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Why Do Stains Keep Appearing On Your Carpet?

Have you found yourself trying to improve the overall look of your home, only to discover a stubborn stain on your carpet that just won't go away?

In the industry, we refer to these as recurring stains - and they happen fairly frequently when you try to clean your carpets with soapy detergents and water.

Believe it or not, there are a couple of common reasons that stains may reoccur on your carpets.

In this article, we'll discuss the reasons why stains may be recurring on your carpet, as well as what you can do to prevent recurring stains from happening in the future.

Additionally, we'll go over some effective ways to keep your carpet stain-free, and let you know when to us for professional stain removal.

What's the deal with recurring stains?

Sometimes stains can reappear immediately after cleaning, practically as soon as the carpet dries.

Other stains return a week or two after you put in the time and effort trying to make the stain disappear.

There is no doubt that this process is frustrating, but why does it happen? And is there really anything that can be done to fix it?

The bottom line: There are two common reasons why you have reappearing stains:

wicking and rapid re-soiling due to residue.

What is Wicking?

Wicking happens when stains are trapped below the carpet surface in the padding or even the sub-flooring. After a shallow, surface-level stain-removal attempt, the stain is absorbed back to the surface tips of the carpet fibers as the area dries. So the stain literally reappears.

This can occur after a spill takes place and the spilled contents were left too long, allowing it to saturate the backing of the carpet / padding.

It can also happen when attempting to clean the spill, and too much water or cleaning solution is used. When a carpet is oversaturated — even when oversaturated with cleaning products — it can result in transferring the spilled substance to the carpet padding, as well as the water and detergent used during cleaning.

After the surface of the carpet has dried, the layers beneath it may remain damp. This causes the water, soap, and the spilled substance to intermingle and create a deeply rooted stain that will eventually wick back up through the dried fibers of your carpet.

What about residue?

On the other side of the possibilities for recurring stains is a residue stain — an area that quickly gets dirty again, we call "rapid re-soiling" caused by residue.

Rapid re-soiling occurs when a layer of residue is left behind by household cleaning agents or incompletely removed spills.

When cleaning agents are used on your rug or carpet to remove an existing stain, a sticky residue can be left behind if the cleaning agent and the spill is not completely removed.

For this very reason, as dust drifts around your house and dirt gets tracked in, these particulates will end up sticking to the residue that has been left on your carpet, and the carpet fibers will look as if the stain has reappeared.

Unfortunately, a few passes of the vacuum won't quite do the trick when trying to remedy the sticky or oily stain.

How to prevent reappearing stains

To prevent re-appearing stains takes a deep and complete clean up of your spills. It's also important to rinse out all the residue, and not to use too much water. In addition to damaging your carpets, over-saturation can also open the door for mold and mildew.

For this very reason I strongly recommend that you avoid rental or budget cleaning machines.

Since carpet cleaning machines dispense soap and water at the command of the operator, it's very common for the non-professional to use too much water, or too much solution or the wrong kind of cleaning agents.

Additionally, even if you're mindful about the amount of soap and water you're adding to your carpet stain, the overall function of the carpet cleaner may end up leaving more soap and water in the fibers and padding of your carpet than you had bargained for due to inadequate suction force.

The bottom line is that store-bought and rental cleaning machines do not use the hot water extraction method you need to effectively clean your carpets, nor do they have enough suction to effectively leave your carpets stain free.

That doesn't mean that you need to call a professional for every spill. You can do an effective job cleaning a spill yourself and adequately rinsing it several times to leave no residue behind, and absorb as much dampness as possible. This will avoid rapid re-soiling and wicking issues.

How to Remedy Your Stain

The help & advice section of our website has a wide range of free resources that cover a number of stain removal methods that you can try by hand for best results. Whether it's coffee, gum, wine, or pet messes, we've got you covered!

To keep it simple — make sure to blot up (don't scrub!) as much of the fresh spill as you can, using a plain white rag or towel (so no dyes are transferred from the towel to carpet creating a brand new type of stain!).

Rinse thoroughly using clean water several times, and blot up the rinse water as completely as possible. Use a lot of towels and weigh them down so they absorb as much dampness as possible.

This is basic, but if you do a complete and thorough job, we hope you won't see the stains coming back.

Call a Professional with Superior Equipment

If you feel like you've tried all you can, but those stubborn stains keep coming back, it may be time to give us a call for professional stain removal.

In the end, sometimes you just need powerful equipment and expert techniques to get the job done completely.

Here at Flawless Cleaners, we pride ourselves in the investments we've made in equipment, ongoing education, the best cleaning products available, and over 30 years of experience delivering best possible results to all of our commercial and residential clients.

Call me today or fill out a contact form online to start your journey with the best carpet cleaning experience you've had. Here's to a clean and healthy home!

Call us today to make an appointment. We’ll be happy to answer any questions as well. See you soon!

To your clean and healthy home!

Raymond Romero
owner, Flawless Cleaning Systems
Salinas, Monterey, Carmel, Gilroy CA

Prepare for Spring Cleaning 2024

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