That carpet in your office has seen better days. You remember when it was brand new. It looked so beautiful you were almost afraid to walk on it. And then came the day when it suffered that very first coffee spill that created the very first stain. It is unfortunate that the worker who spilled the coffee didn’t know enough to blot. Blotting is something commercial cleaning services are well versed in.
You know the game. Someone spills something on the carpet and immediately he is down on all fours with a napkin trying to clean it up. He is vigorously scrubbing back and forth in hopes of getting all of it up, all the while the paper napkin is disintegrating in his hands. He has no idea that he is making the situation worse.
In the seconds and minutes after spilling something on a carpet, you should never scrub. Ever. Scrubbing is bad news for carpets. Rather, it’s far better to pick up any solids and semi-solids with your hands and then handle liquids by blotting with an absorbent cloth. That’s how you prevent spills from becoming stains.
What Blotting Does
The whole point of blotting is to allow the absorbent cloth to soak up liquids that would otherwise create stains. An absorbent cloth is used because it acts as a wick. It soaks up the liquid, pulling it away from the fibers of the carpet before it has an opportunity to penetrate deeply. The more absorbent the cloth, the more effective blotting is.
We are fortunate in the commercial cleaning services industry in that we have towels specifically designed for this purpose. The towels are made of highly absorbent materials capable of soaking up just about anything. They will soak up coffee, vinaigrette dressing, and even ink. But the key to success is always the same: get to the spill quickly and do not scrub.
What Scrubbing Actually Does
Scrubbing a carpet spill almost always does more harm than good. Sure, when the cloth or sponge you’re using first makes contact with the carpet, it soaks up some of the liquid. But the act of scrubbing ends up driving more liquid down into the base of the carpet than you’re soaking up. The harder you scrub, the further down you are driving the liquid. Once it gets into the base of the carpet, you’re done.
Scrubbing also forces the liquid’s molecules into the deepest parts of the carpet fibers themselves. You end up doing the same thing. Once the liquid penetrates the carpet strands, it’s nearly impossible to get it out.
In a nutshell, this is why spills lead to stains. For one reason or another, the liquid penetrates the deepest recesses of the carpet and that’s that. Scrubbing leads to stains because it actually encourages the very thing you want to avoid. So no scrubbing. Instead, blot.
Right Ways to Clean Everything
Take it from us when we say that there are right ways to clean everything. One of the benefits of hiring a commercial cleaning service is knowing that things are being done the right way. Use the right tools and strategies and there are very few things that cannot be cleaned. But use the wrong tools and strategies and cleaning becomes an exercise in promoting stains.
Next time someone in your office spills a cup of coffee on the carpet, no scrubbing. Get an absorbent cloth or towel and start blotting it up. The more quickly you can get to blotting, the greater the chances that no stain will be left behind.