HELP…Couch cushion destroyed?!

john mundy

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I’m in desperate need of some advice on a couch cushion that I may have ruined.

I was asked to clean a cushion that a lady had changed her baby on and had gotten some
# 2 from the diaper on the cushion. (Not the most ideal place to change a messy diaper.)

I could not identify the brand/material of the couch as it didn’t have any tags on the base.

I rinsed the cushion with a neutral upholstery cleaner and tried prochem protein spotter with no luck. Rinsed again, then tried pros choice organic stain remover (A & B, 2 part solution with still not much success).

At this point the stain was about 75% out so I rinsed again and thought maybe it’s not poop but coffee? So my dumbass decided to apply browning treatment and it now looks like the the area is bleached out from the prochem coffee/browning treatment.

Is there anyway to correct this or am I screwed.?
 

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John Rockwood

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I’m in desperate need of some advice on a couch cushion that I may have ruined.

I was asked to clean a cushion that a lady had changed her baby on and had gotten some
# 2 from the diaper on the cushion. (Not the most ideal place to change a messy diaper.)

I could not identify the brand/material of the couch as it didn’t have any tags on the base.

I rinsed the cushion with a neutral upholstery cleaner and tried prochem protein spotter with no luck. Rinsed again, then tried pros choice organic stain remover (A & B, 2 part solution with still not much success).

At this point the stain was about 75% out so I rinsed again and thought maybe it’s not poop but coffee? So my dumbass decided to apply browning treatment and it now looks like the the area is bleached out from the prochem coffee/browning treatment.

Is there anyway to correct this or am I screwed.?
Assuming you asked if she tried any cleaners before you arrived and could not guarantee the results you are ok but she is not happy.
The other option is to explain to her that nothing will get the stain 100% out but what you can do is treat the whole side of the cushion as to make the side uniform even if its lighter than the other pieces. If you do this then stop before you reach the edge so it won't show when placed back. If you are experiencing color loss or a chemical reaction then I don't know of a fix. If she says no then I guess you'll have to have the cushion re-upholstered not the whole sofa.
You could PM Rob to get his advise.
 

wandwizard

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I agree with Ed and I don't think there's any correcting it. When using any strong oxidizer especially on upholstery, rugs, etc. you really need to be pretty sure what the fiber is or simply don't use it. I'm assuming you mean Stain Magic part 1 & 2. That's about as powerful of an oxidizer as it gets and using that on a natural fiber like cotton, wool, or others is risky to say the least. About as far as I will go is use a 1 part oxidizer mixed 50/50 with soft or distilled water on a natural fiber. You MUST discuss the risk before doing it and make it clear color loss is a possibility. I also emphasize to the customer that the stain may be permanent and this may be the best if not the only chance of removing it. In the past there literally was no such thing to even attempt on it!!!! On something like that I would want their signature signing off on it or simply not do it at all. At this point you will have to tell the customer what happened. Fortunately they can use the good side of the cushion a few more years. How they're going to react I don't know.

One last tip, you don't really need to know exactly what a fabric is before you clean it, but you do need to know if it is natural, synthetic, or a blend of the two. If you burn the fiber sample and get either ash it is natural or some ash with melted fiber you have a blend and it should be treated as if it were all natural using milder cleaners and care with oxidizers or reducers either one. If I have a piece I can't even get a sample from somewhere I have to use my best judgment. I wished I could tell you that doesn't look permanent and that you can remove it, but I really don't think you can.
 
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john mundy

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Thank you guys for the replys and advice I really appreciate it! I just did a burn test and confirmed it does seem to be a natural fiber. I’m not sure if it’s 100% natural maybe synthetic blend as you said Randy.

I may try to blend the rest of the one side of the cushion as John suggested. The stain magic that I used actually is the 3 part product that has a separate color stabilizer agent.

Let me note that the discoloration didn’t really happen until I used the browning/coffee stain remover from prochem. But I do believe that the stain magic that I used before that probably intensified the whitening/ bleaching effect even though I rinsed with cold water before trying each chemical.
 

