Do you have a dog or cat that just loves to rub his body up and down the sides of your sofa or chair? Is it leaving behind a coat of oils that are soiling the fabric? If you do, and I know there are a lot of you out there, I have an easy way for you to remove the soils that are left behind from our furry friends. My name is Keith DiGregorio and I'm the owner operator of Alpine cleaners, a certified carpet and upholstery cleaning company since 1989. I run into this problem quite often, and I have a few tips for you that I am sure will help. I'm going to give you two options on how to tackle this problem. One of the options is free and the other is not. My goal is to help you to understand the cleaning procedures necessary to give you the best chance at removing these soils with what you probably already have available to you in your home. For those of you who would prefer an easier, more effective option that will save you money verses any other option, you can consider what I'm about to show you. Let’s begin.
The first step to removing the damage done by our pets is to remove the dry soils from the fabric. These are the soils that will come out with a vacuum cleaner, that are not stuck to the fabric like the pet oils. Take the hose from your vacuum and attach a tool if you have one and vacuum your fabric thoroughly.
The amount of dust that can build up in our fabrics can be amazing, so don't rush this step, it's vitally important. Use a vacuum with strong suction (new bag) and vacuum slowly. Do not push the hose or attachment down hard on to the fabric as you vacuum, because this reduces airflow and is less effective. Vacuum slowly and methodically. Many times this step alone shows an improvement in the fabrics’ appearance.
The next goal is to remove the soils that are stuck to the fabric. These are the ground in soils. Typically with soils from pets, there is a significant amount of oils that transfer from the pets’ coat onto the fabric. Applying a pre treatment first is effective at dissolving these soils that you will be removing later.
By pre-spraying the fabric, Clean Safe Products soap free cleaner will begin to emulsify and loosen these soils, much like a soak cycle works in a washing machine. Allowing this solution to dwell for a couple minutes will be enough time to soften these soils, making them easier to remove in our next step. Using a warm solution is more effective than a cold one at dissolving soils. Of course, you need to do your due diligence and test the fabric first in an inconspicuous area to see that it is safe to use a water based cleaner. (For tips on how to do this click here). If you don't have the soap free clean safe product, you will need to substitute it with a color safe laundry detergent, but be careful, as there are many considerations. First, this is laundry detergent, key word being detergent. This means it will leave a residue, no matter how little you use of it and how well you "rinse." For this reason, use only a very small amount, approximately a teaspoon or less in a large spray bottle. Detergents work by help the soils "slip off" the fabrics they are stuck to so only use enough to make it slippery in your fingers. This will help to loosen the soils on the fabric, so they can be removed in the next step.
This is the step that will remove the soils from the fabric. Proceed by mixing two ounces of the Clean Safe Products carpet and upholstery cleaner into a gallon of warm to hot water in a bucket. Fill another bucket with just hot water, but not so hot that it burns your hands. Proceed by submerging the Green Mitt into the bucket with the cleaner and wring it out thoroughly. Start to clean one area of fabric to work on at a time by rubbing the Green Mitt into the fabric.
Flip the Green Mitt and use both sides. The Green Mitt is a unique textile-cleaning tool with characteristics that will trap and hold these soils like a magnet, to be rinsed out into the clean bucket of fresh water. After rinsing the mitt in the fresh water, re submerge the mitt into the bucket with the cleaner, ring it out and continue. One of the attributes of the Green Mitt is its ability to hold 7 times its weight in water. This means drying time will be minutes, not hours.
Do not over wet your fabrics in an aggressive attempt to get your fabrics clean. It is not necessary. You will be better served to do two separate cleanings. Because there is no detergent in the clean safe product, there will be no re-soiling issues.
If you do not have the green mitt system, you will need to use a cotton towel to absorb these soils. Ideally use a towel that is white. This allows you to see the soils transfer onto the towel. Get the towel wet with hot water only. Ring it out thoroughly. Do not use any more detergent. This step will be a rinsing step. It will serve to remove whatever soils your detergent was able to loosen up, and hold on to whatever soils the cotton towel has the ability to hold on to. By using water only, this will help to rinse the fabric. The problem with detergents is that they leave residues, which cause a re-soiling problem. Have you ever noticed how a spot that you've tried to clean gets bigger and bigger? That's why washing machines have two rinse cycles. So using only water on a damp towel will help to remove these detergents and lessen the chances for the fabric re-soiling.
By using the Green Mitt System on a seasonal basis, you will be able to keep your fabrics always clean, and never feel bad about our pets!