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Boring Bits

Here are some of the questions we regularly get asked  about carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning, along with our answers and recommendations.

Please contact Ian today if you have any other questions about soft furnishing care that you may need help with.

  1. What Can You Do For My Carpet & Rugs?
  2. How Often Should I Have My Carpets Cleaned?
  3. Can I Clean My Own Carpets?
  4. What Will Professional Cleaning Cost?
  5. What Do I Need To Look For In A Professional?
  6. How Can I Protect My Carpets From Rapid Soiling And Wearing Out Prematurely?
  7. Why Do People Have Carpet Cleaned?  For Appearance or Health?
  8. Is Carpet Cleaning Safe?
  9. What Do Fibre Producers & Carpet Manufacturers Say About Carpet Cleaning?
  10. Which Is Better For Asthma & Allergy Suffers. Carpet Or Hard-floor?
  11. What Happens When A Whole Nation Stops Using Carpet?
  12. Carpet Versus Hard-flooring, Health Facts.
  13. Buckling & Rippling In A Carpet.
  14. Colour Loss In Carpet.
  15. Crushing & Matting In Carpet.
  16. Filtration Soiling Or Draught Marks On Carpet.
  17. Fuzzing On Carpet.
  18. Pile Reversal or Shading; (aka) Shore Lining / Pooling / Water Marking On Carpet.
  19. Reddish and or Yellowish Colour On Carpet After Cleaning.
  20. Traffic Lane Grey On Carpet.
  21. Cleaning Method Variations.
  22. Conditions Post Cleaning.

1. What We Do For Your Carpets & Rugs.
Cleaning, sanitizing and protective treatment application to all carpet and rug types. De-odourise rooms and all contents, quickly, quietly and efficiently.  Domestic, commercial and industrial environments in Stafford and Stone are covered regularly as are surrounding areas as far as Telford, Stoke and Cannock.

2. How Often Should I Have My Carpet Cleaned?
This depends on a number of circumstances. Du-Pont, the world’s largest manufacture of fibres, recommends cleaning at least every 12-18 months. But other considerations may increase the frequency rate: smoking habits, number and ages of children, soling conditions, humidity, temperature, condition of outdoor environment, health status of occupants, allergy conditions, number and type of pets and the types of activities being conducted are just a few.

The IICRC Recommends…
© 2002 IICRC S100 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Carpet Cleaning.

“The use-life of carpet can be greatly extended with proper care”
“Homeowners must not wait until carpet looks soiled before beginning a planned cleaning programme”
“The greater the soiling, the less likelihood of restoring the original colour, appearance and texture of the carpet, and the greater the adverse affect on the IAQ”
(Indoor Air Quality)

The following chart illustrates how: carpet with planned cleaning and maintenance schedules greatly outlasts those cleaned on an unplanned or neglected basis.

carpet cleaning eccleshall

carpet cleaning newport

The durability and soil hiding characteristics of today’s carpets can disguise the need for maintenance. Proper maintenance of carpets will enhance the beauty, durability and extend the lifespan and thereby, protect that investment.

Clean carpets contribute, not only to the overall aesthetics of a structure, but play a significant role, in the healthful state of the indoor environment. Outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes and hundreds of other chemicals.

When people enter into your premises, those pollens, bacteria and other contaminants are carried in at the same time, on skin, hair, clothing and shoes, and deposited onto carpets, and furnishings.

3. Can I Clean My Own Carpets?
One the most common myths about carpet is that it gets dirty quickly once cleaned.
Professionally (correctly) cleaned carpets DON’T, but carpets cleaned using the wrong method with inferior (products, equipment and techniques) can easily do so.
This applies to self proclaimed “professionals” who are amateurish in their and ‘DIY’ attempts by the owner.
Low powered hire machines or cheap domestic machines are of little use when trying to do even a half decent job. It’s knowledge and experience that results in a good job.

