Why Does My Carpet Look Worse After Cleaning?

This post was last updated on October 17th, 2022 at 10:16 am

why does my carpet look worse after cleaning

Cleaning carpets is very exciting. When your carpet suddenly gets new stains and bald spots, then you feel defeated.

If there is a big event coming up, it is the perfect time to clean your carpets. After a good shampooing, the carpet looks even worse. It is the worst nightmare of every homeowner.

But what is the reason that some carpets look worse after cleaning? The reason is not just one, but it contributes to the carpet age and deep stains.

The answer to this question is that why the carpet looks worse after cleaning is that you have to look at the wicking, worn pile and residue.

Carpet wicking

Wicking is actually when stains and dirt in the subfloor and padding comes to the surface, after the pad gets wet from steam cleaning a carpet. These are not new stains but old stains buried in the plush beige pile, which now come to the surface as the carpet dries.

how to clean dirty carpet

You can do nothing for the stains beyond vacuuming and cleaning the surface dirt. Wicking is a more serious problem that may require calling a professional carpet cleaner.

Residue stains

Residue stains are little shallow and are caused by the residue left on the carpet from the shampoo used for cleaning. After you clean, the soap leaves a little residue. Every time the dirt comes into contact with the sticky residue.. boom, stain. White vinegar can be helpful with the residue issue.

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  • To soak up the residue on the carpet use a towel.

  • Then pray white vinegar on the area.

  • Press the towel so that the vinegar and more soap residue gets absorbed.

  • You can repeat the process as you need to.


Worn Pile

Another problem is that your carpet may be old or in a high traffic area. Just like your shirt, your carpet gets worn, frayed and faded. Before cleaning, the Worn pile is lying down. After you steam clean, you pull those bad boys backup to attention.

When the pile is pulled up, the different lengths of pile and worn fibres are visible. Some areas even show that the carpet is balding. You need not worry, once the carpet lays back down from traffic, this will not be visible.

Why The Carpet Smells Worse After Cleaning?

The reason behind this is not as murky as looks. When the padding of the carpet gets wet, then smells come from the carpet. This leaves a distinctive wet dog or mildew smell. Again it has to do with the stains that have entered your carpet.

When the padding gets wet from cleaning, old stains smell come to life again. To get rid of these smells you have to wait for the padding to dry.

Avoid Dingy Carpet

The best method to get your carpet look amazing when you clean it – is by cleaning up the wet stains immediately. Avoid using too much water when you clean up stains. You have to avoid the stain penetrating the padding and sub floor under your carpet. It is important for a routine cleaning schedule for your carpeted floors.

how to pretreat carpet before shampooing

Cleaning Your Carpets

You clean your carpets for a big family event only to have them bald and stained. Rather than figure out, why your carpet looks worse even after cleaning and how to fix it. It is a smart move to clean your carpets a few weeks in advance.

How To Remove Old Stains From Carpet

Simple solutions and solvents do a great cleaning job and provide a simple answer to the question – how to remove old stains from carpet. A bottle of hydrogen peroxide which costs less than a $ 1 may be the solution for your problem.

Place the hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Spray it on the stain. Saturate the stain to loosen up the stain particles. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a stiff brush to work on stain so that it loosens up more.

Now use a steam vac to suck up the peroxide mixture from the carpet. Towels and clothes may also be used to absorb the peroxide. Now your carpet should look clean and stainfree.

carpet looks dirtier after cleaning

Another popular cleaning agent is club soda. While it is best for fresh stains, it can be used to get rid of dirt effectively and even bloodstains. Simply spray on the stain and leave it for a few minutes. Now use the brush or steam vac to remove stain.

You may also sprinkle some salt over the stain after using either club soda or hydrogen peroxide, since salt absorbs the moisture out of anything and draws in the club soda and hydrogen peroxide along with the stain.

Results vary depending on the type of carpet and its fibres. Carpets made up of natural fibres are much difficult to clean.

1. Homemade Solvents

If the readymade products do not work, you can try making your own cleaning solutions at home. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap with one cup of warm water. Avoid using detergents that have bleach in them.

Spray the soap solution on the stain. Remove the stain using your steam vac or shop vac , any piece of cloth or Towels. Now rinse this stain with warm water and repeat the process still the stain is removed. This works well with old pet stains.

Another homemade solvent includes a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of ammonia. Apply, extract and repeat. You can also try mixing a cup of white vinegar with two cups of water and use the same procedure to apply.

carpet smells worse after cleaning

2. Tips For Using Solvents

When cleaning old or new stains using solvents, work from the outside of the stain towards its centre. This prevents the stain from spreading and doing more damage to the carpet.

The process involves applying the solvent, blotting it with the cloth, rinsing, extracting the solvent and repeating the procedure until the stain is removed completely.

Do not leave solvent residues behind and let the carpet dry as soon as the cleaning is done. If the stain reaches deeper into the carpet, dry it quickly with the fan to avoid leftover stain from its way up to the surface of the carpet.

3. Special Stains

Most common types of set or old stains are from red wine spills.A trick to remove red wine stain is applying white wine. The white wine recreates the initial occurrence of the stain, making the red stain easy to remove.

When using white wine remember to apply, extract and repeat. You can also include a spot cleaner to help in the process. Finally rinse the carpet well and let it dry out completely.

how long for carpet to dry after cleaning

4. Carpet Cleaning Tools

When removing carpet stains a steam vac or a shop vac is very useful since it does most of the work for you. Wet or dry vacuums easily extract spill and are capable of repeatedly flushing the stain with a cleaning solution until it disappears. This is much better than you kneeling on the ground to brush off the stain.

5. Other Tricks

When you use a simple cleaning solution and a warm iron can be effective against many red Kool-Aid stains, how easily the stain gets removed depends on the size of the spill, the texture and depth of the carpet and the strength of the Kool-Aid.

Other Carpet cleaning tricks may also be useful:

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  • Blot the stain with club soda so that the dye bonds are broken down for easy removal.

  • Soak fresh, wet stain with salt so that the liquid is absorbed then before cleaning, vacuum the area.

  • Use heavy chemicals for carpet cleaning only as a last resort, many of these will be ineffective against red Kool-Aid stains.


Last Resort:

The home remedies may work to remove old carpet stains but sometimes a stubborn stain simply does not get removed.

If you want to remove old stains from carpet, you can always hire a professional Carpet cleaning service, especially those using hot water extraction systems, this will help you.

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