Why Do My Stains Come Back?

One common concern with carpet cleaning is the problem of stains coming back. Sometimes, a carpet will look fresh and clean immediately after a professional cleaning, but then stains will reappear a few days afterwards. This can be frustrating for homeowners and it should not happen if the cleaning is done correctly.

There are several reasons why stains will reappear.

The most common reason is inadequate rinsing by the carpet cleaning technician. The technician uses a spotting solution to remove your stains. There are lots of different spotting solutions, including solutions for rust, ink, urine, gum, and many more stains. When your technician applies one of these solutions, they must rinse it completely when the stain has been removed. This means removing all the residue from the spotting solution.

The complete removal is crucial because residues left behind in the carpet fibers will end up attracting soils like a magnet. The stain itself may have been completely removed, but if the solution was not properly rinsed, over time, dust and other soils will accumulate in that very same spot and create the appearance of a new stain or the stain reappearing. Proper rinsing is essential!

This is 100% applicable to homeowners too. Many homeowners are very adept at taking matters into their own hands when it comes to stain removal. However, it is important that whenever you use a spotting solution on your own, you must thoroughly rinse the area with water to completely remove the staining agent and the spotting solution.

Wicking or wick-back occurs with stains that have soaked all the way to the backing and/or padding of the carpet. When the carpet gets wet again, the staining materials travel upwards from the padding or backing to the surface fibers of the carpeting. This happens most frequently with high volume stains like urine or coffee. This can occur if a surface stain is removed but the carpet takes too long to dry.

One way to prevent wicking is to use an encapsulate carpet protector. Your professional carpet cleaning can apply the encapsulate carpet protector at the end of the cleaning. When they spray this over the carpet it coats each and every fiber with a protective layer that prevents not only new staining, but also wick-back.

Another great way to prevent wick-back is with the use of fans. The use of powerful fans help to create significant airflow and they aid in quickly drying the carpet, which helps prevent wicking.

It is important to understand that some stains do become permanent stains. This occurs normally with staining materials that damage carpet dyes. Bleach, permanent markers, and many other household items, when spilled onto the carpet, will permanently damage carpet dyes. There are no spotting solutions that will fix dye loss. The options for permanent dye damage are either the replacement of the carpet or actually dyeing the areas affected to match the original carpet color.