is used in large quantities and left on the carpet for long periods of time.  These photos below show what happens to carpet when vinegar is used excessively and then not rinsed properly. Luckily this customer called us at Black Gold Carpet steam cleaning Melbourne for help fixing this mess.

Remove stain steam cleaning Melbourne

Bi Carb Soda (Baking Soda)

If Vinegar is king, then bi carb soda is queen!  This white powder can be sprinkled over wet stains to absorb liquid and odour.  If you sprinkle it over a stain moistened with vinegar then you will really see cleaning power in action!  This combination causes a chemical reaction which releases carbon dioxide.  Leave the stain until the mixture stops bubbling and allow it to draw the stain out of the carpet.  Then wipe or vacuum it away. The order you use here is very important.  Always vinegar first then bi carb soda.  If you do it the other way around you could end up with a huge volcanic like mess!

The main problem with using bicarb or baking soda, is the mess it leaves behind.  If you use too much and leave it for too long the paste becomes a hard chalk like substance stuck firmly to your carpet fibre.  It can be very difficult to remove! Vacuuming alternated with a light, gentle brushing of the carpet, helps.  Rinsing with warm water, then drying the area thoroughly, should remove the remaining residue.  However if you find there is still bi carb soda visible, then you may need to call in Black Gold Steam cleaning Melbourne for help and advice.

bi carb stains remove by steam cleaning Melbourne

Oxi Sprays

You can purchase over the counter carpet stain removers from most supermarkets.  I would always err on the side of caution when using a product like this.  Read the instruction label and always, always, test it on an inconspicuous spot first! The main ingredient in these sprays is hydrogen peroxide. There are different strengths of hydrogen peroxide and it is recommended that not more than a 3% solution is used on carpet, unless you are a professional carpet cleaner.  Stronger solutions, higher than 3%, may result in colour loss or bleaching of carpet fibres.  Professional carpet cleaners are trained to be able to identify different carpet fibres and know what is safe to use.  They also have high powered equipment capable of rinsing all of the hydrogen peroxide away.

The biggest problem aside from the bleaching, is removing all of the residue.  Often these spray on cleaners are difficult to remove without professional equipment and therefore the residue attracts dirt.  The other chemicals mixed in with the hydrogen peroxide are usually preservatives and stabilisers as well as a lot of water.   It would be much cheaper (and safer) to just buy some 3% hydrogen peroxide and dilute it your self in a spray bottle with some warm water ( 1:2).  You could also add a few drops of dish washing liquid to help with the cleaning process.  Make sure you do not rub the fibre and always rinse and dry the spot.

To avoid any potential problems and save yourself a whole lot of effort and stress, I would recommend you call a professional like Black Gold carpet steam cleaning Melbourne to remove the stain or at least offer the right advice.

steam cleaning Melbourne bleached carpet

A final word of advice

I am all for natural cleaning remedies and products.  In fact most of our cleaning products are natural citrus based detergents and spotters.  We also use essential oils for their natural antibacterial properties.  However just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean it is always safe to use on every stain and every carpet type. There is actually quite a lot of science involved in carpet cleaning and it takes training and experience to understand what works best in each unique situation.  There is not “a one size fits all” when it comes to carpet steam cleaning and stain removalAlways seek professional advice before reaching into the cupboard.

Or Phone us on 0403 254 080

carpet stain removal Melbourne
Carpet Cleaner Top 5 Don’ts

As a carpet cleaner I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly….

Over the years as a carpet cleaner,  I have seen some pretty funny things put on carpet to try and remove stains. Some work and some are just plain, ridiculous and cause more damage than the original stain! There is plenty of information out there about what you should put on stains of all kinds.  Some of it is good advice backed up by sound scientific principals and chemistry. Some, however, is complete fiction and could quite possibly have a horror story ending rather than the “happily ever after” most people are looking for! Here are the top five home remedies to be avoided if you want a happy ending to your red wine nightmare.

