Although tedious and time consuming, removing paint stains from a carpet or upholstery is relatively easy. The trick is to remove the stain before it hardens and settles into the fibres.
Do’s and don’ts of paint stain removal
For both oil and water-based paint stains, you should follow certain guidelines:
- Always test detergents on a small area of upholstery fabric or carpeting prior to use. Strong chemicals can ruin the material or cause colours to run. Remember to choose a low visibility area for the colour-fast test.
- Use a light blotting action to absorb as much of the paint as possible. Vigorous rubbing or scrubbing can abrade the fibres and cause permanent damage.
- Rinse the affected area thoroughly before trying a second or third cleaning detergent. Chemicals can be highly volatile and often shouldn’t be mixed.
- For optimal results, always deal with a spill or stain as quickly as possible.
Tackling water-based paint spills
Water-based paint is easily removed with soapy warm water. Once you’ve removed as much of the excess paint as possible, simply saturate the affected area and cover with a dry towel to blot up the excess liquid.
If the paint has hardened, apply piping hot water to soften it or use a sharp object, such as pin or needle, to break it down. Blot the area dry and vacuum; it’s as simple as that!
Removing oil-based paint stains
Stains from oil-based paints require a little more effort and chemical intervention. The first rule is to attack any spill as soon after it happens as possible. If you allow the paint to harden and settle into the material, you’ll have a major job on your hands.
Before you begin the cleaning process, scoop up as much paint as you can with a spatula or large spoon. Blot the area with a paper towel or clean absorbent cloth and then apply a solution of hot water mixed with a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Swab the affected area with a blotting motion until the paint has been transferred onto the cloth. Allow the carpet or upholstery to dry naturally and vacuum to remove tiny remnants of paint.
If the stain is hard or stubborn, paint thinners or turpentine is the most effective carpet cleaning solution. Simply apply a liberal amount of thinners to a clean cloth, dab the area until the paint has dissolved and then clean the area with warm soapy water.
Who do you call? Chelsea Cleaning, of course!
Some paint stains require a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning service. Chelsea Cleaning – the number one cleaning service in the Cape – provides a range of advanced cleaning solutions for different types of carpets and upholstery fabrics.