Uh-Oh... The Carpet Spots Came Back!
Monday, 01 March 2021 16:50

Uh-Oh... The Carpet Spots Came Back! Featured

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Uh-Oh… The Carpet Spots Came Back!

Naturally, you expect your carpets to look better after cleaning than before. So, it may come as a surprise when some of the spots return. There are two reasons this can happen: “re-soiling” from residue and “soil-wicking”.

Re-soiling is new soil that is attracted to an oily or sticky residue on the carpet. One of the most common residues is from consumer applied carpet spot removers. Some of the products purchased at grocery and home improvement stores can leave behind sticky, soil-attracting residues, especially when they are over-applied or not thoroughly rinsed.

Other residues that can cause rapid re-soiling are food, grease, animal body oils, adhesive-tape residue, petroleum-based oils, moisturizing lotions, hairspray, tanning oil, and sugar from spilled drinks.

Once the visible soil is cleaned away from these areas, the carpet will look clean. However, the invisible residue acts like a soil magnet leading to rapid re-soiling. This can take days or even a few weeks to occur.

 Carpet Stain Wicking

 Soil-wicking is another reason spots can reappear after cleaning, and is a result of how carpet is constructed. Carpet is made up of multiple layers. Each of these layers plays a role in soil-wicking. The yarns you see in the face of the carpet are stitched into a thin, woven fabric. This primary backing can be seen by parting the fibers of the carpet and looking down between the rows of yarns.

During “normal” carpet cleaning, our intent is to clean the face yarns only. But sometime spots, spills and pet urine penetrate the primary backing.

If you look at the back of the carpet, you will see the secondary backing, a course, stiffer woven material designed to give the carpet more strength and stability.

The secondary backing creates a capillary action that can spread a spill out to a much larger area than you see on the surface. Just a 4 oz spill can create a 12-inch diameter spot on the back of the carpet!

Between the primary and secondary backing, there is a layer of latex adhesive holding it all together. Some spills can penetrate this layer and dry. These deposits can be “reactivated” by normal cleaning and wick to the surface of the carpet fibers drying the normal drying process.

These returning spots can be as much of a surprise to us as they are to you. The reason the spots return has to do with the mechanics of capillary action. As carpet dries, water evaporates from the tips of the carpet yarns, drawing some of the remaining moisture behind it. If there is any kind of soil or spill at the base of the yarns or in the backing, it too can be drawn up to the yarn tips.

Unfortunately, while water readily evaporates, soils do not. So, the spots that were hidden in the backing system are now at the top of the carpet where they can create a visibly noticeable spot.

Correcting recurring spots may simply require a thorough rinse. Other times, specialized cleaning agents and more intensive cleaning techniques are needed. Healthy Home Services cannot guarantee that re-soiling and soil-wicking will never happen. But if your spots do return, please call us. We will find that cause and the solution to keep them from coming back.

“A Clean Home is a Healthy Home”.

Don DeLeeuw and CC Newsletters

 

Read 233 times Last modified on Saturday, 06 March 2021 02:07
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