Water stains on carpet
Quite often I am asked is ”can I remove a water stain or mark from a carpet”. It all depends on the type of carpet. Wool carpets are natural and can be severely damaged by excess water seeping into the carpet. Many types of synthetic carpets however, may not be subject to permanent staining by water. Here in the UK the most popular types of synthetic carpets are made from polypropylene.
If you have a polypropylene domestic carpet that has been guaranteed stain resistant, the chances are the stain will come out.
The bad news is, more often than not these water mark stains can be impossible to remove in wool carpets due to the cellulose having migrated from the backing or permanently changed the colour of the carpet.
Removing the water from the carpet if it has just just occurred.
If water has just seeped or leaked on the carpet, the first thing to do is to blot the area thoroughly with a dry non coloured towel or kitchen absorbent towel.
Keep blotting the area until you see there it not much moisture coming out of the carpet. You will need to draw out as much as possible so you could also place a heavy object on the towel while waiting.
How to dry a flooded carpet
What to do when a carpet is flooded with water?
If your carpet has been subject to flooding from a plumbing leak or another source, you should act immediately in an effort to save the carpet.
Carpet and also the underlay can absorb an incredible amount of water, which can quickly develop into mildew, mold, spores and bacteria growth.
The only people that will be able to properly remove the water is a carpet cleaning company or flooding specialist.
They should be able to employ carpet extraction equipment and proper air drying equipment.
If you have your home contents insured, it is also a good time to give them a call as they usually have their own source for emergency cleaning specialists.
Below is the first stage of removing flood water from a carpet using a carpet extraction system.
The flooded carpet is then dried with air mover fans and Dehumidifier equipment.
Radiator water leak stains, can they be removed?
Opposite is a water leak from a radiator.
More often than not this type of water leak stain from a radiator will be impossible to remove as the cellulose from the backing has permanently changed the colour of the carpet.
In some cases a professional carpet cleaning company may be able to improve this.
Opposite is water that has leaked from a radiatior while in transit.
Another problem that can occur is blackening of the carpet in the area due to the iron oxide from the heating system. Most rust stains and iron oxide can be removed with specialist rust removers which often contain diluted hydrofluoric acid that dissolves the iron.
How to remove a water mark from an office or commercial carpet.
This type of water mark staining is very common in offices and commercial premises.
It is usually caused by water cooler drink machines or a water leak from a roof.
Usually commercial carpets are subject to high foot traffic and are laden with soil. When the carpet has become flooded or leaked on, the dirt and soil rise to the top of the fibres and cause a tide mark. This type of water staining can often be easily removed with professional carpet cleaning equipment without a problem.
Example of a plant pot stain on a carpet.
Is it possible to remove a plant pot stain from a carpet?
Plant pots are often the cause of the most unsightly stains on a carpet. In the picture opposite is a typical example of a carpet plant pot stain.
Over the years I have come across many of these and I’m afraid the it’s the result of irreversible staining caused by the cellulose migrating from the carpet backing and permanently changing the colur of the fibers.
General tips and advice about stain removal
Scrubbing and wetting:
Avoid over wetting a carpet. Over wetting can cause the cellulose 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 damage 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 inconspicuous 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 from a 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 fibers and continues to attract dirt.