It is not uncommon that bleach or bleach-based products manages to make contact with carpet. Bleach in any form is a detriment to your carpet, no matter if it is a few droplets, or you managed to localize a puddle. Bleach is not like other substances where all you need to do is blot it with a paper towel and treat it with vinegar. Since bleach is a completely different situation, we at Carpet Care 2000 would like to take the opportunity to discuss it.
Is a Bleach Spill a Spot or Stain?
When it comes to bleach, there are a few things everyone should know. Most call it a “stain” when the bleach mucks the aesthetics of your carpet. They think of something can be worked out of the carpets when most think of a stain, however, the hard truth is that bleach cannot be lifted out of carpets unfortunately. For example, a red wine stain can be treated by sopping excess wine with paper towels, preparing a solution of water, white vinegar and liquid dish soap and efficiently removed with proper blotting techniques. On the other hand, bleach does not coat the carpet fibers like the red wine. Instead, it begins dissolving the color pigmentation of the fibers. How light the carpet’s color will get depends on the potency and how long it lingers, and the composition of your carpets. The affects can range from lighter shades of your current color, to brownish, to orangish, to yellowish, and finally to a whitish color. Bleach stains are more accurately “spots”.
How to Remove Bleach Spots
Note: You can reduce the damage it takes by tending it immediately with the steps below in the event bleach make contact with your carpet. When treating bleach spills, avoid the following:
When you blot, do not use colored or printed paper towels, cloths, or towels. Do not create friction by rubbing and scrubbing and using excessive pressure. And don’t use hot water!
1) Blot Bleach Spots: Gently blot the excess moisture from the carpet with light to moderate pressure. The carpet should be only damp, use multiple paper towels to sop up the bleach, if necessary. To help contain the spill, blot the spot on the outer ridges and work your way towards the center.
2) Rinse Bleach Spots: Being extremely careful not to over saturation, sparsely sponge cool water onto the stain. To avoid over saturation if the stain is large and needs multiple applications of water, in between rinsing be sure to use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.
3) Neutralize Bleach Spot: In a squirt bottle, combine 1 cup of cool water and ¼ cup white vinegar. After you moderately spray the solution onto the bleached area, allow the solution to sit for 5-10 minutes.
4) Rinse Carpet Spot: Blot the spot to rinse the out the solution with a damp cloth.
5) Dry Carpet: Use an old towel to absorb as much of the dampness as possible. With a heavy object weigh down a strategically place a dry towel over the top and let it sit overnight. If the spot is thoroughly dried, vacuum the area in the morning. There will still be an unsightly blemish, but hopefully the damage was reduced.