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How to Get Grease Out of Carpet

How to get grease out of carpet

The method you choose to clean up a grease spill will depend on the type of grease as well as the type of carpet fiber with which you are dealing.

Remove the Solid Matter First

Clean up as much of a grease spill as you can before it seeps into the carpet. If the grease spill is solid, attempt to spoon up as much as you can by scooping from the outer edge of the spill to the interior to avoid spreading the spill further.

Absorb the Spill

Once you have removed all solids, absorb the rest of the spill with paper towels employing a gentle, blotting motion, pressing toward the center of the spill. Press in one direction to avoid unraveling the carpet fibers.

Continuing blotting the stain until it is dry.

Apply Cleaner

Apply a dry cleaning solvent or spot cleaner with a grease solvent such as petroleum naphtha or trichloroethylene.  Blot until the stain is removed.

If any of the stain remains, use a solution containing one part carpet shampoo to four parts of water. Let the area dry, and then vacuum.  Continue this process until the stain disappears.

How Stain Removers Work

So how do you know which stain remover to use with which stain?  It is important to understand what works because in some cases if you use the wrong product you can actually set the stain.

Solvent: A solvent is a solid, liquid, or gas that dissolves another solid liquid or gas. Solvents include such things as dry cleaning fluid, paint thinner, nail polish remover, and spot removers.

Surfactant: A surfactant lowers the surface tension of a liquid allowing it to become wetter or allowing stains to be carried away in a solution. Detergent, soap, foaming agents, and emulsifiers are surfactants.

Oxidizing Agent: Oxidizing agents attack links in a molecule chain breaking apart stains. Bleach, peroxide, and borax are oxidizing agents.

Whiteners: Stain removers that contain whiteners simply hide the stain by absorbing ultra-violet light and emitting it as visible light causing a stain to seem to disappear. Under a black light, you can still see the stain.

 

Resources

How Do Stain Removers Work.” General Chemistry Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. <antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/consumer/faq/stain-removers.shtml>.

“General Suggestions for Washable Fabrics – Stain Removal Solutions – University of Illinois Extension.” Untitled Document. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. http://web.extension.illinois.edu/stain/upholstery_cleaning_tools.cfm.

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