4. What Will Professional Carpet and Upholster Cleaning Cost?
Carpet and Upholstery cleaning is certainly affordable, but correct professional care is not given away.
Top professionals spend a lot of their time and money on training and many years gaining experience. In addition they invest many thousands of pounds on high quality tools of the trade. Beware of low prices, they mean poor quality.

5. What Do I Need To Look For In A Professional Carpet Cleaner?
Sadly many so called ‘professional’ carpet cleaners, have no insurance cover at all. A proportion of those that do, have inadequate or inappropriate insurance for working on your carpets and furniture. Comprehensive insurance is mandatory to membership of the UK trade association NCCA, and is checked annually, using a member will ensure you’re getting someone who is correctly insured.

Anyone can boast they have good equipment or the best system, (be it wet or dry);  but training is far more important! Any system or method is worthless in untrained and unqualified hands!  Many have none, very little or poor training.
Quick drying, bacteria odour removal and dust mite protection, are important considerations, but most cleaners do not provide any of these.

IICRC and NCCA certification is earned by training and examination, and recognised by the industry as the best. It is totally independent and not biased to any company or product line.

Some carpet cleaners may try to mislead you with false accreditation, or more often, worthless ‘trade’ membership which bears no relevance to their competence. Some organisations are “pay to join”, not “training and qualify by examination”. This means anyone can join upon payment of the annual fee, no training or qualification is required.

A lot of poor quality, and low price companies, operate under a trading name for a year or less. Then they undergo a name and phone number change and possibly new address too. They usually operate outside their own locality . The idea is to fool dissatisfied past customers into using them again. You probably won’t recognise the person who turns up at your door either, they’ve most likely been replaced too. Beware! Don’t use the same type of advert again. Usually the low price ‘next few weeks in your area’ type leaflets.

Not all low priced advertisers are unethical in this way, but they are all trying, foolishly, to compete on price, with those who are. Therefore, to compete, their quality is lowered, rushed jobs, cut corners, poor cleaning agents etc.

Bait & Switch
You get a leaflet offering to clean your carpets and upholstery at incredibly low prices.  The Bait.
The Switch occurs when they arrive…. they have to move furniture (extra charge), spot clean (extra charge), the hall carpet is dirtier than they expected (extra charge) the furniture has lots of cushions ( big extra charge) and so it goes on.

When the job is finished (badly) you are presented with your invoice with all the ‘extra unforeseen charges’, your £70.00 job is now £200 or whatever they can get away with. Most people pay up just to get rid of them. Your carpets are poorly cleaned your furniture is probably ruined, and of course you will never see them again.

Splash & Dash
They are in ‘the area’ for the next few weeks and can do your carpets straight away.The cleaners are sub-contract on low wages, there is no incentive for them to take care, they need to get as many jobs done as quickly as possible to make their money up.

They rush in, Splash (soak) the carpets with water, extract little out as quickly as possible get the money from you and Dash off to the next job. You get left with soaking wet carpets that have not been cleaned properly and will take between 16-36 hrs to dry depending on the equipment they used. Your carpets may shrink due to over wetting, they will definitely re-soil very quickly. Your furniture is probably water damaged, may be beyond restoration, and you won’t see them again.

6. How Can I Protect My Carpets From Rapid Soiling And Wearing Out Prematurely?
Frequent, thorough, and correct vacuuming, is the most important step, routine vacuuming enhances the appearance and prolongs the useful life of any carpet, by lifting the fibres and removing harmful particulate soil. Professional carpet cleaning helps create a healthier indoor environment… by removing pollutants, carpet stain removal staffordshiresuch as dust mites and their faeces, discarded human skin cells that mites feed upon, mould spores and other biological contaminants collected in carpets.

Stain Protection which should correctly be called stain resistant treatment, as treated items will resist staining but are not totally “bullet proof”.

carpet stain removal stoneSpills on treated carpet sit on the surface, giving time for you to soak them up.
Un-treated carpet allows spills to soak into the carpet, causing staining.

