You have probably noticed these dark lines that appear on the edge of the carpet. These black edges are known as filtration soiling because as air passes through the carpet this microscopic soil is "filtered" out and left in the carpet (hence the name filtration). Over a significant period of time this soil builds up in areas where air is able to pass through the carpet, most commonly around the border of carpeted rooms and under doorways. |
The carpet acts as an air filter collecting dust and air pollution. This can occur quickly or over a period of months or years. When vacuuming, it is best to run the vacuum with the crevice tool attachment along the edge of the carpet to minimize the effects of the dirty air.
Filtration soil is more obvious on lighter color carpets. The stain can not always be removed. Sometimes a chemical change in the carpet fibers takes place that is irreversible. Soiling around the edges of carpet is due to the cold, heavy air passing through the carpet on downward through cracks along the bottom of the walls next to the subfloor, under doors, or at the edges of stairs.
Can it be removed? Yes in most cases with time and effort, reasonable results can be achieved.
1. Application of specialized cleaning agent to break up and loosen the fine particulate soils. 2. Hand scrubbing edges to agitate carpet fibers, create a light foam, and suspend soils. 3. Extraction of cleaning agent with detail tool to remove suspended soil. 4. Rinse and extraction to thoroughly flush and remove soil and cleaning agents. 5. Application of an anti-resoiling agent to help prevent future soiling of carpet.
Filtration soiling can't always be completely removed. The degree of soil removal will depend on the amount and type of soil, how long the soil has remained on the carpet, and the type and color of the carpet fibers. On most synthetic carpeting soil filtration can be effectively remediated (most likely not totally removed) through the use of aggressive cleaning techniques. However, due to the nature of wool and other natural fiber carpets these aggressive cleaning techniques are not recommended.
The soils in the air that actually cause the filtration lines can be a host of different soils, but are most commonly cooking oils, soot from burning candles, poorly ventilated fireplaces, fine sand & clay particles, and many other indoor air pollutants. Although routine vacuuming will help slow the build up, these microscopic particles are so fine they easily bond to and penetrate carpet fibers making them difficult to remove even for professional carpet cleaners.
Filtration soil can not be removed using normal cleaning procedures and sometimes it is impossible to remove all of the staining left by the soil. Carpet cleaning professionals report a 25% success rate removing all of filtration soil stains.
Because of the combination of soils in filtration soil, there is no one recommended cleaning technique. A professional carpet cleaner is recommended. The professional will use a combination of cleaning methods and chemicals.
A professional carpet cleaner is highly recommended for filtration soil. They have access to cleaners and chemicals that the DIYer does not have.
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