Recurring stains are a problem which can really bother the inexperienced carpet cleaner. It is a problem that is rarely seen on upholstery cleaning and for good reason, which we explain further on. We recently were asked to clean a stairs and an open plan office area which had very bad staining. On observation, we could see that this was a spillage with a lot of sugar and glucose in it.
A cough bottle had burst in the owner’s bag and unknown to him, he dripped the contents all the way up the stairs and through to the offices.
What made it worse was that it was a cream carpet.
Because of the amount of sugar and glucose in the cough mixture it left a sticky residue on the carpets. When the atmospheric dust settled on it, it naturally stuck. Over a period of a few months, the line of the cough medicine got blacker and blacker up to the point where we were called in.
Although the black lines disappeared with cleaning, the question is, will they reappear? The answer is, if all the sugar and glucose has been flushed out, then the stain should not reappear. Bear in mind that if all the sugar and glucose is not flushed out, it will still take for the process of dust sticking to the residue to show. It may be a number of months before the stain which appeared to be removed shows up again. If it does, your carpet cleaning company should be able to remove it with one more rinse. Oh and you should expect that visit to be Free of Charge, after all, the job wasn’t fully completed in the first place.
Upholstery rarely has this problem as the fabric is usually not able to absorb the same quantities of spillage, therefore the sugar and glucose content is not nearly as great. Our experience is that recurring stains can be a problem in carpet cleaning, but rarely in upholstery cleaning.
Next: Does your carpet suffer from carpet shading (also known as pooling or pile reversal)? See Tom's blog post: Carpet shading or soiling?