Ever have the frustrating experience of removing stains from your carpet only to have the stains reappear a few days or weeks later? Ugh!
Two reasons why carpet stains come back are wicking and soiling.
Stains that penetrate deep beneath the carpet fibers can reappear due to wicking. When the stain is absorbed in this manner, it usually indicates that the backing and carpet pad has been affected by the stain as well.
Sometimes the stain causes wicking because too much moisture or water was used to remove it from the carpet. The resulting moisture, which is just dirty water sitting at the base of the fibers, eventually evaporates. As the water evaporates it is drawn up through the carpet fiber thus causing wicking. When the carpet is finally dry the stain reappears on the carpet fibers.
Soiling occurs when there’s a residue left on the carpet. The residue, in turn, attracts more dirt. Essentially, the stain was never really completely removed in the first place because a residue was left behind. This type of soiling is different from filtration soil.
Typically, carpet cleaning products for home use leave a residue. Initially, when using these products, the stain appears to be removed, but over time it reappears as dirt adheres to the residue left behind. Additionally, oils, lotions, grease, and tape often cause a buildup of residue as well.
Prevent Stains in the First Place and Carpet Care
Prevention and maintenance are your best friends when it comes to extending the longevity of your carpet.
Clean stains quickly but don’t oversaturate the area or you will cause wicking. After cleaning the stain make sure it is dry as soon as possible.
Also, according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, carpets should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months.
For tough recurring stains, an experienced professional carpet cleaner will know how to remove the moisture from a carpet to prevent stains from resurfacing.