Sunday 10 February 2013

Emergency Tips for Spills and Stains

Have you ever wondered why some carpet cleaners always have the latest and greatest tools, and seem to be in demand all the time from wealthier, higher-end clients … while other cleaners are struggling to find enough jobs to keep the bills paid??


To me the difference is clear … KNOWLEDGE.

Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning Course by the
NCCA Carpet Cleaning Course

You can be the best carpet cleaner in the world, but without the knowledge to keep the jobs coming in you will not be paid, likewise you could be the best marketer, but if you can’t remove the stains and give outstanding customer service you will not get paid.  

The best way to move forward is by education.  You must educate your staff, you must educate our clients and above all you must educate your biggest resource --YOU.

As the late Dr Stephen Covey, wrote in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we all need to ‘Sharpen the Saw’.  This means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have--you.  He explains we can only do this by stopping every now and again to 'sharpen your saw' … or taking the time to build a balanced programme for self-renewal in the four key areas of your life: 

  1. Physical:   Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
  2. Social/Emotional:   Making social and meaningful connections with others
  3. Mental:  Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
  4. Spiritual:  Expanding through meditation, music, art, prayer, or service
It’s true a few people do stumble upon wealth and will make it in business, however for most of us this isn't true.  Of all the self-made and successful people I know, without exception, have achieved this by taking the time to educate themselves and the people around them and discover new ideas and strategies to helped them grow. 

I would like to ask when was the last time you…

  • Attended a training course on carpet or hardfloor cleaning?
  • Attended a specialist course like Spot and Stain Removal?  
  • OR purchased some new cleaning products and spent time testing them on stains in your own workshop?
There is no right or wrong answer here, however, the cleaners that seem to be the most successful are the ones I often see at different seminars and courses around the country and on a wide area of subjects and by a wide range of suppliers or instructors.

More and more these days we see cleaners attending seminars for ‘business building’ or ‘marketing’ and even ‘social media’ – these are great, just don’t forget the fundamentals of cleaning and educate yourself with all the latest knowledge.

Sharing Your Knowledge

One of the best ways to grow your own education is to keep searching and sharing your knowledge.  By this we can refer to a number of opportunities to share with your fellow cleaners and peers, like writing articles for the trade and the NCCA Newslink.  Helping to arrange or attending regional meetings for the NCCA.

To help attract more people to your business write 'articles' for the local press, (you maybe able to become a columnist for them, like writing something for 'Spring Cleaning', 'Back to School' and of course 'Pre-Christmas Clean).  The article, published or not can become a new blog post for you, and you drive people to read it by using Social Media.   Finally your 'press article', becomes your 'new blog', which transforms into a new 'free report'.

The simplest way of sharing your knowledge is by educating your clients.  Think of all the ‘FREE Reports’ you could produce and start using them on your website to attract new customers to you.  Google loves new and relevant information, (that's why they love blogs) so the more free reports and free information you upload to the internet the higher it will rank you on the Google search engine.

How many people will type into Google ‘Carpet Stain Removal’ or ‘Pet Urine Removal’ looking for a way of dealing with this for themselves … if you become the local resource of cleaning knowledge they are more likely to come to you when they need a carpet cleaner next time, or indeed if they can't remove the carpet stain themselves.

Not sure what to write…?

Again search the internet for ‘FREE Carpet Cleaning Guides’ or ‘FREE Carpet Stain Removal Guides’ and rewrite them in your words, adding your local area and of course your contact details.   Remember not to copy any one guide directly for two reasons...

  1. The information maybe under copyright to someone else, and you don't want to upset anyone.  
  2. Google likes new and relevant information.  It will know if it's already on the internet and it has to be connected to you, your site, your local area and what you do to really make it work. 
Carpet and upholstery cleaning flyer from
Care Flyer. One of the tools in the NCCA members section
The easiest guide is the “Emergency Tips for Spills and Stains” …why?  Well, the NCCA has already written this for you, the image on the right is an A4 flyer, (3rd folded) ... if you are an NCCA member you'll find it ready to go in the members section, if not you'll find all the words on their website (a link AND the full version is below) its free for you to use and amend.  Please remember to give the NCCA some credit for it too. 

Simply read through and add any spotting product names you already give away (or use), add your logo and contact details try a little rewording to make it your own and finally save it as a PDF.  Now you have created a ‘FREE Guide’ to add to your site as a download or print and laminate to give to every client.

