Common Causes of Stubborn Stains
During its recent cleaning, your textile furnishing was treated to expert, professional care. An extra effort was made to treat all stains before and/or after cleaning. However, even with the best of cleaning and spot removal efforts, certain stains may not have come out completely. Just like a dye, these tenacious stains were absorbed by the fibers and have permanently discolored or recolored the fibers in the stained area. It is also possible that the prior spillage or stain produced a damaging chemical change to the fiber and its original dyed color. Such color changes are usually permanent and cannot be reversed or returned to their original color. Discussed below are some common causes of permanent stains on textile furnishings.
Many common spills will permanently stain certain fibers and affect dyes. Pet stains can lead to permanent discoloration, and are a very common occurrence. This discoloration may be visible before cleaning or it may become evident during or after the cleaning process. Spills such as coffee, tea, sodas, and other drinks can also cause permanent stains, especially on wool, some nylons, silk, and cotton. Even “stain resistant” nylon carpets can be permanently stained by HOT coffee, HOT tea, and other common foods, as well as bleach household chemicals or medicines.
Many over-the-counter acne creams and medications may cause lightening or color changes on textile furnishings; however, these changes may appear during or after cleaning. The presence of benzoyl peroxide (a bleach) is the primary cause of these discolorations. Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful color remover, but it often does not become fully activated until the moisture in the textile (usually carpet) is increased. This usually occurs during cleaning or humid weather. There are many other household chemicals that may produce stains, including some pesticides, ammonia, strong cleaners, chlorine bleach or peroxides, chlorine from pool or spa water, furniture scratch remover, shoe dye, chemical preservatives, cosmetics, and many more.
Your professional cleaner has attempted to identify the source of any residual stains or discolorations, and has treated them accordingly. Unfortunately, even with the best professional stain removal and/or cleaning methods, not all stains can or will come out.
Some cleaners offer an additional service which is spot dyeing of discolored areas. This may provide a closer color match to the surrounding, unstained areas, but is only possible on some textiles. Stronger stain removal treatments may also be possible. However, these come with the added risk of further color change or color loss. Due to the difficulties and risks involved, many cleaners avoid these specialty procedures. For an additional service charge, some cleaners will undertake these measures in selected cases, with the permission and signed damage release from the customer.
Immediate action should be taken when any spillage or accident occurs to lessen the possibility of staining. First, blot up all liquid or scrape up as much as the spilled substance as possible. Next, put a thick layer of clean, white absorbent material or toweling over the area and weigh it down with a large book or suitable weight. In order to absorb as much of the spill as possible, replace the absorbent material often until no more stain removal is evident. Then call your local Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration cleaner to learn how to safely treat the area before it becomes a permanent stain. The skilled professional technicians can give your textile furnishing the best cleaning and stain care possible.