• What To Do About A Coffee, Tea or Wine Spill

    March 9, 2016 | Blog
  • What to do about a coffee, tea or wine spill

    Coffee, tea or wine spill on carpet

    Carpet cleaners and furniture cleaners know that removing a coffee, tea or wine stain is easy — if the professional  carpet cleaning is performed relatively soon after the spill occurs. But if a few days pass , it is no longer a spot, but a stain. Stains are substances that are absorbed into the fiber. In most cases, absorption that creates a permanent stain takes time.

      Why are these type of spills/stains  so tough? Coffee and tea often have added substances in the beverage. Plain, black coffee removal is one thing; black coffee with added cream and sugar is another. In addition to this, some decaffeinated coffees often have artificial colors added to give it a richer look. The decaffeination process removes natural coffee colors. Other, organic and non-caffeine coffees also can have artificial colors added. Artificial coloring can be tough to remove.

    The main culprit which makes these types of spills so tough to is tannins. Tannins are found in beverages such as:

    • Coffee
    • Tea
    • Wine 
    • Beer and other alcoholic drinks
    • Fruit juices
    • Colas
    • Cocoa
    • Tomato juice

    Tannin is a natural occurring vegetable dye found in many plants, especially grape skins, tea leaves, and the barks and stalks of vegetation.  It is responsible for the “bitter” taste of red wine and some coffees — a good thing, as long as it isn’t spilled onto the carpet. When coffee, tea or other hot beverages with tannins are spilled onto carpet, the heat of the beverage can penetrate through the fabric protection and then “open up” the fiber (especially nylon and wool), allowing a spot to ultimately become a stain. These hot spills bond with the fiber and removal is difficult, especially after a day or two have passed.

    What should you do when you have a spill?   Tannin stains can be very difficult to remove, but modern technology and chemistry have made this easier.   As a carpet cleaning professional I have that modern technology and chemicals to remove nearly every tannin stain I encounter. Pick up the phone and call me!  You might feel the urge to grab a bar of soap and use it on the stain. Do NOT do this, as soap can set the tannins or at least make them more difficult to remove.  Instead put a damp, white towel on the spot and weigh it down. This will keep the spot damp and make it easier to remove. If the spill is very substantial you can also liberally apply common table salt to the spot. The salt will absorb much of the spill, allowing better success when I arrive to perform spot or stain removal. If you have any  call Quick Dry Carpet Cleaning - Inland Empire  office at 951-805-2909.