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  1. #1
    Super Member Jacob Harrod AUTOCLEAN's Avatar
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    The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    The Safest Solutions to Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet
    By: Jacob Harrod

    These days there are a lot of different ways you can clean your carpets.

    What I'm going to do for you in this article is explain what I believe are the best steps and methods to getting your automotive carpets clean and stain free!

    The very first thing you need to do is play detective and try to identify the stain! This way you can figure out what chemical and process will be most effective at solving your problem. As you gain more experience you will get better at identifying stains. If your not sure what type of stain your dealing with I've got you covered! Keep reading to find out more!

    The two main types of stains are tannin stains such as coffee, tea, wine and chocolate, and protein stains such as blood, milk, or other bodily fluids. You also have what I like to call hybrid stains. This is a combination of a protein and tannin stain such as hot chocolate and chocolate milk.

    If a stain like Kool-Aid has set into or actually dyed the fibers don't set your expectations too high. The good thing is you can at least get the carpets clean! Sometimes you just have to do your best, and as you gain experience and knowledge of better products and processes as well as advancements in chemistry you will find the solutions to your stains. Sometimes the solution is to re-dye the carpet, or replace it.

    As a side note one thing I will say is that the best thing you can do when using any product is read the directions on the label and follow the directions! You can actually learn quite a bit just from reading directions and bottle labels! Even though I use my chemicals all of the time I still take a moment to re-read the label to be sure I'm using a product correctly if I'm not 100 percent sure about something. If you have any questions about a product you can always call the manufacturer and ask. Just remember, the chemist that designed the product designed it to work most effectively when used as directed. Though I do understand that sometimes you have to get creative and think outside the box.

    Just like a well built house, clean carpets start with a great foundation! Your foundation is actually going to be the dry extraction process. The dry extraction and brushing process can actually remove a good majority of the stain and this will also allow your chosen product to work most effectively because it will be able to actually attack the stain instead of any remaining dirt that is left in the carpets. One other thing that the dry extraction process helps to prevent is wicking. The last thing you want is to put in all of that hard work just for the stain to reappear or new stains to appear when the carpet is dry.

    Start off by performing a very thorough vacuuming of the carpets and then either hand brushing or machine brushing with the least aggressive brush needed to perform the task. If you are utilizing a drill brush then keep the RPMís as low as needed to perform the job effectively, and avoid keeping the brush in one spot for too long so you wonít accidentally burn the carpet fibers. If you want to go big time and have a large 60 or 80 gallon air compressor with air filtration, you can invest in the Tornador Velocity Vac Dry. This tool connects to your air hose and shop vacuum and blows a cyclone of air into the fibers and sucks out fine dust and embedded contaminants that canít be removed through the normal vacuuming process. Be sure to do a very thorough vacuuming with the Velocity Vac as well, because this is a crucial step in the process.

    Once the dry extraction process is complete you are ready to move on to the next phase! Remember how I talked about unknown stains earlier? There's actually a great product on the market that treats both TANNIN and UNKNOWN stains and you can also utilize it as a fiber rinse / fiber neutralizer! Itís the Meguiarís D106 Fiber Rinse and Tannin Stain Remover! When you want to pre treat tannin and unknown stains you can use it full strength or diluted depending on how bad the stain is. I typically use diluted 1:1 to pre-treat stains. Iíve had pretty good luck with this combo. That means 1 part chemical to 1 part water. Speaking of water and dilution, always dilute any chemical with distilled water. The reason for this is because tap water has minerals and contaminants as well as PH imbalances that can cause your chemical to become much less effective. If you have a known protein stain pretreat it with the Meguiarís PROTEIN Stain remover. Allow the chemical to dwell and dissolve the stain for a few minutes.

    After the pre treatment is complete there are a couple of different options depending on how soiled the carpet is.

