Christopher MyersChristopher Myers is the founder and Chairman of the textile care company Christopher’s, Inc. Christopher’s specialty is in the care of maintenance of high-end textiles. Christopher has studied the science and art behind fabric protection and effective cleaning and spot removal since 1992 when he conceived of the idea of a company that could offer true comprehensive long term care of carpets, upholstery and rugs used in or outside of the home. Today, his client list includes the Who’s Who of Washington’s political and business worlds. Christopher has been invited to give textile care presentations to the area’s top designers, whom he considers partners in creating and maintaining the aesthesis of client’s homes. He holds numerous certifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration (IICRC) and has become a recognized Senior Textile Inspector.
Chris Meyers: Hi! This is Chris Meyers from Christophers Incorporated in Merrifield, Virginia, and in this clip we are going to talk about the basic tools that you need for safe and effective spot cleaning at home.
First and foremost, a clean white absorbent towel, there is another one thing that you can have this going to help you with spot cleaning at home. A lot of times if you get to something right away and you just put a towel on like this and press down and blot, the spilled substance will transfer into the towel and your spot cleaning procedure is finished, thats best case scenario of course.
The reason that you use white is because you want to see whatever it is that has been spilled transfer into the towel. Also you want to use white because if you use some other color, there maybe a risk of dye transferring from the towel itself into the carpeting and that of course would be a bad thing. The number two tool that you need at home for spot cleaning is Illumination, so even though we have good light here, just by adding a flash light to it, it really increases our ability to see what's going on with the carpet fibers itself.
Also, if the spot in question is a yarn spot, yarn will fluoresce under ultraviolet light. So, if your concern, your spot that you want to work on is a yarn spot, you can use a black light and you can probably buy one of those at a hardware store, just a black light bulb, you can put it into a fixture, but it will tell you exactly where you need to do your procedure, because with yarn because its a buyer hazard, you want to really make sure that you get all of it out.
Next, this is a very technical tool, its called a Tablespoon, and we use this a lot to just the rounded edge of the spoon is great to gently and patiently scrape up any food stuff that has been dropped on a carpet or a upholstery for that matter, so just gently scrape that up. So, you want to get it off the carpet as much as you can with the spoon. These are good things to keep handy.
The next item is a quality detergent for carpet and rugs, not for upholstery. We never apply a liquid to upholstery unless its a solvent for safe home spot cleaning, but, for carpeting you want to have a good detergent on hand, you want to make sure that the detergents that you have is matched to the carpeting that you are going to be working on, and what I mean by that is many over-the-counter products contain optical brighteners. Optical brighteners are known in the industry to cause problems in carpeting down the road, it can cause yellowing or shading of different sorts after the fact, after you have done the spot cleaning months later. So, if the carpet that you are working on is a $10,000 carpet, you probably dont want to use a $0.
That being said, the next item that we have is a Solvent Cleaner, which you can get a solvent or a degreaser type cleaner from any hardware store, make sure that the brand that you choose is specifically says its for removing shoe polish or tar or grease, oil things like that that you can use at home. Finally after that a pair of scissors you can see its very small scissors, but you can be very precise with it just to clip an individual fiber if you needed to. So, these are good things to have on hand.
After that a magnifying glass, again just like illumination this helps us to view the carpet or upholstery spot that we are going to be working on, so you want to be able to change your perspective and see as closely as possible, because its a big deal. If the spot is in a prominent area, in the middle of the living room or the center of a sofa cushion you want to give yourself the best possible chance for 100% removal.
After that tools that you have around the home that you dont probably think of the spot cleaning tools is one of them is an iron, so if you ever have a candle that has spilled on to the carpeting or upholstery for that matter, sometimes you can use an iron to help remove that wax.