I apply a high quality treatment, to resist against permanent staining and help to keep carpets and upholstery cleaner for longer. It coats every single fibre with an invisible UV-stable protective layer. Appearance, touch and colour will not be affected. It protects the fibres from water, dirt and stains. Dry dirt cannot anymore stick onto the fibre. Moist dirt will no longer be absorbed by the fibre. Water, coffee, red wine, gravy etc will simply pearl off the treated fibres. Dirt and stains can easily be removed.

* Non dangerous Product  * Non-flammable  * Safe for pets and children   * Prolongs item life

Controlling Soil:
Most abrasive particulate soil accumulates initially, within the first few feet of entrances.  Once inside, this soil is then carried to other areas, by foot traffic and air movement; which takes it’s toll on carpet fibres. It also contributes to airborne particles, that affect overall indoor air quality. Every effort should be made, to keep this soil accumulation outside using entrance mats that collect, or absorb soil and moisture, these must be maintained, by periodic vacuuming and cleaning.

The majority of soils on carpets and are dry, insoluble, particulate matter. An analysis of carpet soiling samples, revealed the following:
Tracked-in, gritty particles make up approximately 62%
Animal fibre from people, pets and fabrics Comprise of about 12% Another 12% is vegetable matter and fibre from fabrics, indoor plants, grass and paper products.

These combined, account for 86% of the soil nestled in carpet fibres. This soil composition varies with geographical location and use of a facility.
Dry soil is often abrasive and can harm the carpet fibres if not removed. Under the weight and movement of foot traffic, these particulate soils can scratch and cut fibres, dulling the appearance of the carpet.

Abrasive soil, is the major cause of carpet wear and shortening life expectancy.
I apply a high quality treatment, to resist against permanent staining and help to keep carpets and upholstery cleaner for longer. It coats every single fibre with an invisible UV-stable protective layer. Appearance, touch and colour will not be affected. It protects the fibres from water, dirt and stains. Dry dirt cannot anymore stick onto the fibre. Moist dirt will no longer be absorbed by the fibre. Water, coffee, red wine, gravy etc will simply pearl off the treated fibres. Dirt and stains can easily be removed.

7. Why Do People Have Carpet Cleaned? For Appearance or Health?
Most carpet and upholstery cleaning is requested for cosmetic reasons, to improve surface appearance. The process should go a lot deeper and become a lot more responsible than this. With me, “clean” is not only defined in terms of appearance, but also in terms of hygiene, safety to family members or workers and real benefits to indoor air quality!
I’m passionate about promoting excellent health, superior hygiene and the sustainability of the environment by cleaning carpets and upholstery without the use of toxic chemicals.

It is inevitable that your carpets and furniture will become dirty over time. The reason for this is that your carpet acts like a magnet with the ability to trap and hold airborne household volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as chemicals and soils brought in on shoes, pets, spills and accidents etc.
Eventually, your carpets and upholstery become overloaded resulting in them contributing to poor indoor air quality in the same way that hard flooring (which has no entrapment qualities) does all the time.

To make matters worse studies have shown that these contaminated carpet particles can be a significant source of chemical exposure for all of us, especially babies, toddlers, the elderly and family pets. This is particularly true with younger children who will spend much of their time in direct and often exposed contact with the carpet.

A well maintained and cleaned carpet is, therefore, essential in sustaining a healthy indoor environment and can help eliminate allergic health concerns.

8. Is Carpet Cleaning Safe?
Many chemically based carpet cleaning products can be dangerous because they use chemical solvents and compounds that produce fumes. In addition, standard carpet cleaning chemicals may contain toxic ingredients, many of which have been repeatedly linked to the triggering of allergic reactions, manifesting in symptoms such as headaches, irritation to eyes, nose and lungs, asthma attacks, congestion, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, and nausea. Some cleaning products have also been linked to certain cancers and ADHD.

Thanks to state-of-the-art equipment and new natural products however, I have no need to use harsh chemicals in your home or business to get your carpets clean, which means you no longer have to sacrifice your health and the health of those around you for a clean carpet.

