Have you ever cleaned up a spill or stain on your carpet and been pretty confident it was gone completely – only to see it reappear mysteriously a few days or weeks later? Returning carpet stains are frustrating and perhaps even a little bit creepy. They can happen when you clean up a stain yourself and even when you have a professional tackle the task. Luckily, there's no boogie man or ghost sneaking into your home to put the stain back in place. Take a look at the common reasons why stains reappear so you can prevent this from happening again in the future.
The deeper portions of the carpet were not cleaned thoroughly.
The problem could be that when the stain was treated, only the uppermost parts of the carpet fibers were really clean. After the carpet sits and is walked over a few times, the staining materials further down in the carpet fibers have worked their way up where you can see them. To keep this from happening, try:
- Letting cleaning solutions sit for a few minutes after spraying them on stains and before soaking them up.
- Pressing down firmly and for several seconds at a time when you're absorbing spills and cleaning solutions.
- For carpets with long fibers, parting the fibers and cleaning "between them" when treating a stain.
People walked over the carpet before it was dry.
What you are seeing may not be the original stain. It may be grime, dirt, and oils that stuck to the wet area after you cleaned up the original stain. To prevent this from happening, do not allow anyone to walk over the treated area or even touch it until it is completely dry, which might take 2 or 3 days. You can turn on the ceiling fans and open windows to encourage the area to dry faster.
You used a cleaner that's not compatible with your carpet.
The problem could be that the cleaner you use has altered the color of your carpet in the stained area. Not every cleaner is compatible with every type of carpet and the dye used in every carpet. In the future, start by making sure the cleaner is specifically recommended for your carpet type. For instance, if you have a wool carpet, choose a cleaner that specifically states it is safe for wool carpets. Then, spot test the cleaner on a hidden area, like under the sofa, to ensure it does not leave a stain or bleached spot.
Hopefully these clues have helped you solve the mystery of the reappearing carpet stain in your home! You don't have to be a superhero to get rid of carpet stains completely; you just have to clean them up the right way.