1. SaltCarpet Cleaner salt on red wine

Why is it that whenever someone spills red wine, the first thing they do is reach for salt? This remedy has been passed down through the ages and probably had more to do with convenience than science. In the past (and present), both wine and salt were consumed with most meals.  So salt was often  the closest thing available to throw over a spill.  The aim being to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.  It sounds logical, until you consider the fact that salt is the ingredient we throw into dye baths to help bond dye to fabric fibres! By piling up a heap of salt on a wine stain, all you are doing is aiding the natural dyes in the wine to penetrate the carpet fibres.  Thereby creating a permanent reminder of your clumsiness!  The best first action for red wine is to absorb as much of the liquid as you can.  The best way to do this is by using clean white towels or paper towels NOT salt!  Do not panic – remember you can always call a professional carpet cleaner for advice.

2. White wineCarpet cleaner - white wine on red wine

We have all heard the one about pouring white wine over a red wine spill. I believe this also comes from the fact that where there is red wine, there is usually white wine.  So if you spill the red, then try to dilute it with whatever is closest and not as colourful – white wine!  There is some science behind this method.  Both red and white wines are acidic and acids can be used to dissolve acids. However there are lots of other ingredients in white wine as well. So white wine is probably not the best first choice when it comes to stain removal.  White wine probably will not cause any further staining, however it will be a very smelly mess and not nearly as effective as some other acids which are odourless when they evaporate, e.g. white vinegar.

The second step when dealing with red wine stains is to dilute the remaining liquid as much as possible without causing any further damage.  I would suggest adding a little cold water (preferably misted on using a spray bottle) and dabbing with a clean dry white cloth.  Repeat as often as necessary until there is no more colour transfer from the stain onto the cloth.  You could also try adding 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts cold water to the spray bottle.  If in doubt call a professional carpet cleaner for advice!

3. Baking Soda (Bi Carb Soda)Carpet cleaner - baking soda on red wine

While baking soda is something that can be helpful in removing some stains, it can also leave behind a white powdery residue.  This residue is very difficult to remove.  I have read many blogs and articles that recommend using a a baking soda paste on food stains and pet stains.  However not many mention that you also need to use an acid with the baking soda to create the right chemical reaction to remove the stains.  When you combine an acid such as wine or vinegar and baking soda, you get a chemical reaction which creates carbon dioxide gas.  It is this reaction that helps remove stains, the combination of a base and an acid dissolved in water.  This process does work, however you have to let the paste react and then dry on the carpet.  The dried paste attaches to the carpet fibres and can be very difficult to remove.  Vacuuming is often not enough.  You have to gently scrap the dried paste off the carpet with a blunt knife, without damaging the fibers. Is all the mess worth it when there are other carpet cleaner methods available that do not leave a residue?

4. Corn Flour (starch)Carpet cleaner - corn flour on stain

This is one of the more “out there” methods I have witnessed!  Why anyone would apply corn flour to a wet carpet stain, I will never know.  As with the baking soda, corn flour can be very messy and difficult to remove from carpet.  Corn flour is very absorbent when it comes to greasy stains on leather furniture.  This is because it is very fine and can get into tiny cracks and crevices that other products cannot.  By all means use corn flour to remove grease, but don’t mix it up into a paste and lather it on your carpet.  It is just too difficult to remove and there are many other remedies out there that do not require so much work!  Because I am a qualified carpet cleaner, I had no trouble removing the ink stain for this customer, however the corn flour took a lot more effort!

5. Vanish and other supermarket “carpet stain removers”Carpet Cleaner - vanish on red wine

I cannot say it strongly enough – never use these products on your carpet to remove stains, until you consult a professional carpet cleaner for advice. These products often contain bleach which can remove the stains.  However, unfortunately, they also often remove the colour from your carpet fibres. So you’re left with light coloured patches all over your carpet. Professional carpet cleaners also used bleach, in some situations.  However we know what strength bleach to use and how to rinse it from your carpet.  The longer the Vanish type products stay on your carpet, the more damage they can do.  There is no easy way to rinse them out of your carpet completely, without the right carpet cleaner equipment.