9. What Do Fibre Producers & Carpet Manufacturers Say About Carpet Cleaning?
The five largest fibre producers-Allied, BASF, Du-Pont, Hocchst, Celanse and Monsanto-all recommend periodic professional cleaning. Major carpet mills agree. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer recommends carpet cleaning by a “trained” professional. Du-Pont in their report on “Indoor Air Quality – A Technical Review of Carpet Contributions” states: “Since carpets act like a sink, for many types of particles, periodic professional cleaning is very important.”

Did you know, according to The Carpet and Rug Institute;

The overall price of commodities has increased 326% over the past four decades, yet the price of carpets has only increased 77.8% ?
Carpets are tremendous value, but are still one of the largest value purchases.

10. Which Is Better For Asthma & Allergy Suffers. Carpet Or Hard-floor?
The Carpet Foundation, the UK carpet manufacturing industry’s leading body, in conjunction with the European Carpet Association, GuT, the German Association for environmentally friendly carpets, the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand and the Carpet and Rug Institute of the USA, has conducted a detailed review of the key scientific papers on asthma and floor coverings.

It proves conclusively that there is no scientific validity for suggesting that carpet is a major threat to your health, even those sensitive to the dust mite allergen.

Carpet – The Healthy Flooring Option
Recently we have been fed a diet of sensationalist scare stories about carpets and dust mites and their alleged links to asthma. This stream of anti-carpet propoganda has advised, indeed urged, you to switch to wooden floors ostensibly ‘in the interests of health’.

It must be pointed out, however, that this was an orchestrated anti-carpet campaign that was part funded by a Swedish laminate flooring producer. Thus the advice to ‘rip up the carpet’ was far from independent and impartial as it purported to be.

Whilst research has shown conclusively that bedding contains significantly higher levels of allergen and dust mites than carpets……
No-one appears to advocate the REMOVAL of bedding!

With regard to dwellings it had been shown that the removal of wall to wall carpeting has no clinical affect on patients who show allergy reaction to dust mites.
Similarly there is a list of factors known to influence asthma, yet there are no recommendations, for example, that smoking is banned, pets not kept and food not cooked in the home.

11. What Happens When A Whole Nation Stops Using Carpet?
In the 1970’s in Sweden there were intensive discussions with some claiming that carpet was a serious breeding place for allergens and a source of harmful contaminants. As a result of considerable publicity, supported by various vested interest groups, this debate became a national issue.

A massive study carried out on a national scale in a health aware country like Sweden, has shown a dramatic increase in asthma cases in the same 15-year period that carpet sales declined!

domestic carpet cleaning stafford

Not surprisingly the bad press given to carpet started to affect consumer confidence and sales began to fall. In fact, from 1975 to 1990 the carpet share of the floor coverings market fell from 40% to 2% as hard floor sales grew by 50%, and carpet usage fell by 77%.

And what happened to the incidence of allergy related illness in Sweden during this 15-year period?
Well, as carpet usage declined dramatically, allergy cases in Sweden increased by 300%

12. Carpet Versus Hard-flooring, Health Facts.
It has been found, that the velocity of air over a carpet surface needs to be ten times greater than that over a smooth surface, if the same number of particles were to be released into the air.

Approximately 15,500 injuries requiring hospital treatment occur in the UK each year as a result of falls caused by slipping on wood floors.

As noted in a “Design Review on Carpets” published in Architectural Review ” …the fact that carpet may collect more lint and dust than a hard surface floor covering should be considered an advantage!”

It is better to have dirt and bacteria carrying particles held down in the carpet until it is cleaned, than to have it stirred up and airborne by continual shuffling of shoes and body movement as is the case with smooth surfaces.

With carpet the allergen is only released into the breathing zone when the carpet pile has become filled with allergen.

The studies verified that each time carpet is professionally cleaned, most of the allergen contained in carpet is removed.

The key to preventing allergen release into the breathing zone, and maintaining low allergen levels, is to regularly clean carpet.

