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Why Spots And Stains Recur (And What To Do About It)

You’ve spilled your glass of red vino all over your cream-colored carpet.

You’ve blotted the stain, salted it down, and even treated it with baking soda.

After much elbow grease punctuated by bouts of anxiety, you’ve managed to take out all of the stain. Crisis averted.

Or so it seems.

A few days later, still feeling chuffed at how professionally you handled the whole thing, you notice an irregularly shaped maroon shadow on your carpet. The stain’s back!

What the heck happened? And what can you do about it?

Here’s the skinny.

Why Do Spots And Stains Recur?
Spots and stains can occur for a variety of reasons. More often than not, though, the cause is either soiling or wicking.

Let’s have a look at both.

Soiling is caused by residue from the cleaning products you used to deal with your mess.

Instead of drying, this residue becomes sticky and turns your carpet’s fibers into a veritable magnet for dirt, dust and all sorts of other nasty particles. The result: dirt sticks to your carpet, forming an unsightly patch in the shape of the original stain.

Wicking happens when what you’ve spilled goes in too deep, penetrating your carpet’s backing or even the padding and subfloor.

While cleaning will remove the stain from the carpet’s surface, it won’t reach what seeped beneath it. This will stay there until it’s re-absorbed by the fibers, causing a reappearance of the original stain.

Dealing With Soiling And Wicking
Prevention is, of course, the best way to deal with soiling and wicking.

You should deal with spills as quickly as possible, blotting with paper towels to absorb all of the liquid. If the spill is particularly large, it’s a good idea to place a large pile of paper towels over the area, weighing them down with something heavy. This will ensure the liquid is absorbed at the surface and doesn’t have time to seep into the carpet deep enough to cause wicking.

More importantly, if you apply a cleaning agent to your carpet, you need to rinse it thoroughly. This will prevent the residue which causes soiling to form.

But what if it’s too late to prevent soiling or wicking?
If you suspect you’ve caused soiling or wicking on your carpet, you’ll need to clean it all over again.

Start by pouring lukewarm water on the stain, and blot it gently with paper towels to absorb as much of it as possible. Be careful not to pour too much, though, as otherwise you’ll only make matters worse. Repeat this step as needed until all of the soiling is gone. It’s better to rinse and repeat several times than to pour a large amount of water all at one go.

If this doesn’t do the trick, you’re probably dealing with wicking. Try salting the area down or applying baking soda. This should absorb the stain and prevent it from seeping back down into the carpet.

Once you’re done with the treatment, place a stack of paper towels over the area and weigh it down, leaving it overnight to dry.

And if you can’t get rid of your spots or stains, just call in the professionals. They’ll deep clean your carpet using hot water extraction or encapsulation and leave your carpet clean and almost dry to the touch. That’s sure to stop soiling and wicking from happening ever again!

Are you ready to say goodbye to recurring stains and spots? Click here for a free quote.

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