You have dropped something on your carpet (or upholstery), and your instinct tells you to grab something to try and remove it as quickly as possible. So your first thought is probably to wipe it up, and then maybe to use a cleaning product that may be wholey innapropriate - even when it may say that it is a carpet cleaning or stain removal product!
Unbeknown to you that magic cleaner that you bought that's hopefully going to save your carpet - could contain something very harsh that could actually ruin it - with NO possibility of returning it back to how it should. WHAT! I hear you say! There are 2 major issues with these supermarket available products - we see these nearly every day, and the worse 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, and they are:
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 cleaners are detergent based, and usually quite foamy. Because you are not removing this 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 its exactly the same i.e. Soapy and sticky!
Ruined Carpet or Upholstery?
After you have attempted to remove the stain (and been unsuccessful), you may now be considering calling a professional in the hope that they can now 'sort it out'. But now we have a major problem - by applying said products can unfortunately cause what we professionals call 'setting 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 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 'set' and changed chemically.
The moral of the story is - if the value of a carpet or upholstered item is of great importance to you - it would certainly be more cost effective to call out a professional 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 replacement costs.
Can a small bottle of 'carpet cleaning' or 'stain remover' product costing a few pounds - potentially cost you thousands of pounds? Yes it can, so be warned.
Author: Kevin Loomes