How to remove Fake Tan Stains

Bronzers and fake tan have gained popularity since their discovery in the 1960s. In recent years, the association of conventional tanning methods with both melanoma and premature ageing has further increased their use.

With increased use in the household, the number of stains we meet as carpet cleaners similarly increases. In recent weeks, we encountered a number of lightly coloured wool carpets peppered with fake tan staining in the main walkway areas. Research into the area did not provide an adequate removal technique or solution. In this regard, we are pleased to report a highly efficient and effective method for the removal of fake tan from wool.

Before we proceed, it should be noted that this method of fake tan removal carries an inherent risk of damaging the carpet. As with any stain removal, testing of the solutions on hidden sections of the carpet is mandatory. Test, test and test some more! If you are not entirely sure of what you are doing STOP and call in a professional cleaner.

The solution used to remove fake tan was a mixture (approx 10:1) of 6% Hydrogen Peroxide with 880 Ammonia. With adequate ventilation and wearing gloves, apply a small amount of premixed peroxide/ammonia to the spot using a sponge. Blot the solution onto the spot; then gently rub with the sponge while applying heat from a hairdryer. The use of dry heat will concentrate the reactive species and provide energy to catalyse the reaction.

When the spot is nearly dry, evaluate the colour change. In each of our cases, we have observed a rapid colour change from brown to yellow, then a more gradual fading of the yellow. If the yellow colouration has almost disappeared, continue with the heat and gentle rubbing until the spot is completely removed. If not, a repeat application of pre-mixed peroxide/ammonia may be required.

Following successful stain removal, the carpets displayed minor light/clean patches and these could be blended with hot-water-extraction. We also advised our clients that their carpets should be stain protected to avoid further problems.

Written by:
Access Cleaning Solutions – Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Specialists Glasgow