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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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Thank you guys for the replys and advice I really appreciate it! I just did a burn test and confirmed it does seem to be a natural fiber. I’m not sure if it’s 100% natural maybe synthetic blend as you said Randy.

I may try to blend the rest of the one side of the cushion as John suggested. The stain magic that I used actually is the 3 part product that has a separate color stabilizer agent.

Let me note that the discoloration didn’t really happen until I used the browning/coffee stain remover from prochem. But I do believe that the stain magic that I used before that probably intensified the whitening/ bleaching effect even though I rinsed with cold water before trying each chemical.
I just want to add I have had better luck on that particular type of stain using a good enzyme spotter which are for the most part safe for all synthetics and most natural upholstery fabrics like cotton. Stain 1 has some extra ingredients that Stain Magic does not have and I don't think it is as strong of an oxidizer as Stain Magic. Even Stain 1 would have to be used with caution on that and I personally would try an enzyme spotter and perhaps a good general purpose stain remover before doing that. In any event the customer needs to know the risk when using any strong chems like oxidizers or reducers.

Some browning agents contain some of the same chemical that has been used in some food dye removers and are capable of removing color. They can also cause a reaction if used following an oxidizer if not thoroughly rinsed out so extra care has to be taken if you use those two chems on the same stain. Generally speaking my go to for feces is an enzyme first and have normally great results with it and rarely need anything else. I've also found the folks at Pros Choice can give great advice if you run into something you have questions about or what particular product should be used for a certain situation. The same type of enzymes used for dog feces work on human feces too. I'm sure Pros Choice has one they can recommend.
 
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john mundy

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Thanks Randy, I really appreciate the feedback I will post an update and let you guys know how I make out. That is very interesting with the browning agent comment you made, I was not aware of that…looks like I need to take an upholstery course refresher, especially with fine fabrics..yes you get to charge more but the risk is also higher
 

Darthmaeglin

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You've gotten some good advice as far as the color removal. I'd like to chime in for future reference about the fiber type. You mentioned initially looking for a tag. Very often upholstery tags don't list the materials in the upholstery, they are only required to list interior materials. Even when they include a recommended cleaning method they sometimes just put the least invasive method in order to cover themselves. You can get useful information off of them, but in general I never expect useful information from tags.
 
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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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Thanks Randy, I really appreciate the feedback I will post an update and let you guys know how I make out. That is very interesting with the browning agent comment you made, I was not aware of that…looks like I need to take an upholstery course refresher, especially with fine fabrics..yes you get to charge more but the risk is also higher
There are only two major chems used for browning treatment that I'm aware of and one of them is also used in some coffee stain removers and has been for many, many years. SODIUM METABISULFITE (brightens fabrics some and prevents browning) is the major one and I've even seen it in at least one food dye remover although probably mixed with something else to make it more aggressive. The only other major one I know of is a citric acid based browning agent (lowers or corrects ph, but does not whiten). Both of these work pretty well for actual browning which is really a ph problem and not truly what we might call a stain. I've seen them seemingly work miracles on occasion and save the day. I've even removed some food dye using nothing but sodium metabisulfite on a few occasions when I ran out of my regular food dye remover. It works well sometimes but not as aggressive at something formulated for food dye removal which have one or more added ingredients to kick it up a notch. I keep a gallon of a citrus based anti-browner to use for situations where I feel it is best which is not often. Sodium metabisulfite is also used in haitian or natural cotton shampoos or can be added to a shampoo to PREVENT browning on fabrics that tend to brown. I personally just use a slightly acid based shampoo for certain upholstery jobs and never had a problem with true browning which as I said is really a ph caused problem that has to be reversed.

You might want to really take a close look at Stain 1. Read it carefully and get a good understanding of it and why it is more than just an oxidizer. Call CTI and ask them to explain it and perhaps let them suggest what enzyme you might use in the future while you have them on the line.
 

sbsscn

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If you did the burn test then You should be able to ID the fiber and be able to confidentially say if there is Cellulose in it (plant) or a protein (animal hair/fur/feather). Even if it is blended, the test will reveal it. The test will also reveal if a fire retardant is present. I think there was a reaction with the chemistry that you used and caused a strong reducer reaction.