What Carpet Staining And Soiling Mean
These two terms have been used interchangeably before – wrongly so. It’s usually because of the misconception that since both result in the discolouration of the carpet, then they can be looked at as similar things. However, a simple check on the warranty provided by the carpet manufacturers will show that the soiling and staining have been separated, and even occasionally coming with different levels of warranties. Let’s look at what sets them apart.
This is the main cause of carpet discolouration, and takes place when a substance – usually liquid, gets into contact with the carpet fibres, and embeds itself in the material. For instance, when that mug of coffee gets knocked over and spills its contents. The spill works its way into the fibres, and gets soaked up by the vacant dye spots. These empty dye sites are those sections of the carpet fibres that didn’t get the substance that was used when dying the material, such as during post-production treatment. Different types of materials have varying resistance, or lack thereof, to staining. For instance, polyester has a low absorption rate, making it more resistant to staining. On the other hand, nylon tends to be more absorbent, which makes it more prone to staining which is why stain treatments are applied onto it. Speaking of which, staining treatments can be added as part of the professional carpet cleaning packages, to restore the protection that gradually got depleted over time.
- How do you prevent staining?
Your best bet is dealing with the spot immediately a spill happens. Pick up the residue, whether it is scooping up the solid matter or blotting up as much of the substance as you can. Use an absorbent cloth for this, and avoid rubbing the spot. Proceed to treat that affected area with a stain remover that is safe for your particular type of carpet.
While there is discolouration of the carpet here, it’s not because of a spill. These spots tend to be caused by oily substances or reside in the carpet, that attract grime. For instance, grease spots are notorious dirt magnets, and will accumulate grime faster than the surrounding sections of the carpet. The residue can be as a result of anything from sticky material like cooking oil that dripped onto the carpet, oils produced by the skin and got transferred onto the carpet while walking on it, or even carpet cleaning products that weren’t properly rinsed off and ended up becoming dirt collection spots. Just like staining, some carpet materials are more prone to getting soiled than others, as is seen with olefin’s higher susceptibility to oil-based residue.
- How do you deal with soiling?
This basically boils down to ensuring that the carpet cleaning is done right. For instance, the reagents used should be thoroughly cleared from the area. When you have situations where there are greasy spots on the carpet, use paper towels or a white towel to blot as much of it up as possible, and follow this with a quick cleaning. Fortunately, with the soiling, the carpet is not in immediate risk – though this does not mean that you wait for months before you attend to it. The routine carpet cleaning schedule will get rid of the residue that has been piling up in the material. Reminding your family members to wear socks or have their slippers on while walking on the carpet will also avoid oils getting transferred from the soles of their feet and onto the carpet, which is one common contributor to soiling.
What about those reappearing spots?
It’s usually frustrating when you take your time to clean the carpet, only for that spot you have worked so hard to remove to pop back up. What happens?
For the case of staining, this is attributed to wicking. Basically, the spill got soaked deep into the carpet, getting to the backing or even underpad. After the cleaning, the content slowly rises up the carpet fibres, creating another stain.
With soiling, this is usually due to oil residue remaining in the carpet – meaning that the cleaning was not sufficiently done. This residue traps more dirt particles, thus the carpet cleaning will need to be repeated.
Is it time for your carpet to get a thorough wash? Instead of taking on the frustrations that come with DIY jobs, or expose your carpet to the risks involved, simply hire professionals to get the job done. The DIY route is fraught with problems, from lack of powerful machinery that causes the job to drag out for far much longer than the professionals would have taken, issues that come when the wrong cleaning agents are used, to the exasperation you get when you spend hours on the task and wind up with unsatisfactory results. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re forced to redo the cleaning, whether it is due to stains that have wicked back up as the carpet dries, residue that remains within the fibres of the unit, accumulating more dirt, or odours that keep lingering. Oversights during the DIY carpet cleaning, like using too much water, can lead to cases of the material shrinking, or delamination, where the carpet gets separated from its backing. Colour bleeding is also a concern, and this will take away the charm from your carpet, and put you in a position where you start looking for funds to replace the installation. These hazards can be avoided by leaving the task to the professionals.
When hiring a company to carry out the carpet cleaning, you don’t want to hand over the project to just anyone. Here, it is imperative that you engage with a firm that is reputable, and with a track record that you can look up. What do other clients say about the quality of services that they received? Also compare the rates that they are charging with other local carpet cleaning companies, to estimate what will be a fair value for your particular situation.