Helpful Articles

Why Do Some Carpet Stains Come Back?

We sometimes see or hear of a carpet stain which reappears after the carpet has been professionally cleaned.  There are two causes for this common problem.

One is commonly referred to as “wicking” and another is “residue spots”.

Wicking sometimes occurs when a large volume of some liquid is the source of the stain.  Some examples of this type of spot include soda spills, pet urine, etc. where the high volume spill saturated the carpet and was able to get into the backing of your carpet into the pad.

When the spot is cleaned some of the spill remains in the backing or in the pad underneath. Since carpet releases moisture from the surface this residual left in the backing or pad can work its way back to the visible face fiber.

The name of this process comes from a similar process of letting a candle wick sit just dipped in dyed water, the dye would eventually work its way all the way up the wick coloring all of the wick.

Wicking is relatively rare when you have your carpet professionally cleaned due to the volume of water used to flush the spot out as well as the high vacuum used to reclaim the water from the carpet.

When professional cleaning is not enough to solve the problem there are additives and additional procedures that are used to eliminate the wicking problem. These would not normally be used unless there reason to believe there is a good potential for wicking to occur.

The other cause of spots reappearing is a “residue stain”.  Leftover residue from  the stain or excessive cleaning agent used.

Common causes of residue stains can range from, oily residues from spills such as lotions, sticky adhesive residues, or failure to completely rinse the area of residue during spot cleaning.

In both cases the residue by its self is not generally visible, however the dirt and dust that sticks to it and doesn’t release to your regular vacuuming becomes the visible spot.  Proper spot cleaning techniques and proper chemicals are important when attempting to eliminate residue spots.

Whatever the cause of the wicking issue, trained technicians have the know how and will remove your stains for good!  It’s not always possible to know there is going to be a wicking problem at first cleaning.

When we suspect an issue, we treat it then, when we come back to clean again just let us know you suspect a wicking problem and we will be glad to take care of it. Call us or use our contact form to schedule your cleaning today!

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