Removing That Tough Stain
An aggressive youngster left unattended can discover several ways to stain your beautiful carpets. When this happens you should be prepared to make every effort to clean up the mess as quickly as possible. A good way to insure success is by acquiring a stain removal guide. Often, the most important part of stain removal is using the correct cleaning agent while the stain is still very fresh. By the way, using the wrong cleaning method can permanently set a stain.
Many carpet manufacturers offer free stain removal pamphlets as part of their customer service program. If your particular carpet manufacturer does not offer this service then check with the folks who installed the carpet for you. They may offer a “generic” stain removal guide that works effectively with the kind of material that was used to manufacture your particular carpet.
Finally, there are several good books on the subject of stain removal. However, it is important to know exactly what material your carpet is made of. Generic guides to cleaning will always reference material type — ”to clean a carpet made with nylon you must always……..” Also, if you keep ink pens around the house it is useful to know what kind of ink they contain. Not all inks are removed with the same cleaner. Again, look to a good book on stain removal to get the insight you will need to nail down ink types.
And, don’t lose hope once you are certain that a stain has become permanent. Having a stain does not necessarily mean that you will have to replace your carpet — especially if it is a small one. A patch may be the solution.
Patching a carpet that does not have a separate pad below it is the easiest type to repair. This includes rubber-backed carpets and other types such as indoor outdoor carpets. Believe it or not, in many instances patching this kind of carpet can be easier than removing the stain. All you will need is a razor knife, a framing square and a roll of double sided tape (or a spray adhesive).
Basically, the patch is made by cutting out the stained material and replacing the removed portion with an undamaged piece. If an extra scrap is not available, the needed carpet can come from under a piece of furniture or from the back corner of a closet. Of course a closet is the best source because furniture often is moved. Once you have removed the damaged piece it can be used as a pattern to cut the replacement piece.
Double sided tape is centered between the exposed area of the patch and the surrounding carpet and is affixed to the floor. Once in place on the floor the protective layer can be removed from the second side of the tape so that it will adhere to the surrounding carpet and the patch.
It is important that the patch be no larger than the size absolutely needed to eliminate the stain. Also, all carpets have an inherent pattern direction built into them. This must be matched to insure an invisible patch. Also, making a perfectly square cut insures your ability to rotate the patch in the repair area until a proper tuft-pattern-match is found. Be careful when cutting out the old and cutting in the new. Move the tufts out of the way of the razor knife. This will damage fewer tufts and insure a cleaner connection.
Carpets over pads are repaired in almost the same way. But, special heat-bonding carpet-tape is needed to facilitate the repair. Also, a special heating iron is required to melt the glue on the tape. Here, we would recommend the assistance of a bona fide carpet person. Expect to pay $25 to $50 for a small patch.
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