The faster you clean up them up the better chance for removal!
Biological spills, when they exit the body, are especially good at causing some carpet and fabrics to become permanently stained. To boil it down, first off biological content exits the body at 98.6 (if human,) and certainly somewhat close in temperature if from an animal as well. Unfortunately, the hotter the liquid the faster it strikes the top of the carpet, or face fiber, and migrates faster thru the backing and into even the padding and depending on the quantity even into the subflooring.
Biological spills are acidic in nature, and fiber and fabric are dyed with acidic dyes.
Generally biological fluids and matter are acidic when they exit the body. and since fiber and fabric are dyed with acidic dyes, some fiber and fabrics are acid loving, and don’t differentiate from good sources of acidic dyes and bad ones. If carpet has undyed areas of the yarns they will accept dyes easily from any source. Carpet yarns that are lighter generally have less area of the yarns that have dye, and more available surface to receive menacing dyes and become permanent.
This client called hours after the mishap, and with more than enough on her plate that could have distracted her!
Luckily this client knew time was of the essence and called but hours after the mishap. Juggling a hospitalization (of her mother or mother-in-law), and another MAJOR-MAJOR life event she still arranged for us to get there. The least of her worries, we scheduled to come out that day she called. And we easily coordinated access into the house, so we didn’t need to tie her up. And w
hile I will keep her personal life a secret, she had strings tugging at both ends. And I don’t wish what she dealt with simultaneously on anyone!
Thankfully the spot rinsed out and she did not have to have that as a permanent reminder. (Operative message- when there is every reason to put it off, don’t!
Did you know that some carpets are dyed with Red Dye No. 5, the same dye used in H_____ Punch!
Carpet fiber is dyed with food dyes, and yes Red Dye No. 5 is one of them. Why? Because it is really effective at coloring yarns. So if it is used in Mfg of the carpet because it dyes well, don’t you think it dyes well if it is an unwelcome introduction to other fiber and fabric?
The following are red based dyes that commonly can cause problems for certain carpets, upholstered furniture and fabrics:
- Red juices- the aforementioned one, those with berries, such as cranberries, grapes, tomato
- Coffee drinks
- Red based medicines- allergy meds such as B____dryl, and pills with red coatings
- Dog bones with red dye
- Feces & Vomit- food, beverage and medicinal dyes can be problematic.
- Stomach medicines with pink dyes, liquids or pill form
- blood- between the acid content, the temperature and iron within, it also is highly problematic!
Even if you don’t allow drinks or foods upstairs or in carpeted areas you can still have damage from red based dyes!
Secretly based dyes exist in our lives, and can unsuspectingly still cause permanent stains!
Years ago, while discussing carpet cleaning with a client, this client who was diligent in not allowing foods and drinks outside of the kitchen. She passed on the suggestion that we protect the carpet with a stain resistant coating, a blend of Teflon,™ and a StainMaster™ like solution after cleaning. Confident the family house rule would eliminate the chance of a problem, she chose to save money and not spend the extra for the protectant, because it was unnecessary.
While not bullet proof, the protectant when applied does help reduce the chances of permanent damage being caused from red based spills among other things.
The very next week she called us in a panic! With both bathrooms upstairs being used her toddler screamed outside the locked door asking frantically to come in. When it didn’t happen in time her little one “lost it” and threw up all over her withe carpet just outside the door. And, you guessed it, she threw up pink allergy medicine all over the white carpet.
It didn’t matter that she called us right away and we came out to clean…
We had to deliver her bad news- the pink spot from the vomit was permanent!
Again, this was years ago, and the carpets weren’t quite as sophisticated as today’s carpets, but you never know! This client now had a huge red (or lesser shades of pink after we cleaned it), stain on her 3-year-old white carpet. Relying on the fact that she didn’t allow anything, but water upstairs did not serve her purpose well!
Her toddler was screaming a battle cry to be let in because she was going to throw up. She did not make it in time!