Carpet should be cleaned a minimum of every 12 to 18 months in normal situations.
Cleaning carpet more often can reduce the number of allergens in the home and prolong the life of the carpet.

Carpet acts as a trap for airborne particles grounded through natural gravity.

Professional Testing Labs studied the distribution of airborne dust associated with normal activities on hard and soft flooring surfaces. Their findings showed that walking on hard surfaces disturbed more particles.
These particles became airborne and entered the breathing zone. In contrast, carpeted surfaces trapped more particles so that walking disturbed fewer particles.

Result: there is less dust in the breathing zone over carpeted floors.

Note:
Carpet does not and will not foster mould growth. Mould needs several things to grow, and carpet is not one of them.  If a home has a mould problem, it has a moisture problem.Removing or replacing the carpet won’t make that go away.  Bad information like this hurts us all.

The message is clear:
Carpeting does not affect the indoor air environment in a negative way, in fact, it actually improves it.

“Health professionals” sometimes recommend that allergy and asthma patients remove carpet from their homes, those recommendations are generally based on faulty assumptions.

In fact, clean, dry, well-maintained carpet actually improves air quality.

13. Buckling & Rippling In Carpet.
There are several things that will cause a carpet to buckle or form ridges or ripples.
If you see this problem, it could be due to defect in the manufacturer’s latex, or an installation error from improper cushion, or a temporary condition from cleaning.
If the latex is stiff & brittle or if the latex is sparse and/or hard and brittle.
If the carpet is not power stretched or if it is power stretched in one direction.
The temperature and humidity on the day that the carpet was installed could also have an effect on a carpet buckling.
If the underlay used was of improper thickness or density.
If the problem is a temporary problem from cleaning, then it called ‘differential of expansion’. It will go away upon drying with no lasting effect.
If excessive liquids are spilt into the carpet such as beverages or is there for prolonged wetting from water, then buckling can also be created. Also, dry solvent in excess will also cause a carpet to buckle and/or delaminate.

14. Colour Loss In Carpet.
Colour loss can come from such things as chlorine bleach, sun light, and gases in the atmosphere. All or none of these causes may be indicative to a defect in the dye.

15.  Crushing & Matting In Carpet.
Crushing is when a face yarn fails to maintain its retention while matting is when the fibres fuzz and entangles so that the yarns appear as one.
Your face yarn is an important issue in determining why your yarn is crushing.

If your carpet meets minimum installation standards, then Laboratory testing will normally be required for a manufacturer to honor a warranty.

Polypropylene is the least *resilient yarn there is. Laboratory testing will be necessary to verify if the yarn fails to meet a minimum standard.Polypropylene is naturally stain resistant, fade resistant , and has the best characteristics for being non-allergenic.

Polyester is the second lease resilient fibre. However, you may have a warranty that could be honoured if your installation is good and if the fiber failed to meet the standards set in testing. Polyester has been known as the most ‘oil absorbent’ material used in carpet. Polyester is naturally stain resistant and fade resistant.

Nylon has been the most resilient synthetic fiber there is and has not had a warranty for crushing until its sixth generation. Like olefin and polyester, your installation needs to be good and the fiber fails to meet the standards set in testing. There is a stronger chance that you are suffering from a soapy residue problem and a problem in the installation if your yarn is nylon.

Corterra is a new fibre by SHELL Chemical and is reportedly more resilient than nylon. If so, then this would be the most resilient synthetic fiber.
Wool is the most resilient fibre there is, however, we still hear of problems with crushing. Chances are that you have a latex problem if wool is your fibre.
“Pile crushing, pile shading, and soiling are not manufacturing defects and will not be considered as a basis for claims. Claims for fuzzing and pilling will be subjected to examination and testing by the manufacturer. Claims for missing tufts will not be considered except on a basis of repair. No claims will be honoured for carpet installed on stairs, in lifts and in bathrooms. The mill reserves the right to correct any repairable manufacturing defect.”

* Resilient or Resiliency is the ability of the yarn to spring back or regain its original posture after being stepped on or crushed.

