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Green Cleaning Tips and Articles

Stains and Other Carpet Cleaning Issues

Published: July 17, 2014

Do you have stubborn carpet stains that refuse to budge - or reappear after cleaning?

Carpet cleaning with the right method can effectively and permanently remove most of the spots in your carpet. Some spots, however, become "stains" which are permanent because they change the original color of the carpet fiber. Carpet stains are most commonly caused by pet urine or vomit, cosmetics, some medications, cleaning products, and certain food and drinks. Unfortunately, your only options are to have the stained piece cut out and replaced or have your carpet dyed.

Dark Lines in Carpet

Dark areas or lines in your carpet are called Soil Filtration Lines. These are more commonly found along the perimeter of the room by walls and under doors. The lines are caused by air currents passing through carpet in these areas. The air carries microscopic particles of dirt and soot that settle and become embedded in the fiber yarns. Although the area can be lightened through carpet cleaning, complete removal of these lines is difficult or impossible with any carpet cleaning method.

Carpet Shading

Shading is normally found in high traffic areas such as hallways and entry ways. When carpeting is installed, the carpet nap is laid in the same direction. Walking or vacuuming back and forth on the carpet forces the nap to lie in opposite directions. When viewing the carpet in high traffic areas, it looks either lighter or darker, depending on where you are standing. This condition, unfortunately, is not reversible.

Traffic Lane Graying

Over time, carpet fibers become worn or distorted to the degree that they no longer retain their original texture and shape. The damaged carpet fibers create a dull, faded appearance known as "graying." While cleaning can improve the appearance of a worn carpet, restoring it to new is not possible.

Pet Odors

Although minor odor problems can be eliminated with carpet cleaning, pet urine often penetrates deep down and spreads.  It can even saturate the carpet backing, pad and sub-flooring. No company can guarantee to completely and permanently eliminate these odors with general cleaning. Your carpet may need to be removed so the backing can be treated and padding replaced.  To minimize damage from dog or cat urine, follow the recommended protocol for cleaning pet accidents.

Buckling/Carpet Ripples

You may notice waves or small ripples appearing in your carpet immediately following cleaning. The reasons for buckling vary.

  • If an installer does not power stretch your carpet or fails to do so properly.

  • Improper carpet padding (too thick)

  • Excessive moisture can cause the carpet latex to expand. As humidity in the room returns to normal and the carpet dries, buckling will usually be resolved.

  • Dragging heavy furniture across wall-to-wall carpeting will pull the carpet off the tackless strips, causing waves. Bonnet style carpet cleaning has been known to sometimes cause buckling. Re-stretching would be advised in this case.

For more information, visit the FAQ page.


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