Do you know why spots come back after steam cleaning? It’s as a result of something called “wicking.”
What is “Wicking?”
Liquid moves up to the fabric when a fabric is left in the liquid for some time. If the liquid is a colored one, eventually, the top of the fabric absorbs the liquid and shows the color. Most students will do this as a science experiment in elementary school either by placing a candle wick, strip of cloth, paper, or celery into a cup of water with food coloring. As interesting as it is to watch, we don’t want such to happen to our carpets.
How do carpets “wick” stains?
The stain has to settle deep into the backside of the carpet or in the padding underneath the carpet to create this stain problem. When the stain is that deep, even after the carpet is completely cleaned, the carpet’s fibers will wick the stain form below and bring it back to the surface.
Stains that cause wicking problems are stains created as a result of liquid that cannot be quickly or fully removed before they soak the backside and/or pad below the carpet. One common type of stain that creates this problem is pet urine stains since they are often created by higher amounts of liquid and are not found immediately. Cleaning these stains could be difficult since most people add more liquid through the form of cleaners in an attempt to spot clean. The additional liquid allows more of it to soak into the backing and padding or even spread and become larger.
How to prevent and clean a “wicking” stain:
When such occurs, the best approach is to mop the liquids using towels and fans. Be careful and sparing when using a liquid carpet cleaner. A wet-dry vacuum can help remove larger amounts of liquid. In the end, the only real solution is to have the spot professionally cleaned. High-quality professional cleaning companies can add enough water to sufficiently dilute the stain and remove enough water from deep within the carpet that the stain is removed and does not show again, With very bad stains, a single cleaning, even from the most reputable cleaning professional, may not be enough to fully remove the stain.
We are here to help. Just remember to let us know that you have a stain that comes back after steam cleaning so that we can properly treat it.