Our thoughts and comments on the carpet cleaning industry.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Wicking of Soil and Dirt after Cleaning Carpet Causing Recurring Spots and Stains
Wicking of Soil after Cleaning Carpet
What is wicking? Wicking after cleaning carpet is the upward capillary motion of water and cleaning solution during drying from the base of a tuft to its tip. The problem is that this carries with it any remaining soil and detergent in the carpet backing, carpet padding and even the subflooring, all of which is then deposited on the tips of the tuft and dries.
What Causes Soil Wicking on Cleaned Carpet?
The biggest cause of soil wicking is over-wetting due to a poorly trained technician with a ‘who cares’ attitude in a big hurry to collect the money and move on to the next job.
Over-wetting, especially by using the ‘double stroke’ cleaning technique.
Slow drying due to poor cleaning technique or poor extraction.
Since wicking can only occur while the carpet is still wet, anything you can do to leave the carpet as dry as possible and shorten the drying time will greatly reduce wicking and reapparing spots:
If a lot of cleaning strokes had to be used on an especially dirty carpet, set up air movers after cleaning to speed up drying.
Wicking on loop pile carpet can be greatly reduced by following hot water extraction with dry bonnet cleaning. This is especially helpful on commercial olefin loop carpet with a large number of spills. NOTE: Do not run a DRY bonnet on olefin (polypropylene) carpet or rug - olefin has a very low softening point!
Take extra dry strokes with the floor tool while cleaning.
Use a Water Claw® Sub-Surface Carpet Spot Lifter on heavy spills.
Use only enough cleaning solution to do the job.
Do not use any more prespray than necessary.
Do not use a higher pH detergent than necessary.
Do not use a higher detergent concentration than needed - The phrase “If a little bit does a good job, more will do better” couldn’t be more false when it comes to cleaning.
If wicking of residue from spotting or a spill is anticipated, the last step after spot removal should be to leave a weighted dry towel on the cleaned spot or use Stain Blotter.
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