How to remove the most stubborn of stains with steam cleaning

Carpet stain from a red wine spill


Steam cleaners have transformed the ways in which we undertake previously nigh-on-impossible cleaning tasks… from the quick clearing of the grimiest of oven doors right through to the cleaning of seriously stubborn stains.

Here we take an in-depth look into the world of stains, and explain just how your average steam cleaner can overcome them all.


Ensuring that you don’t set a stain with the power of steam

Steam cleaning is seriously effective at removing stains, however you must take care not to use steam cleaners in a way in which they actually set the stain in place.

This can happen as the cleaning process involved may force the grime in question into the carpet or material fibres further.


Cleaning your stain, step by step:

  1. Preparing the area

First and foremost you need to prepare the area for cleaning. If you’re cleaning your carpet then you should free the space from other items, and if you’re cleaning material then you should find a clear, flat workspace to place it upon.

  1. Take a spot check

Before going all out on a large stain it’s worthwhile treating a small section of the area to see how the material will react.

  1. Be sure to use the machine properly

Before starting it’s vital that you check over the manufacturer’s guidelines so that you’re completely clued up on the machine’s proper usage.

  1. Go for a two step cleaning process

Now it’s time for the actual cleaning! This stage consists of two separate steps:


Step One: Mixing up your steam cleaner contents and your spray bottle mixture

Add to your machine’s water Castile Liquid soap – around one tablespoon for every quart gallon (equivalent to two pints or four cups) of boiling water.

However, you should note that adding this to most machines may well void the warranty, so you’ll need to have checked over the manufacturer’s guidelines in detail to find out whether or not this is the case. If you’re at all concerned that it may be, then the manufacturer will have listed a range of warranty safe products that you can use, so just opt for whatever is most suitable.

Whichever product you use you should first mix up a solution of 50/50 water and vinegar and add this into a spray bottle, which should then be applied directly to the stain, followed up by gently blotting the stain with a rag. After this you should then apply the steam gently, and repeat as is required until the stain lifts.


Step Two: Going over your stain a second time

When you go over the material a second time you should opt for a fresh mix within the steam cleaner that is 50% water and 50% white vinegar (the same as you’ve used within the spray bottle); this less than boiling version of the mixture breaks down any soap remnants that may remain, which is important as leaving soap upon the material in question can serve only to attract more grime. Finally finish the whole process by washing out your steam cleaner.



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