How to Get Red Stains Out of Your Carpeting
By Donald Willard
A frequent problem that many carpet cleaning customers experience in Bel Air, MD and throughout Harford County is red dye stains on their carpeting. If you have small children (or even teenagers) you may have encountered this situation. Even many pet foods contain red dye, so if your pet gets sick after eating you may have this problem too.
As with all stains, time is of the essence. If you can treat a stain as soon as possible your chances of successful removal are much greater. The stain shown in the photograph was from Jello that was spilled, and it was over 10 years old! Not only that, the customer had tried numerous spot removers, further complication the issue.
Step One would be to blot as much of the staining substance as possible. With modern stain resistant carpeting this may remove a great extent of the stain. Step Two would be to rinse the spot with cool water, followed by lots of blotting. Be careful not to over-wet the area, and work from the outside towards the middle to minimize spreading.
If these steps fail it may require more drastic steps. Apply an oxygenated cleaner to the area, following label directions. Unlike the TV commercials, these products take a little time to work completely. You may not see the final result until 8 hours later.
If this fails, assuming the carpet is synthetic you may try an even more drastic procedure. For this process you will need a steam iron, white terry cloth towels and household ammonia. Fill the iron with water and place on the lowest setting that will produce steam. While the iron is heating apply the ammonia directly to the affected area.
Place a soaking wet terry cloth towel over the stain, and apply the iron. Check every 30 seconds to see if any of the stain is transferring onto the towel. Keep the towel wet and apply more ammonia as needed. If you see any lightening of the carpet you need to stop immediately.
After you have removed as much of the stain as possible, you will need to neutralize the ammonia. Just apply a small amount of neutral carpet spotter to the area, and rinse thoroughly as before.
A note of caution here: this procedure is only safe on synthetic carpets. Ammonia will cause permanent damage to any natural fiber carpet! And of course take necessary safety precautions while using a hot iron and ammonia.
If this spotting tip fails to remove the stain, it’s time to call the pros at Advanced Carpet Cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners have products at their disposal that are much more effective. Be forewarned though; some stains are permanent to all attempts at removal. No reputable carpet cleaning company can guarantee stain removal.
As an aside, this also brings to mind the subject of topical stain preventatives. Whenever you have your carpet cleaned it makes sense to have stain resistance applied if you may have spills such as these, which is a topic for another article!
Good Luck, be patient and stop if you see any of the carpet dye being transferred to the white towels!