The Difference Between Carpet Stains and Spots

difference between carpet stains and spots

As professional carpet cleaners in Cape Town, we know that there are several types of damage that can risk the quality of your carpets. If you’re a homeowner who has carpets installed, you’re probably no stranger to stains and spots, especially if you have children and pets around. While, they’re two of the most common issues that can contribute to the wearing of your carpets, stains and spots are not the same. Both occur as a result of something being dropped or spilled on the carpet, but the difference between a spot and a stain is the chemical or physical interaction between the substance and the material of the carpet.

With a spot, the substance causes temporary blotching or discoloration of the carpet. Since it does not permanently stick to the fibres of the carpet, it doesn’t cause lasting damage as it can easily be removed. It can be dust, dirt, mud, and food that doesn’t contain dye. If not cleaned immediately, a spot begins to take the appearance of a stain, but it can be removed completely with proper cleaning tools.

A stain, on the other hand, contains chemicals and substances that can ruin your carpets and upholstery forever. Spills can be absorbed by the fibres if left to dry, and can cause discolouration. These include pet urine, coffee, sodas, red wine, grape juice, tomato sauce, blood, hair dye, medicines, paint, and ink.

Hydrogen peroxide-based products, enzyme infused cleaners, and red dye-removing detergents are able to lift out stains. If you’re trying to remove spots, the wrong chemicals and manoeuvres can make the situation worse and create a stain, dull the surface, or fade the carpet dye. In some cases, you may not be able to see a stain because it is hidden underneath dirt and dust, but once you vacuum it off, the dirt layer and discolouration becomes visible.   

A spot is easiest to remove as it only takes proper and regular vacuuming to remove dirt and dust from deep within the carpet. You can also use a broom to quickly sweep up mud and sand that has been tracked in on shoes or dust that floated in an open door or window.

A stain is trickier because not only is it hard to remove but you’ll need the right cleaning solutions and methods. If you rub the stain away, you risk abasing away the material forcing the stain deeper into the carpet and upholstery. This is especially dangerous if you’re using steel wool, hard brushes, or scratchy sponges. As soon as your carpet becomes stained, it’s best to use a plain cloth or paper towels without any colours or prints and gently press on the stain to absorb the bulk of the spill.

Then mix a gentle household detergent with a bucket of water to create a cleaning solution. Pour or spray it on the stain and let it sit for a while. Then blot or soak it several times with a damp cloth.  

Not all carpet damage is created equal, and untreated stains and spots can grow over time to cause permanent discolouration and wear and wear. In extreme cases, this requires a full carpet replacement, so even if the damage is minimal, acting quickly can help you avoid a costly expense. if you’re looking for a company that can help you with carpet and upholstery cleaning in Cape Town, call Imperial Cleaning today for high-quality cleaning services. 

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