Spot Cleaning Mistakes

from the April 2017 Newsletter – Host Professional Cleaners Association (PCA)

Most of the carpet cleaning calls we receive at the factory are about spot cleaning.  Consumers as well as professionals many times fail in spot removal by failing to prevent spot wick-back. We have been taught incorrectly to start by spraying spot removers directly onto the carpet spot …thus flushing the spot down the fibers and to, or into, the carpet backing. Then as the carpet dries, wicking naturally occurs. The spot reappears. Deep cleaning has not happened…only redistribution of the spot deeper into the carpet to come back again another day.

Or stronger chemicals are used to “oxidize” the spot so you will not see that it is still there. What is invisible must not be there?

The biggest mistake that people make in spot cleaning is not keeping the process simple in the identifying and cleaning process (the KISS principle Keep It Simple Simon). The amount of success that they have had in the past directly impacts the type of cleaning chemicals and procedures that they use… which can have disastrous effects. Below is a facility that has used a variety of spotting agents trying to remove the spots in its lobby:

bleached spot cleaning

Note the white spots in this picture. The intended cleaning did not remove the original spot that the “professional cleaner” was trying to remove. As one walked around this 10,000 sq. ft. lobby of this convention center, one saw many spots that were “cleaned”… yet the original spot they tried to remove was still there. In this situation the facility was so frustrated at the inability to remove the spots they began to use spot cleaners that contain H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide).  Their idea was to oxidize or “bleach” the spots from the carpet and in doing so they removed the color of the carpet creating a worse situation than the spots presented in the first place.

This and many spot removal problems could have been avoided by keeping the identification and cleaning process simple.

Read: My Simple Guide to Removing Spots from Carpet and Area Rugs


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