Why Spots on Your Carpet Keep Coming Back
Have you ever wondered why spots return after having your carpet cleaned? There are two reason that spots return.
Reason 1: Wicking
Many times, the spot that is being removed has seeped into the backing of the carpet. This is common with pet urine, beverages, and anything that is spilled in “volume”. The material dries in the backing and the cushion (pad) of the carpet. When the spot is cleaned, only the material in the “pile” of the carpet is removed. However, moisture is introduced into the backing of the carpet. As the spot dries, the material that is in the backing of the carpet “wicks” back into the pile of the carpet much like a candle wick. Even traffic area soil that is embedded can wick back. This is especially common in glue down carpet that is heavily impacted with soil. When the carpet is cleaned it looks good, when it dries the spots and traffic areas come back.
Reason 2: Re-soilingRe-soiling is caused by a sticky residue that has been left behind. The residue may be from the spot itself, the cleaner that was used, or both. Some common residue causes are over-the-counter carpet cleaners purchased at the grocery store. Avoid using these cleaners altogether. If you have to use one of these cleaners, or you have to use dishwashing detergent, use as little as possible and with water thoroughly. Other residue causes would be oily spots. Duct tape residue, body oils, lotions, etc. If all of the oily residue is not removed, it will attract soil as the carpet is walked on. Even quality professional cleaning may not remove all oily residue the first time.
SPECIAL NOTE: Cheap carpet cleaners use cheap products that are loaded with Optical Brighteners. Optical Brighteners create an illusion of clean that causes the soil or spot to appear to be removed. The spot is still there. The soil is still there. Optical Brighteners create a film that reflects light so that the carpet looks incredibly clean; an optical illusion.