A final word of advice from your local carpet cleaner

Never panic! Always follow these 3 steps when dealing with most food and drink spills;

  1. BLOT – remove as much liquid/solid as you can by blotting or scraping the spill immediately
  2. DILUTE – Using a spray bottle filled with cold water, mist over the stain to dilute
  3. BLOT – remove as much of the water as you can with a clean dry towell (always dab/blot – never rub!)

If the stain remains then call a professional carpet cleaner, such as Black Gold Carpet Cleaning.  We can offer advice and quotes over the phone, any time, day or night!

red wine on carpet
How to remove red wine on carpet

How to remove red wine on carpet

Oh no! Not on the carpet!Red wine on carpet

You will be familiar with that phrase if you have ever spilt something, especially red wine on carpet. It is a question we get asked quite often. Read on to find out how we showed Nicole from Canterbury how to remove red wine on carpet.

Unfortunately for her, Nicole is all too familiar with the above scenario.  Yesterday when I went to steam clean her carpets, she showed me a red wine stain, that had happened about a year ago.  She had come home from a hard day at the office and sat down at the computer after dinner with a nice glass of Merlot in hand.  Next thing you know, she got a little too exuberant with the mouse and knocked the half full glass of red wine off the desk. Red wine on carpet – Disaster! Or so she thought! Sound familiar?

Luckily for me, Nicole hadn’t tried to remove the stain with any chemicals, she had just blotted it with water and a cloth.  If she had used an over the counter product, then I might of had a bit more of a fight on my hands to remove the stain.  The fact that her carpets are synthetic rather than made from wool, also helped.  Woolen carpets tend to absorb liquid into the fibre and are less stain resistant then man made carpet fibres like polypropylene or nylon.

Nicole was sure I wouldn’t have much success removing the stain as it had been there for quite sometime.  I told her to stand back and watch a magician at work.  I treated the red wine stain with “magic potion” I concocted for such stains, then cleaned the carpet with my magic wand.  Before you could say abracadabra, the stain was all but gone! You would be amazed, just like Nicole!

How to remove red wine on carpetHow to remove red wine on carpet

“Yasser manged to remove a red wine stain on our carpet that was 12 months old. FANTASTIC! Would use Black Gold Carpet Cleaning again and I have recommended them to my friends.” Nicole, Canterbury, Vic, July 2013

It is important to remember that although I can make most stains disappear as if by magic, successful stain removal depends on many factors including;

  1. The age of the stain – most fresh stains can be removed by using the appropriate chemical or stain remover.  Unfortunately however, it is more often the case that the stain is left untreated for an extended periods before a carpet technician is called to resolve the problem.  This gives the liquid time to be absorbed into the carpet fibre and it sets on the fibre. Whatever you do, do not leave a stain unattended for long periods of time.
  2. The type of fibre and the construction of the carpet – natural fibres tend to absorb more liquid than synthetic fibres and are more prone to pile damage when cleaned too vigourously.
  3. The type of stain – It is very important to identify the type of stain in order to determine the best treatment. Trained technicians should be able to identify a variety of stains by sight, touch and smell if the stains are of unknown origins.
  4. Other removal attempts – Stain removal is a chemical process and all stains have different Ph levels.  A professional carpet cleaner will know the correct stain remover for each Ph level and situation.  Remember, whatever you put on the stain will alter the Ph level. Sometimes this makes stain removal almost impossible to remove, as the cleaner will have to estimate the altered Ph level and adjust his removal process accordingly.

Just remember, it is important to act quickly, you can blot up the excess liquid and dab with a clean damp cloth but do not rub. Please call Black Gold Carpet Cleaning soon as possible if the stain remains.  Our technicians will be able to discuss and identify the stain with you and give you a fairly good idea of the expected outcome.  If we believe we can remove the stain, however fail to do so, we do not charge extra for the stain removal.