16.  Filtration Soiling Or Draught Marks On Carpet.
Filtration soil (those dark lines seen along the edge of carpet) is so called because the carpet acts as a filter. Airborne dust is deposited when cool air meets warmer air.

These are also called draught marks because they occur where there is a draught.

It occurs next to the skirting board in hallways, around the border of drapes and down the sides of stairs. The most prominent place is under airing cupboard doors and along exterior walls, also in upstairs rooms with gaps in floor boards.

Carpet fitters sometimes leave holes in carpet due to excessive use of knee kickers which become filled with soiling.
Removal is possible, but will usually require a lot of work.

17.  Fuzzing On Carpet.
Two conditions might be causing your carpet to look fuzzy. If the carpet is of a looped construction then fibre may be slipping from the yarn. This condition could be from overuse, improper maintenance, sub-standard cushion, or insufficient latex penetration during manufacturing.
Definitions:
Bundle wrap – The bead of latex that surrounds a pulled tuft.
Latex – A water emulsion of synthetic rubber, natural rubber, or other polymer. In carpet, latex is used for laminating secondary backings to tufted carpet, back coating carpet and rugs, and for manufacturing formed cushion. Almost all carpet latex consists of styrene-butadiene synthetic rubber (SBR) compounded with large quantities of powder fillers. The later are most often whiting, which is calcium carbonate. Latex is the raw material from which rubber is made.
Latex Penetration – Yarn is removed from the primary and secondary backings and inspected under a microscope to determine how much latex penetrated the yarn bundle that exist beneath the primary backing. The results are stated as a percentage of latex penetration. A generally acceptable level is about 85% Latex penetration determines the tuft bind of the carpet.

18.  Pile Reversal or Shading; (aka) Shore Lining / Pooling / Water Marking On Carpet.
Pile reversal or shading (aka) Shore Lining, Pooling and Water Marking, is a pile change that takes place after the carpet is installed. More often it takes place in plush cut pile yarns. Replacing the carpet with the similarly constructed carpet will likely produce pooling again. Steam or other corrective measures have not been known to have a lasting effect.

Pooling gets its name from the optical effect of looking like pools of water have been spilt on the carpet. There only two things that are sure about pooling:

  • It will likely place in plush cut pile yarns and not on density loop pile carpet
  • It is location specific and is coming from forces that are in the dwelling in which it is taking place. We are not sure what those forces are yet.

This is not considered a manufacturing defect; however, for consumers the issue is whether the manufacturer or dealer made disclosure of the potential problem. Likewise, retailers could also have a responsibility to warn potential buyers.

19.  Reddish and or Yellowish Colour On Carpet After Cleaning.
Reddish or Orange stains can come from various sources. A thorough search into the cleaning and installation standards as well as many other reference materials yielded this list.

