WICKING SPOTS, ORGANIC STAINS, AND YOUR 3% BEST FRIEND
Lets face it, carpet has a rough life. At best it’s walked on and beyond that it’s often subjected to all kinds of situations that leave a mark.
When you spill a cup of coffee, a pet empties it’s bladder, or any other significant amount of liquid hits your carpet you can be sure that roughly 80% or more of the spill goes directly through the carpet and into the backing, and through to the padding underneath.
As carpet cleaners, our objective is to clean the fibers of your carpet right down to the surface of the backing. Unless we’re doing a process that goes way beyond regular carpet cleaning, then we simply aren’t removing what has made its way into the padding. Normally our cleaning process resolves most of these situations because we do a very thorough job of rinsing/extracting your carpet and removing the majority of the moister.
Many of our customers use a consumer grade carpet cleaning machine for spills, pet spots, or maintenance cleaning in between professional services. In most situations where wicking occurs you’ll find a bottle of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide will be your best friend.
Some spills can reappear as the carpet dries and some will show up weeks or maybe even months later. If it’s a recent occurrence, or just after a cleaning, then you’ll need to wait for the carpet to dry completely first.
-A trigger sprayer
-A fresh bottle of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
-A white cotton towel
You’ll want to mist the target area and then gently blot it with a towel. Repeat a few times until you see the spot is no longer lightening. Be careful not to drench the area. Next you’ll want to groom the carpet fibers so that they are as vertical as you can then give it 1 or 2 more mists. In most situations this is all you need to do. As the peroxide dries, it dissolves the organic matter that has wicked up from below.
A strong caution about wool and natural fibers. These days most carpets are synthetic and won’t suffer any damage from peroxide. If you happen to have wool/natural fiber carpets, upholstery, or area rugs, then you need to know that peroxide damages the dyes in these fibers. It still may be an option but you can cause color loss and need to proceed with caution. Wool carpet is among the most expensive carpeting and therefore a little rare. You should test the peroxide in an obscure portion of your carpeting prior to use in a prominent area. The corner of a closet is good idea. Let the carpet dry before you evaluate the results. Often area rugs or upholstery will list the fiber type on a tag or label.
Let the carpet dry completely and if the spot is still present, then repeat the procedure. It may take a few times to get it resolved depending on the severity of the spill, type and age of carpet, and what the spot was from.
If this doesn’t work then call us, we have much stronger products at our disposal and we may need to sub surface extract the area.
Sub surface extraction allows us to remove contaminates from the padding and backing of the carpet. It’s a slow in-depth process and not within the scope of routine cleaning. It’s great for removing stubborn pet odors.
Peroxide that is months old or more will have lost most of it’s oxygen and will most likely not be very effective.
Using a wet vac or home carpet cleaner to make dry strokes rather than blotting with towels greatly reduces the chance of the spill re-occurring.
If the spot keeps coming back do not worry. Recurring spots are almost always resolvable.
Thanks for reading.