As a professional Chem-Dry carpet cleaner in Tampa FL I talk to customers about the dangers of trusting You Tube videos entitled “How to Remove Carpet Stains.” A lot of these videos are based on good intentions from people who truly want to help others, but they rarely have real experience in dealing with carpet stains.
This video entitled “How to Remove Carpet Stains” is a quick seemingly easy solution to difficult stains. However, this video does not tell you anything about how this cleaning method works or if it’s safe for your carpet or health.
So let’s go over some basic safety issues. When removing carpet stains always wear gloves and protective eyewear if you have it. The chemical used in this video is ammonia, most likely a 5-10% solution, and it has a relative pH level of 11. Although the lady in the video says that it has been mixed with water at a 1 to 1 ratio it’s still a pretty concentrated solution of ammonia. It can cause medium to severe skin, respiratory, and eye irritation upon contact.
When using ammonia to remove carpet stains you’re also putting your carpet at risk. High pH solutions weaken colors in carpet and can cause color changes that are not reversible. When applying a steam iron to the carpet you are putting it at risk for melting in just a few seconds. The heat is a catalyst for the ammonia solution creating ammonia bicarbonate which is what removes the stain but also weakens the fiber colors and could cause fading over time.
There are professional stain removers that include ammonia as an ingredient that effectively remove stains when heated but they also have stabilizers and pH buffers to help ensure safe use. Making your own DIY carpet stain remover can have unintended reactions that may create hazardous conditions in your home. In the end, if you have a carpet stain that cannot be removed with a consumer carpet cleaning product call a professional carpet cleaner.