  1. From Urine – When urine causes a change in colour, it is usually yellow and shines under ultraviolet light. In addition there is generally a pet involved and an odour. Because of this and other unmentioned factors, urine is the least likely candidate.
  2. From Dye – from beverage stains and other drinks or food products. Red dye is very common in strawberries, cherries and many other things that are consumed. · When beverage or food accidents occur, there is a slash pattern that is discernable and they are visible before the cleaning.
  3. From indicator dyes that change colours with pH. If this kind of dye was used in manufacturing the carpet, then an acid would turn a blue dye red or an alkaline would turn a red dye blue. Black, gray, brown, tan, beige and many other colors of carpet contain ‘red dye’. Cases of this happening in carpet are rare.
  4. Jute, with 24% lignin was left in the presence of alkalinity. This can happen of old tufted carpets make in the 70s and before. Most carpet whether tufted or woven can has a polypropylene backing. Jute backings are more prevalent on woven goods. If you look on the backside of your carpet, it will appear to be dark tan. This condition will likely occur after carpet cleaning, generally wet extraction cleaning. This condition will generally reverse by applying 3% hydrogen peroxide to the affected area and then wait.
  5. Polymer of 20 monomers of tetrafluoroethylene (fluorochemical) also known as Teflon and Scotchgard. These products are not supposed to be this colour, but if you had your carpets cleaned and this kind of protectant was applied to your carpet, then this could be the problem. We do not know of a cure for this problem, nor do we know of supporting text to support this claim.
  6. Rust, created from iron oxide can also come from carpet cleaning. Some truck-mounted machines use iron core heat exchange systems and rust can dislodge from these units during cleaning. The test for this is to see if the problem will respond to a professional rut remover. In some cases white vinegar mixed with two parts tap water will reverse this problem.
  7. Over wetting can result in browning and this is not to be confused with cellulose or jute browning. The difference is where there is an all synthetic carpet. When this happens, it is due to a condition known as wicking and occurs after cleaning, generally steam cleaning. In most cases the cleaner did not pre-vacuum the carpet, and/or over wet the carpet. This problem is easily corrected with mild cleaning.
  8. A burnt rubber odour coming from the latex in either a rug laid on a carpet or from the backing system could be the cause of light coloured nylon face yarns turning red. Burnt rubber odors from rugs made in India and other parts of the world have been indicative of decaying latex adhesive. The adhesive is a form of latex, which is often a blend of latex in other ingredients. Latex and secondary backings are occasionally used in the making of woven rugs. In all likelihood, kerosene was an undesirable component of the latex/rubber. The picture below is of an off white carpet that turned red underneath an imported rug. The imported rug had a ‘burnt rubber odour’.

There are many reasons why a carpet may turn yellowish. If the yellow is lighter than the surrounding carpet then there is a loss of colour. That means if a brown carpet turns yellow, then it is a loss of blue & red dye. Example bleach stains resulting in a colour loss.

However, a carpet may turn to a yellow darker than the surrounding carpet from excessive alkalinity such as from carpet cleaning. When this happens, the yellow is darker than the surrounding carpet.

Another reason a carpet may yellow may be due to atmospheric gases. The way to tell if this is the problem is whether the carpet is the original color underneath item that protect the carpet from the atmosphere.

Another reason a carpet may yellow may be due to the release of a solvent called BHT. BHT is butyl-hydroxyl-toluene and may be found in some underlay.

20.  Traffic Lane Grey On Carpet.
This is a problem that looks like soil, but really is not. An area that looks dirty when looked at closely, you notice appears to be clean. This is because the light reflection makes this imaginary soil disappear. Traffic Lane Gray will diminish and/or disappear in intense light; real soil will become more apparent.
Traffic Lane Grays are due to scratches on the surface of synthetic yams, the loss of filaments on staple pile yarns systems, crushing and other usage and maintenance factors. It is not true soil and can not be corrected by cleaning. It is generally attributed to maintenance issues.

21. Cleaning Method Variations.
Most of the problems that occur from cleaning are due to mistakes made by the technician and/or his failure to comply with the cleaning standards. Problems with defective carpet, faulty equipment, and defective chemicals happen less often.

Five basic steps should take place with all methods of carpet cleaning. These are:

  1. Pre-vacuuming. — Seventy four to 79 percent of the soil in carpet can be removed by vacuuming. Not vacuuming before cleaning can lead to excessive usage of the cleaning method which can lead to other problems depending upon the method. The most common problem it leads to is over wetting and browning. If you have an all synthetic carpet with no cellulose materials, then this brown discoloring situation can be easily overcome with re-cleaning.
  2. Preconditioning — The strongest detergent in a cleaning method should be applied several minutes before the cleaning method is employed. The release of oily soil should take place in this step of cleaning and the only exceptions to not doing this procedure would be on certain cellulose fibers like Sisal, Coir, Sea Grass, Abaca, and Cardage.
  3. Agitation — Once the pre-conditioner is on the carpet, it should be agitated with a brush or grooming rake. This use of an electric brush or even a rotary shampooer is alright too. The Shampoo and Dry Foam methods may skip this part because agitation is inherent in the method itself.
  4. Soil Removal — In the cases of Wet Extraction Cleaning and Dry Absorption Pad Cleaning, the method itself is what removes the soil. With Dry Absorption Power, Shampoo, and Dry Foam cleaning, the chemicals that capture the soil have to be removed by vacuuming afterwards. There are variations on Shampoo and Dry Foam methods where a wet vacuum is built into the system.
  5. Grooming — This is achieved with brush or tool that looks like a rake and the idea is to stand the pile of the carpet up and align all of the pile in the same direction. This helps the carpet to dry and wear better in the future.
  6. Drying — It is highly recommended that drying take place in six to eight hours, but never more than 24 hours. Given modern advancement in equipment, drying can take place in less than 15 minutes with all methods.

