As Labor Day approaches, remember that not all stains are created equal. Especially BBQ stains.

Summertime and backyard barbeques go hand in hand. And as Labor Day weekend approaches, there are sure to be a few more parties on the horizon. But with great food and fun also comes the likelihood of spills and stains, which means new business for carpet cleaning professionals.

While health experts recommend getting carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned twice a year, and in homes with pets or children, three to four times per year, the frequency of summertime stains can cause an influx of carpet cleaning requests for those who turn to the professionals for help.

When common BBQ summer party stains make their way indoors and onto carpets, it is important to remember, before trying to tackle them, that not all stains are created equal. Most stains fall into two categories – water-based (e.g., grass, beer/wine/juice, ketchup and most foods) and oil-based (e.g., buttered corn, salad dressing, mayonnaise, cooking or motor oil). There are, however, three golden rules that apply to all stains before embarking on the standard carpet cleaning service:

Remove Excess Particles

Before treating any stain, always remove excess particles of the stain from the area. For stains such as grass and dirt, begin by vacuuming the affected area with a suction tool attachment. Do not use the entire vacuum, as the brush feature may make the stain set in deeper. For stains such as ketchup or barbeque sauce, scrape off any excess spillage or remaining dried particles from the carpet with a knife or similar object.

Address the Stain Promptly

The longer a wet stain lingers, the more it sets and can penetrate deeper into the carpet fibers. For water-based stains, blot the affected area with cold water using a paper towel or clean white rag immediately after the spill or stain occurs. For oil-based stains, dampen a clean wash cloth with warm water and blot the area, repeating as necessary.

Never Scrub Wet Stains – Only Blot Them

While it might be tempting to attack a stain with vigorous scrubbing, it can actually push and grind the stain deeper into the carpet fibers. Scrubbing can also deteriorate some of the carpet’s natural durability. Instead, blot the stain by starting on the outsides and pushing towards the center of the stain so it does not spread any further.

Over time and with regular wear, carpets can start to absorb spills more quickly and easily because their original factory-applied resistance treatments lose effectiveness. Professional carpet cleaning services can not only remove stains and dirt plus allergens and bacteria, but they can also apply a protectant coating from the tip to the base of the carpet fibers that creates an invisible barrier and helps prevent stains from permanently discoloring the carpet. Applying protectant will make it easier to address and limit the impact of these common household stains as soon as they occur, helping to maintain the appearance and health of your carpets for a longer period of time.

About Chem-Dry

Chem-Dry is the world’s leading carpet and upholstery cleaning franchise, servicing more than 10,000 households daily worldwide. Chem-Dry’s unique Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) process delivers a deeper, longer-lasting cleaning using a green-certified solution that is all natural and safe for kids and pets. In a study by an independent laboratory, Chem-Dry’s HCE process was found to remove an average of 98 percent of common household allergens from carpets and upholstery and, when combined with sanitizer, was found to remove an average of 89 percent of airborne bacteria in the home, improving indoor air quality.

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