If protectant been applied just days before (with the cleaning), it probably would have helped the carpet survive the mishap a little better!
Folks, too much faith is placed, especially in this case, on the carpet not being subjected to stain-causing mishaps. Here the client gambled unknowingly. And true, common food and beverage were less likely a contributing factor. But sneaky unsuspecting dyes can still cause damage.
And some protectants applied at the mill, or reapplied in the field wear down, and wear off. You can’t rely totally on the fact that you had them when the carpet was new. Or you can’t solely rely on the fact that they were re-applied in the field. It is a law of chances.
So if you can pay a little more for increased protection, aren’t those few pennies spent worth the insurance?
Yes they are. While we can’t ever tell if your carpet is bulletproof from these culprits, reapplication of the protectant increases the odds for successful removal.
I can always tell when a client practices what I preach when it comes to biological (or other sudden spills)!
First off, if you have never heard my soap box pitch (funny, soap, in this case also relates to clean-lol) about accidental spills, you might avoid permanent damage if you follow the suggestion:
Stop, drop, blot only, cover to keep damp, and call us!
With that suggestion in place, we often receive calls, which goes as follows: The _____ just happened, I did what you said, I blotted up what I could with a paper towel, covered it with wet paper towels and I called you right away!”
So when this call comes in we do just that, stop, drop and work dog hard to get to you as quickly as possible. This way it remains kind of what I would call ‘in a virgin’ state, meaning it is not altered chemically by any already used solutions. Often, using even appropriate spotters on it can “set the stain,” even before we arrive. And so again, the faster we get there the more successful we should be in removing it!
Applying that mantra, I suggest the following:
- Contain the contents- remove however you can any excess material (such as, sorry, “chunks,” puddles and liquids laying pooled on top of the surface. Use white rages or white paper towels so you don’t further leave dyes in the problem area
- Aggressively blot the liquid content over and over again, for as often as you get “transfer.” Transfer is when the foreign dyes and liquids absorb into the toweling and out of the carpet. Repeat this, without aggressively rubbing the spot, over and over until it mostly, if not stops at all from absorbing into the towel.
- Once blotted, take a clean towel (rag), or paper towel, wet it with cool water. If the area is mostly dry, wring some of the water from the towel on to the spot, then cover the spot with it (the towel or rag). If more wet, lay the wet towel or rag over it, and let it sit.
- Cover the spot with plastic. A unfolded, unused trash can liner is great for this purpose. Unfold it, place overtop of the spot and the rag covering it. If needed secure it so foot traffic near the spot will not disturb it. (Sometimes we place heavier objects on the outskirts of the plastic to weigh it down. But, be careful, don’t place items with dyes in them, like heavy books with colored binders, and such over the damp rag on the spot. You may create a new possible stain on top of your problem underneath!)
- Pick up the phone and call us right away. Tell us what you did and tell us how soon or long ago the mishap happened. (If it was moments ago, that is best-we will drop and run as fast as we can. If it was 2 days ago (or longer) and completely dry, well we will still schedule more quickly, but maybe not quite as fast.) The longer the spot is left unattended, and the drier it is ((whether virgin, (a raw spot vs. already attempted to clean), or a previously attempted to clean one is)), the greater the chances it is “set” and has become a stain.
- Whenever we come to clean, have us clean and re-protect. Considered insurance, the protected carpet is armored and better able to withstand exposure to the above-mentioned spills the next time!
PS- Let me be clear, exterior protection applied on the outside of the fiber/carpet, will wear off with foot traffic, or “rubs” (in the case of upholstery, you rub on the fabric, you rub off the fabric, every time you sit, and get up to leave). This is precisely why re-applying the protectant gives you added insurance!
Protectant extends the life and appearance of the carpet or fabric- period! Cleaning quickly is key!
When biological or spills happen call us right away, or quickly. Time is of the essence-which may save your carpet or fabric from permanent damage. Minimums apply. Call us at 609.953.0472 or CONTACT US on line.