The question often arises on which method is the best and the answer to could be likened to ‘what is the best automobile.’ A better question might be “Who is the best cleaning technician”. A cleaning technician with IICRC Certification from opinion is a good choice.

DRYING — Dry Powder Absorption methods will allow the carpet to back into service immediately after cleaning. Dry Absorption Pad like the ChemDry Method and Dry Foam Cleaning will likely dry faster than Wet Extraction Cleaning, the drying times of which vary depending upon the size of the power of the vacuum. All carpet should dry within 24 hours regardless of all other conditions. Soil conditions and the type fiber will also make a difference on how fast the carpet will dry. A list of fastest drying fibers to the slowest are:

  1. Polypropylene.
  2. Acrylic
  3. Polyester
  4. Nylon
  5. Wool/Silk
  6. Cotton and other cellulose fibers, (some cellulose fiber like Sisal, Coir, Sea Grass, Abaca, & Cardage should not be wet cleaned with on location.

22. Conditions Post Carpet Cleaning.
After the carpet is cleaned, the cleaning technician should place foiled-covered-cardboard or plastic squares under the legs of chairs. Heavier furniture like filing-cabinet should have a foam or wooden block place under them so that the carpet can dry and to prevent staining problems.

A rust problem can be easily corrected with a special chemical. However, some of professional rust removers are extremely dangerous and can burn skin and etch glass. Make sure your cleaning technician neutralize such products and rinses them out.

Some carpets may turn brown after cleaning. One of two problems may exist: if the carpet was steamed cleaned and was really soiled, then deep embedded soil will migrate to the surface of the carpet during drying.
In most cases the cleaner likely did not pre-vacuum the carpet and could also have over-wet it. If this is the case, then the problem is easily solved by re-cleaning.

If the problem is not solved by a simple re-cleaning, then the carpet may have a jute backing that got wet during cleaning. This problem is solvable by applying a 3% hydrogen peroxide to the brown yarn. In most of these cases, the cleaner likely got the carpet too wet.

Polypropylene is more likely to have this problem over other fibres. Wet Extraction cleaning will be the method of cleaning more likely to have this problem. Berber is the style of carpet more likely to suffer from wicking. In addition, improper or excessive usage of Powder Carpet Deodorizers can be one the many culprits to lead to this problem.

Some tufted carpets will from ripples after they are clean due to a temporary contrast in the way the backings materials may expand. If this happens to you, do not panic, your carpet will go back to it normal state upon drying. Try not walking on it while it is in this condition.

Some household chemicals such as Acne mediations can cause color loss problems that show up after a carpet is cleaned. Residues of these products often get reactivated with the moisture of cleaning and upon drying the first evidence that problem existed before the carpet was cleaned.

Color loss next the walls may also take place after cleaning. If it in the hallway and under doors, then it is likely due to problem called fume-fading. If the problem takes place next to an outside wall then chemical residues from pesticides would be the likely cause.

Some woven carpets can shrink if their backings contain one contain one or more natural and/or cellulose fibers. In nearly all cases, the responsibility goes to the cleaner, because the S001 Cleaning standard said that cleaning technicians should check fibres both on the face of the carpet and the back. In some cases the carpet can be re-stretch; Axminster carpet can only be re-stretched in its length. However, in many cases the carpet is ruined.


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