    Lets start with lightly soiled carpets and then weíll talk about the next option. After youíve pre treated your carpets, spray your choice of foaming carpet cleaner on the carpets and agitate with the softest hand or drill brush required to effectively complete the job. I personally like the BG Foaming Carpet Cleaner, but Iím also looking to try the McKeeís 37 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner as well. You can also agitate with a clean wool pad on a rotary buffer. If you have a steam machine such as the McCulloch MC1385 or a Vapor Chief Steamer you can really activate your choice of cleaners and help release the stains and dirt by emulsifying them with steam! Simply wrap a nice quality cotton terry towel around the triangle head and with light pressure steam the carpets! After this we are going to utilize whatís called the bonnet technique to finish and dry the carpets. Wrap a clean dry cotton terry towel around your hand brush such as your tampico carpet brush and rub it across the carpet in a back and forth motion both vertically and horizontally so you can work the fibers in both directions. You can even utilize a circular motion if youíd like. Just whatever hand technique works best for you and your needs! One other way you can both finish and neutralize the fibers is to dampen your towel with Meguiarís D106 diluted 20:1 (Thatís 20 parts water and 1 part chemical.) and wipe the carpets down in a manner that suits you best. After the carpets are dry come back and vacuum one more time to remove any remaining residue.

    Ivanís Mexican Bucket Technique - Lets say you have a large spill on a flat area or there's a spot that may have been heavily saturated with cleaner and you wish to wick the cleaner and the stain out. Simply fill a 5 gallon bucket about halfway or three fourths of the way full with water or add some type of weight. Now take a bath towel and fold it up and place it on the area you need to dry, and place the bucket on top of the towel for 10 or 20 minutes. PRESTO BLAMO the moisture will wick into the towel and when you remove the towel the area will be just barely damp if not almost dry and itís likely that most if not all of the stain will be gone!

    If you have a heavily soiled carpet then pre treat as stated before.

    I can not stress enough the importance of utilizing PH neutral products and performing a fiber rinse as added precaution to ensure that the carpet fibers are neutral. The only time Iíll use a high PH cleaner like Meguiarís APC is as a last resort on heavily soiled and greasy carpets. The reason for this is it not only makes the carpets crusty but if the fibers are not properly neutralized and returned to a
    PH neutral state then once someone's dirty shoes come into contact with the carpet the product will re activate and attack the dirt on the bottom of the shoes causing the carpets to become re soiled much faster. Anybody who has purchased a carpet job from me knows that when they get their vehicle back their carpets will have a soft, clean, and luxurious feeling! I take a lot of pride in ensuring the chemicals I use are removed as best as possible because this is simply the most professional way to do things and ensures safety and quality for my customers.

    After the carpets have been pre treated you can then spray the carpets with your choice of PH neutral cleaner and agitate with a hand brush or drill brush. Mckeeís 37 has a product called Mckeeís 37 Carpet Extractor Pre Treatment. It smells really good! Another great cleaner I could recommend is AMMO Shag. I currently use the Bissell Spot Clean Pro as my carpet machine but you can also go old school and mix up the 3D Carpet and Upholstery shampoo with some hot water in a 5 gallon bucket, apply it with a brush and suck the shampoo out of the carpets with your shop vac. If your using the shop vac method mix up the Meguiars Fiber Rinse and Tannin Stain Remover in a pump sprayer diluted 20:1 then spray it on the carpets to rinse and neutrilize and then suck out as much liquid as possible with your shop vac.

    If you have a carpet machine such as the Bissell Spot Clean Pro, a Mytee 8070, or any other brand of heated carpet extractor, simply extract the carpet until you see no more dirt and only clear water in the view window of your extractor nozzle. Sometimes going over really set in stains a bit more after the carpet is clean does help to make the stain much less visible or remove it completely. After this spray the Meguiars Fiber rinse and Tannin Stain remover diluted 20:1 on the carpet and extract one more time.

    Use a slower arm movement when extracting carpets as this allows the machine to work much more efficiently. One other tip that I can give is to make one pass with your spray trigger held down and then two passes to pull out the solution. With carpet extractors it is best to use a non foaming formula or a de foamer in your solution tank. When doing any type of extraction, always try to get as much water out as possible.

