Stains coming back on carpet

The reason why stains or spots keep coming back on a carpet and how to prevent it happening again.

stains coming back on carpet

Reoccurring stains in carpet or stains that keep coming back to the surface of the carpet is a common problem. If you’ve spilled liquid onto a carpet and tried to clean it up but the stain keeps reappearing, this article will explain why it is happening and what remedy to use to stop it happening again.

So you had a spot or stain on your carpet and you may have used a spot or stain remover and the stain has disappeared only to come back a few days or even a few weeks later. These spots or carpet stains can reappear when the carpet dries or could take several weeks to come back. Despite all your efforts it can be quite frustrating to see these stains re-emerge on a carpet. Perhaps you had a professional cleaning company to clean the carpet but the same problem has occurred.



Carpet wicking

Carpet wicking

So why do stains keep coming back on my carpet?

The answer is that when a carpet has a stain on it, the substance or liquid may have penetrated into the backing of the carpet and perhaps even the underlay. When an attempt is made to clean the stain, the dirt, stain remover or detergent that was used to remove the stain remains deep in the carpet and comes back to the surface as the carpet dries out. When the stain or detergent residue travels back up the carpet fibers it is known as carpet wicking or Wick Back. The carpet will dry and over the course of a few days or weeks the detergent or stain will wick back to the surface of the carpet fibers only to reappear again.


removing stain from carpet

Stain remover can be the cause of reoccurring carpet stains

The main cause of stains reappearing is when a carpet stain remover is used. The stain remover is applied and hey presto, the stain has gone! The problem with most off the shelf stain remover products is that they can contain sticky substances that can re attract soil when the carpet has dried. The sticky residue remains on the carpet and after several days or weeks of foot traffic, the carpet turns dull or or looks like the stain has come back. 


dish washing liquid on carpet

Detergent can cause stains to come back on carpet

Another common cause of stains reappearing on carpet is when detergent or dish washing liquid such as Dawn or Fairy Liquid is used to remove the marks or stains. There is nothing worse than using this type of carpet stain removal technique as this will certainly leave a sticky residue in the carpet and will also soak into the backing. This sticky residue will almost always turn into a dark mark if the carpet is subject to soiling as the detergent residue will attract the dirt.

So using a bowl of detergent and soaking the carpet is not really a good method. 


baby oil on carpet

Baby oil, grease and oil stains coming back on carpet

When products such as baby oil, cooking oil and oil based cosmetics are spilled onto the carpet, these can soak into the backing and also the carpet underlay or padding. These oils in the carpet can be extremely difficult to remove and will almost always resurface despite our best efforts to remove them.. Further down the page we will see how these spillages can be dealt with although sometimes it may be necessary to replace the carpet in very bad circumstances.


professional cleaning of re occurring carpet stain

Whats the best way of removing reoccurring stains on carpet?

The answer is, there may be several methods that may work.

First of all, rinse the area of carpet with fresh water applied with a sprayer. Do not soak the carpet, only lightly dampen it. Then apply a non coloured towel over the area to draw out the stain or residue and leave for half an hour to soak up the moisture. Repeat this several times. This method may dissolve any detergent on the surface and may stop the stain from reoccurring.

If the stain or detergent has soaked right down into the carpet backing it may be impossible to remedy the stain from coming back without using professional carpet cleaning equipment. A professional carpet cleaning company should have the necessary hot water extraction equipment to draw out the stain or residue from deep in the carpet. 


remove carpet to clean stain

Lifting carpet to remove reoccurring stain

If the reoccurring carpet stain cannot be rectified using the above method it may be necessary to lift the carpet from the floor. This way the carpet backing can be cleaned as well as the underlay or carpet padding. Also if the spillage has reached the floor, it will be worth while cleaning that too. If using this method is successful, leave the carpet and underlay to dry before refitting.

In some circumstances it can be difficult if not impossible to remove oils from carpet such as baby oil, cooking oil and heavy spillages of cosmetics and creams as these can be very difficult to dissolve even by way of using cleaning solvents to break down the residue.

 


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