This was a hilarious comment that I once heard at a children’s birthday party, when there was an unfortunate incident with an explosive bottle of orange fizzy pop.

The stressed out Mum hosting the event quickly whipped off the tablecloth, and dry replacement shirts were helpfully lent out to all of the children caught in the crossfire.

“I’ll need to get all of this straight into the machine if there’s any chance of getting it out!”, on which one of the boys, gleefully looked at the disheveled young lady and exclaimed –“can we put Maisie’s head in the washing machine too?”

I remembered this, and realised that it perfectly illustrates why wool carpets cannot be treated like polyamide/nylon ones when drinks etc. get spilled.

– Ok, really, please bear with me..!

Human hair is not at all dissimilar to sheep/animal hair. It’s a protein based porous natural fibre, and as such, needs more gentle and instructive treatment than polyamide/man-made fibres when washing, and to release staining.

Whether you are DIY cleaning it, or hiring a tradesperson to clean it, caution is essential. For starters, the sprays and mousses from your local supermarket are mostly NOT suitable.

Why?

Wool is damaged easily with more alkaline cleaning products, and are limited in their effectiveness once the stain is dry….And most DIY carpet spot cleaning products work largely due to their higher alkalinity.

  1. The immediate danger is largely their bleaching effect on wool. This leaves little clouds of lighter patches on the carpet, which cannot be corrected. There is no really effective professional solution to repair patches on woolen carpeting with colour loss.
  2. And if the orange pop (or whatever it is) is left to dry untreated, these kinds of chemicals often stop being effective at all on one or two other stains. I lie, it’s actually on many stains!

Any tannic stain: e.g. tea, coffee, wine. Many fizzy soft drinks, especially ones containing fruit or caramel colourings, juices, esp. tomato [so add ketchup] Urine. Any inky stain, copier toner, pens etc. Oily/greasy stains, even caught fresh, they often leave a ‘shadow’ on the fabric.

So in summary, even if we could put Maisie’s head in the washer to remove the orange pop from her hair, the alkaline style detergents would not be at all good for her natural hair colour, and wouldn’t necessarily get the stain out at all if her hair was left to dry.

Poor Maisie!