Black marks around edge of carpet. Can they be removed and what is the cause?
As you can see in the photo opposite, black marks have appeared both at the edge of the carpet and along the middle of the room.
This was a severe case where the black marking or stains on the carpet had appeared over time throughout the home.
In this case, the carpet was synthetic and made from polypropylene and the black marks were successfully removed from the carpet. Had these carpets been made from wool it may well have been a different story.
Synthetic or polypropylene carpets supplied these days are highly stain resistant and the fibres don’t usually absorb staining. Wool on the other hand is a natural fibre and any black mark stains will be absorbed into the fibre. Therefore black marks on wool carpets can be very difficult or impossible to remove.
Whats the cause of black marking on carpets?
The black marking is caused by air movement around the edge of the carpet. The air movement can also occur in the middle of the room which can also cause the same problem.
The air that has caused the black marks over a period of time is caused by air pollution staining the carpet. It can happen in any location, the closer the home is to a main road or heavy vehicle traffic the more likely it will occur. Air from kitchen cooking circulating around the home can also cause the same problem.
Black marks on carpet caused by air pollution are often referred to as filtration soiling or draught marking.
Can the black marks be removed?
If the carpet is wool or a wool mix, it will be very difficult if not impossible to remove this type of staining. If the carpet is synthetic, there is a good possibility that the stains can be removed with professional stain removers. It is probably better to call a professional carpet cleaning company to attempt to remove the staining as once the carpet is treated, it will require rinsing out with professional equipment to remove both the dirt and the residue.
Can this be prevented?
The best practice to try and prevent this happening is to lift the carpet and attempt to seal off any joints between the skirting and floor boards to reduce the air flow.
If the stains are occurring towards the middle of the room, lay wall lining paper between the underlay and the floor. Sealing paper overlaps with adhesive tape.
A bad case of filtration soiling. The black marking has appeared not only at the edge of the carpet but also along the middle of the room.
As can be seen the marks are around the fireplace and have been caused by small holes made by the carpet fitting stretch tool. The carpet fitting tool has opened small holes in the backing which the air pollution has traveled and caused the stains.
General tips and advice about stain removal
Scrubbing and wetting:
Avoid over wetting a carpet. Over wetting can cause the celulose from the backing to dissolve and permanently stain the carpet brown. Always try to use a suitable sprayer and lightly apply to dampen the carpet to allow the stain remover to work
Scrubbing can also dammage the pile of the carpet. If you have had to scrub the carpet to dislodge any caked on dirt, carefully trim off any fluffed carpet pile when dry.
Always pre test stain removers in an inconspicuose area beforehand. Some types of stain removers can affect the colour or bleach the carpet.
Using dish washing liquid to remove stains
Ok, many people will reach for the dish washing liquid to remove stains froma carpet. Used in a very small amount and diluted sufficiently, it probably won’t cause much of a problem.
The problem occurs when the liquid is used in an effort to remove a stain and the residue stays in the carpet. The washing liquid will stay sticky when dry and continue to attract dirt when the carpet is used. This is the reason why so many stains re occur and the area slowly turns into a stain again. The washing liquid slowly wicks back up the fibres and continues to attract dirt.