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Removing Stains from Nylon

A lot of people seem to think that because nylon is an artificial material, it requires virtually no care and maintenance. Yes, nylon is a relatively low-maintenance artificial fiber, but to say that it will stay as good as new forever without proper care is totally incorrect. Removing stains from nylon as soon as they form is a major part of the maintenance routine. Keeping nylon clean is one thing, but trying to remove a week-old stain is quite another.

As we always say, make sure you mop up as much as you can of a spill before doing anything else. The longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to remove later. Once you mop up the excess spillage, blot the damp residue with paper towels or a clean, white, soft cloth. For many fresh stains such as food, drink, and bloodstains, you will find that it is possible to remove them simply by blotting the affected area with a soft white cloth dampened with lukewarm water.

Since you can't always take care of a stain immediately, we have listed what you can do for various kinds of stains that have been allowed to sit for some time. Finally, when buying a nylon carpet, find out whether it comes with a prepackaged stain removing kit.

  • Food and drink. For old food stains, prepare a solution of warm water and a mild laundry detergent that does not contain bleaching agents. Using a clean white cloth, apply the solution to the stained area and let it sit for about fifteen minutes. Next, blot the soapy solution using another clean cloth soaked in lukewarm water, continuing until the nylon is completely detergent-free. Finally, remove the remaining moisture by pressing down on the stain with a bunch of paper towels folded into a wad until the nylon is thoroughly dry. If you have used this procedure on a nylon carpet, run your vacuum over it once after it is dry.
  • Grease. Blot as much of the stain as possible with paper towels. Once that is done (it may not remove too much of the stain but every little bit helps), apply a high-grade commercial cleaning solvent on a paper towel, and then dab at the stained area. Do not apply the solvent directly to the nylon surface. Also, protect your hands with gloves and make sure the room is well ventilated when you use this solution. Once the stain is gone, wipe the surface dry with a third set of paper towels.
  • Wax and chewing gum. As with wax and gum residues on any other surface, you must freeze the stain with an ice cube or an ice pack. Once the wax or gum has hardened, break it up into fragments with a dull scraping tool and vacuum the area. You may need to repeat the process.
  • Rust. Fresh rust stains usually succumb to a ten percent solution of oxalic acid. However, you must exercise extreme caution while handling oxalic acid, because it is an extremely toxic chemical. For rust stains spread over larger areas, it is best to seek professional help because you may have to resort to chemicals that are forbidden for domestic use.
  • Pet food. Use an alkaline cleaning solution that contains reducing agents that will reduce the color from the stains. Never pour the solution directly onto the nylon surface; instead, dab it on using paper towels. Once the stain is history, make sure you rinse the nylon clean of the reducing solution.
  • Blood, urine and vomit. Sprinkle hydrogen peroxide (twenty percent strength) over the stain to not only weaken it, but also to work on the odor. Once the hydrogen peroxide has done its work, dry mop the area just to be sure. There is no need to rinse, because hydrogen peroxide reacts with the atmosphere to neutralize itself.

Related Tips:

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