September 27, 2013
Spilling bleach on the carpet seems like it would be the “end of the world”! I mean once it’s done, it’s done, right?! Well, sort of. I always thought that once carpet was discolored, then you were just stuck with ugly carpet. It turns out that there is something you can do to cover up bleach stains and other discolorations without resorting to cutting and replacing that one area of carpet, or heaven forbid, paying for new carpet.
I’ve seen people using things from fabric dyes to crayons to cover up those bleach marks. Something that feels a little safer, and yet still not too costly, is a set of carpet dye sticks. They aren’t permanent, but I’ve yet to discover a trustworthy permanent solution to this problem. Every “cover up” solutions seems to be temporary, lasting only until you get your carpets cleaned again.
To do it right, start with a deep, professional steam clean. I know, I know, of course I want you to get your carpets professionally cleaned because that is the very business we are in. However, the dye sticks have a much better chance of adhering to your carpet fibers if the fibers are free of dirt, grime, and cleaning products. So, even if you don’t use the best carpet cleaner in Fresno, be sure to use a truck mounted, rotary extraction method of carpet cleaning. Besides helping the dye to adhere, this will also neutralize the bleach that may still be residing in your carpet and prevent more trouble down the line.
Once the bleach stain is cleaned and neutralized, you will want to re-wet it. Or simply begin the process as soon as the professional cleaning is done and the carpets are still wet. Spray the area with water, warm water is best but cold will work too. Begin in the middle of the bleached area and rub the dye stick across your carpet. There are three main things to look out for during this stage of the process:
1. Don’t use too much dye. This is the most common mistake. Although it can be removed, adding more is much easier than taking some away.
2. Start in the middle of the stain.
3. Work in all four directions so that the carpet dye gets applied to every side of the fiber. Also be sure to get it between the fibers.
4. Try not to overlap the dye onto the unstained carpet. You can do this by leaving a space between where you are dying and where the stain ends. You will spread the dye in an outward direction toward the edges of the stain.
5. Do not brush the carpet fibers too strenuously or they will show wear in the stained area and could become permanently damaged … well … more permanently damaged.
When you are choosing the colors to best match your carpet, first draw lines on a white sheet of paper to see which one is the closest. The hues tend to fall into the areas of warm, cold, or sand. Start with the lighter colors and then add in darker colors as your get the hang of it. If the area is looking too red, then add a bit of the gray dye stick to help blend the colors into a better matching tone.
Like I stated earlier, this will only last until your next steam clean, but it looks like it works fairly well if you don’t want to go into the more time consuming and expensive alternatives. And if you keep those dye sticks around, then the next time will be even easier!
This amazing video can show you how it’s done!
Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas. She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.
Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger.