Why Did Brown Spots Appear On Your Carpets After They Were Professionally Cleaned?

May 9, 2024

You just got your carpets professionally cleaned for the first time in a while and you’re enjoying the freshness and the fluff that has returned to your carpet. Then, you notice a brown spot. What starts as confusion can turn to frustration really quick when you just paid to have a professional attend to your carpet. So what is this brown spot?

What Are The Brown Spots On Your Carpet?

Water Not Sufficiently Extracted

These spots can be the result of water not being sufficiently extracted during the drying process. Do not be hasty to think that too much water was used. In fact the appropriate amount of hot water may have been used, but if it was not extracted properly it can cause browning. The browning can be caused by the water wicking up the carpet fiber as it dries, carrying with it soil from the carpet backing and the pad. This is similar to oil being drawn up an oil candle wick.

Tannin Stains From Jute Fibers

Another cause in older carpet is the wicking up of tannin stains from the jute backing.  Many older carpets have a backing made from jute fiber. This is the same type of fiber that crafters use to make macramé projects. Jute fiber is a vegetable (cellulose) fiber and like tea, bark, and other plant fibers is naturally infused with vegetable dyes known as tannin. The tannin can rise up through the carpet fibers as they dry if water was not extracted enough to prevent wicking.

How Can These Brown Spots Be Fixed?

To ensure that carpets do not develop this cellulose browning, your carpet cleaning technician should do extra drying passes over the carpet. The carpet should also be raked with a carpet rake. Carpet raking lifts the carpet pile, allowing it to dry faster and leaves the carpet fluffy instead of matted and crushed.

How To Prevent Brown Spots

Be sure to ask your carpet cleaner specific questions before hiring.

  • What are the drying times?
  • What is their guarantee if browning or other stains should appear after cleaning?
  • Do they use a truck mounted carpet cleaning system or a portable? A truck mounted system will have more lift and airflow to remove more water than a portable unit will.
  • Are they willing to use air-movers to speed drying? Even if air-movers are used, windows should be opened and ceiling fans turned on.

The Hydro Clean Carpet Cleaning Way

At Hydro Clean Carpet Cleaning in Colorado Springs, our technicians are trained to perform extra drying passes over the carpet with the carpet cleaning tools. The extra drying passes are done slower than the cleaning passes. Additionally, to aid in drying, we often use drying fan