Spot Cleaning Stains On Carpeting
- CSI Division:
- Division 9 - Finishes
- Last Modified:
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We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
- This procedure includes guidance on spot cleaning some common stains on carpeting. NOTE: Not all stains can be completely removed. Sometimes cleaning can only improve the appearance.
- See "General Project Guidelines" for general project guidelines to be reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines cover the following sections:
- Safety Precautions
- Historic Structures Precautions
- Quality Assurance
- Delivery, Storage and Handling
- Project/Site Conditions
- Sequencing and Scheduling
- General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing this procedure and should be followed, when applicable, along with recommendations from the Regional Historic Preservation Officer (RHPO).
- E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co., Inc.
NOTE: AVOID USING CLEANERS/CHEMICALS WHICH HAVE A HIGH PH (>10). THESE CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE CARPET FIBERS.
- Neutral pH liquid detergent (MUST NOT CONTAIN BLEACH)
- Household ammonia
- Household vinegar
- Commercial spotter such as "Resolve Carpet Cleaner" (E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co., Inc.), or approved equal.
- POG - Paint, oil and grease remover - available in hardware stores.
- Clean, potable water
- Ice cubes
- Clean, soft, white cotton cloths (terry is a good choice because it is very absorbent).
- Plastic spatula
- Verification of Conditions: Always pretest cleaning methods in an inconspicuous area.
3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
NOTE: Treat spills and stains as soon as possible, otherwise they will be more difficult to remove. Blot up spills with clean, white absorbent materials.
- Remove solid, built-up materials with a spatula, or edge of a dull knife.
- For unknown stains, clean with warm water and a professional detergent spotter. For known stains, see specific procedures outlined below.
- For water-based stains such as tea, coffee, blood, urine, fruit juices, soft drinks, beer and wine.
- Apply a small amount of neutral pH dry cleaning solvent to a clean white, cotton cloth.
- Blot the stained area with the treated cloth. DO NOT SCRUB. Allow to dry.
- Repeat the process of cleaning and blotting until the stain is removed.
- If stained area appears brownish in color after drying:
- Mix 1/3 cup white vinegar with 2/3 cup water.
- Apply a small amount of solution to a clean, white cotton cloth.
- Blot the discolored area with the treated cloth and allow to dry.
- Repeat application ONCE ONLY, if necessary.
- For Chewing Gum:
- Put ice cubes in a plastic bag and place over gum. Allow to sit until gum becomes brittle.
- Scrape off hardened gum using a dull knife or plastic spatula.
- To remove any remaining residue, apply a commercial spotter to a clean, white, cotton cloth, blot the affected area and allow to dry.
- For India Ink:
- Apply a commercial spotter to a clean, white, cotton cloth and blot the stained area.
- Next, apply a paint, oil and grease remover the same way.
- Blot the area with a clean, white, cotton cloth. DO NOT SCRUB.
- Apply commercial spotter again, and blot as above.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of neutral pH liquid detergent with 1 cup warm water. Apply mixture to a clean, white, cotton cloth, and blot stained area as above.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of clear household ammonia with 1/2 cup water. Apply mixture to a clean, white cotton cloth, and blot the stained area as above.
- Rinse area thoroughly with water, blot until dry.
- For Soot:
- Apply a commercial spotter to a clean, white cotton cloth.
- Blot the area with the treated cloth. DO NOT SCRUB.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of neutral pH liquid detergent with 1 cup warm water. Apply mixture to a clean, white cotton cloth, and blot as above.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of clear household ammonia with 1/2 cup water. Apply mixture to a clean, white, cotton cloth, and blot as above.
- Rinse area thoroughly with water, blot until dry.