Why Do My Carpet Stains Appear After My Carpet Cleaner Has Left The Building?
You’ve had your carpets cleaned. You do it every year and everything is great. The stains are gone, the carpets look clean, they feel fantastic under your feet as you walk on them and they smell fresh as a daisy.
Then after a little time and as the carpet is drying, you start to see the old stains reappear and creep back to the surface. The first person you blame is the carpet cleaner and you feel like you have wasted all that money but is it really his fault or is there a deeper underlying issue?
Stains re-appear for many reasons. Here are the three biggest reasons that you are experiencing this problem and how it can be resolved.
- The stain ran deeper than you may have thought
This is when the stain disappeared soon as it was cleaned but came to the surface as it was drying after the clean.
Here’s why this happens: During the steam-cleaning, the stain on the surface of the carpet was removed, however the stain had gone right through to the carpet underlay and was not removed, therefore rising upwards during the drying period (as moisture dries in an upward motion, this lifts the stains up as it dries).
This usually occurs when coffee or other dense liquids are spilled on the carpet. Pet accidents are another common one for this to happen
This is called wicking – it is likened to a Zombie effect, once the carpet has dried the stain in the padding rises to the surface of the carpet, resurrecting the old stain in the exact same place. Once the clean carpet has dried, the stain in the padding rises to the surface of the carpet. If you used a professional carpet cleaner, call them to explain what has happened and even use the term possible wicking, and they will be able to help you.
- Too much moisture remained in the carpet after a cleaning
This issue happens for similar reasons as above, where the stain resurfaces because of a deeper stain issue lying deeper in the carpet underlay.
A thorough steam-cleaning will remove the stain from the surface and, if the stain in the padding is minimal or shallow, it can keep the stain away.
However, if the carpet is over-wet or conditions contribute to a slow dry time and the carpet fibres retain too much moisture, that moisture from the carpet can then soak into the underlay and mix with the stain in the underlay. When this mixture takes place and the drying process begins, the moisture (from both the cleaning and from the old underlay stain) starts to evaporate bringing the stain to the surface.
- Pre-treated stains left behind a residue that attracted dirt
You’ve just spilt a drink on the carpet and you pop down to your local supermarket to grab some store-bought carpet stain remover, and that’s great. We strongly recommend striving to keep your carpets clean between professional carpet cleaning visits. However your attempt to treat the stain could be the cause of the alleged Zombie Stain after a clean.
This is what usually happens: You’ll buy the stain remover and attempt to use it as per the instructions and for most, they succeed. It is just when it comes to the rinsing part that everything tends to go wrong.
You more than likely used a damp wash cloth to rinse out the solution from your carpet, when what you should have done was pour a small amount of clean water into the affected area and use a white cloth or towel to blot up the remaining solution and water.
The problem is if the solution isn’t rinsed properly, it creates a sticky residue that attracts dirt. You don’t even have to walk on the carpet for this to happen. The dust particles in the air are simply attracted to it and over time, it makes the old stain appear to have magically reappeared.