Below is the link to the NCCA’s guide and I’ve added the full guide below for you to see.

Hope you found this interesting and I look forward to ‘Sharing’ more with you soon.



Paul Pearce
NCCA President

PS.  We have a number of training courses coming up, please take a look. NCCA Training Course Details & Dates

Emergency Tips for Spills and Stains

First and foremost, Don't Panic!

Emergency Cleaning Tips from the will happen and most can be resolved, sometimes not without the help of a professional, but the NCCA is here to assist no matter what the circumstances.

If something gets spilled on to your carpet, prompt action is required to prevent staining.

Be Prepared

It is the recommendation of the National Carpet Cleaners Association to have the following items and solutions to hand for dealing with spillages as soon as possible:
  • Clean white absorbent cloth or towel
  • Dry Cleaning Solution - Surgical Spirit (usually available from local Chemists)
  • Detergent Solution - One teaspoonful of gentle detergent for washing woollens, to half a pint (0.3 litres) of warm water
  • Detergent Vinegar Solution - Add one teaspoonful of white (not malt) vinegar to the Detergent Solution
  • Ammonia Solution - One teaspoonful of branded household Ammonia (available from hardware stores) to one cup of warm water

General Tips

  • Do not over wet into backing materials
  • Always test any solution/detergent on an inconspicuous area of carpet prior to treating a stain
  • Use detergents at recommended dilution ratios
  • Scrape up or blot up any excess prior to treatment
  • Blot, never rub or scrub
  • Do not use inappropriate detergents on carpets or upholstery i.e. (washing up liquid, wash powders, household bleach, disinfectants)
  • Always work from the outside of the stain inward to avoid spreading
  • Always apply the cleaning fluid to the absorbent spotting material not directly onto the carpet or fabric
  • Encourage quick drying (carefully use a hairdryer on mild heat to assist)
  • Deal with stains as quickly as possible for increased chances of success
  • Keep the fabric or carpet as dry as possible.

Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Liquid Foods, Urine

  • Blot up surplus spillage
  • Use Detergent Vinegar Solution, a little at a time
  • Work from the outer edge of the stain inwards
  • Frequently blot with dry cloths
  • See below for final rinse procedure

Chocolate, Sweets, Blood, Glue, Egg, Ice Cream, Milk, Soft Drinks, Vomit

  • Scrape up excess with a blunt knife
  • Use a Detergent Solution starting at the outer edge
  • Blot dry
  • Follow up with Ammonia Solution
  • Blot dry
  • See below for final rinse procedure

First Aid for the spills on your CarpetSolids, Fats, Tar, Chewing Gum, Oil, Ointment, Shoe Polish

  • Scrape up excess with a blunt knife
  • Use a Dry Cleaning Solution followed by Detergent Vinegar Solution
  • Blot dry
  • See below for final rinse procedure

Unknown Stains

  • Scrape up or blot surplus spillage
  • Use a Dry Cleaning Solution followed by clean luke warm water
  • Blot dry
  • If further treatment is needed, use either Detergent or Detergent Vinegar Solution
  • Blot dry
  • See below for final rinse procedure

Final Rinse Procedure (applicable to all above methods of stain removal)

  • Mix one-part white vinegar and four-parts water
  • Pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray over the stained area
  • Blot dampened area (do not rub) to remove excess moisture
  • Spread white kitchen towel (stacked 6-8 sheets deep) or absorbent cloth over the affected area and place a weight, such as a telephone directory, on top
  • Leave overnight and repeat if necessary

Whilst the stain removal guide may be basic, it should help prevent some quite common and expensive DIY stain removal damage. Unfortunately, there can never be a guarantee of complete removal of a stain, but the correct routine will give your professional cleaner, when called in, the best possible chance of success.

» Contact an NCCA member in your area.

REMEMBER: Act Quickly. Scrape up solids, blot up liquids. Take plenty of time, it is worth the effort. Mix the solution accurately and test it on an out of the way piece of carpet. Always work from the outer edge of the stain to the centre. Dab or blot rather than scrub or rub. And, most importantly, NEVER OVER-WET.

NOTE: We are aware that some new carpets have been subjected to anti-static and soil-resistant treatments. Even when these have been applied, it is wise to follow the stain removal procedures suggested.


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