Stain removal is a matter of chemistry

When your favourite item of furniture or expensive carpet suffers from a sudden spill that immediately produces a stain, your first reaction is often to attempt to remove the stain yourself. With supermarkets offering such a wide range of products with names that promise to banish all manner of stains, it’s no surprise that consumers reach for a bottle off the shelf. Many people don’t know, however, that according to a recent report, in 90% of cases in which a customer attempts to remove a stain themselves it ends in an insurance claim and a write-off. The truth is that stain removal is actually a matter of chemistry and, as a result, there is no single product that can tackle all stains on any carpet fibre!

Stain removal is a science that requires expertise and attention to detail

During our 12 years providing stain removal solutions at Cleaner Cleaner, we have come across many incidents in which people have mistakenly used over-the-counter products to remove a stain. Recently, we were contacted by a customer who had tried to clean a pet urine stain from their friend’s viscose carpet using such a product, which had completely ruined the rug. The customer was confused about why the household stain removal product had worked on her puppy’s stains on her carpet but had produced such disastrous results with her friend’s expensive designer rug. 

In this case, we helped the customer to perform a test by instructing her to extract a single fibre from her carpet and dip it is a glass of water. The fibre floated on the water’s surface, indicating that it was polypropylene. Polypropylene is the only fibre that does not sink, and it is virtually bulletproof and easily cleaned, unlike more delicate fibres that require more specialised care. Despite the promises of products in the cleaning aisle, there isn’t a single solution that can tackle all stains on any carpet or rug. 

Before you try and tackle a stain yourself, you need to know the fibre type and its properties. In the case of the rug, viscose is a material that does not tolerate extremes in pH and the product she applied was highly alkaline. As a result, the solution coupled with the ferocious scrubbing had destroyed the rug beyond repair. This case just illustrates the importance of seeking out expertise in this area. 

What should I do when I suddenly have to deal with a stain?

If a stain has just happened in your home, don’t panic! It’s better to leave a stain overnight than to start attempting a home removal with the aid of YouTube. It is important, however, to treat the stain as soon as possible to ease the removal process. At Cleaner Cleaner, we’re always happy to offer customers free advice about what steps to take next or to assess the item thoroughly ourselves. You can also contact the item’s manufacturer for specific advice. If you’ve already tried to clean the stain and it’s not improved or worsened, it’s even more crucial to reach out to an experienced specialist. In the meantime, we recommend removing any solid matter and blotting fresh stains with clean, white towels or napkins. 

Important information to know about these common stains

Coffee stain

You might think that all coffee stains are the same, but the temperature is a major factor. Hot coffee will penetrate deeper into the fibre and set whereas a cold coffee stain might come out easier. The colour of the coffee also makes a difference: white coffee contains milk and, as a result, the protein in the milk needs to be tackled first before the tannins in the coffee itself.

Red wine

Many people think that white wine will neutralise a red wine stain, but this is false. Red wine stain removal is tricky and ideally requires a professional. It is best not to do anything to the stain yourself as the more it is disturbed, the deeper the stain goes.

Nail varnish

This is a particularly tricky stain and, despite the temptation, you should never use nail varnish remover as this will dissolve the adhesive that keeps the fibres attached to the carpet base.


As this is a bodily fluid, it’s imperative to wear gloves. Viruses can survive in dried blood for up to 7 days. You should only use cold water with no scrubbing, but a home removal might leave a watermark.

Urine stain

Urine stain removal is another very tricky case, but the first step is always to rinse out the stain as the area has to be completely sanitised. A professional should usually be able to deliver a satisfactory stain removal just from this first process as long as it is done quickly. 

A separate service is necessary if discolouration continues after the area has dried out in order to lift the colour residue. Urine is highly acidic but becomes highly alkaline when it comes into contact with fibres and these pH extremes can affect the original colour, particularly on wool carpets. At Cleaner Cleaner, we use an advanced stain removal process to test an area of the furnishing to see how it reacts to treatment before fully removing the urine stain. If done promptly, no colour loss should occur beneath. 

If the colour loss has happened, we also offer a third service to restore the missing colour and ensure it blends into the original fabric.

Can Cleaner Cleaner guarantee a stain will be removed?

We are a fully certified fibre care specialist and we have over a decade of experience in successfully removing a wide variety of stains when they have been left untouched. We can also assess and pursue treatment when a home removal has been attempted with domestic products, but we cannot guarantee that every stain will be removed in this case. 

Contact us today for more advice about stain cleaning and our wide range of restorative services.