    Never seal up wet carpets and upholstery in a vehicle! This can cause mold and mildew! Someone recently contacted me about mold and mildew removal and it can be quite costly! I quoted this person $1,200 and they would also have had to pay for the costs of having the entire interior of their vehicle professionally disassembled! Make sure the carpets are BONE DRY before you shut the doors. If its a hot day you can park the car out in your drive way and leave the doors open until the carpets are dry, or you can place air movers blowing into the car until the carpets are dry. I usually place air movers blowing into the car, and then let them dry over night.

    If you really want to go super hard core you can come back after the carpets are dry and steam clean them with the techniques previously mentioned to finish them and help to remove any residual surface stains or residue. The final steam clean has made all of the difference for me in some cases. Itís the last little bit that takes it over the top and the steam helps to get rid of any odors remaining in the carpets! Also you can do a steam sandwich. After applying your chemicals and allowing them to dwell, steam the carpets to supercharge your soap, then extract, after the carpets are dry steam again and let them dry for 15 or 20 minutes. Don't forget the final vac and baseball stripes on your floor mats!

    In closing Id like to say that if your not sure if your process will work then test it out on a small area first. If it does work then duplicate the process over the entirety of the carpets. Remember to start with the least aggressive process and work your way up if need be. If you get stuck or need help my number is really easy to remember! For a show car shine call 405-208-0999!

    Thank you for reading this and I truly look forward to hearing from you!

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Autogeekonline mobile app

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  3. #2
    Super Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Thank God I don't have to worry about this. My carpets are black, and fully covered by WeatherTech mats.


    Awesome write-up, Jake!!
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

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  5. #3
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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Outstanding write up!

    Iím actually working on a very special and very personal detailing project right now.

    Iíve spent two plus hours on the passenger seat and floorboard alone. Iím not sure what the heck was in/on the seat and floor but i keep pulling up something that is dark orange and thick with my little bisell extractor.

    I started using a generic carpet shampoo and drill brushes (soft on seats and medium on carpet) to hit the surface stuff then moved to PS enzyme and carpet bomber using the same process. Iíve got most of it pulled up but once I think Iíve got it clean the orange stuff starts to come up again on the seats!

    I probably got the foam cushion under the upholstered seat too wet causing it to seep through the upholstery again?

    Next day...I just used the PS Enzyme and Carpet Bomber again but I went very light on a small spot on the seat, used a toothbrush to hit one spot and so far itís looking much better!



    The rest of the interior isnít as bad as the passenger side so hopefully it wonít take as long.

    Once I finish the entire car including the heavily oxidized single stage white paint Iíll post everything later!

    Thanks again for a great write-up, definitely help me!

    Jay







    Sent from my iPhone using AGOnline

  6. #4
    Super Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Mightíve been easier to just remove the seats.^

  7. #5
    Super Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    @OP. Good write up. Pictures wouldíve been nice.

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    Super Member Coatingsarecrack's Avatar
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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post
    @OP. Good write up. Pictures wouldíve been nice.
    Agreed. Great write up but pics along the way woulda made it better


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post
    Mightíve been easier to just remove the seats.^
    I thought about it when I was doing the floorboard and said...nah! But then I read your post and said...what the hell!


    Oh boy...here we go!

    JF


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  12. #8
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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Oh boy is right! Good on you!

  13. #9
    Super Member Jacob Harrod AUTOCLEAN's Avatar
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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMys View Post
    Thank God I don't have to worry about this. My carpets are black, and fully covered by WeatherTech mats.


    Awesome write-up, Jake!!
    Thank you sir! I really appreciate it! I'll definitely try to get some more stuff up like this with pictures as well.

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  15. #10
    Super Member Jacob Harrod AUTOCLEAN's Avatar
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    Re: The Safest Solutions To Removing Stains in Automotive Carpet

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post
    @OP. Good write up. Pictures would’ve been nice.
    Thank you sir! I'll definitely try to include pics in my future write ups!

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