Wicking after Cleanng Carpet


Wicking is the upward motion of water and cleaning solution during drying from the base of a tuft to its tip carrying with it any remaining soil and contamination, which is then deposited on the tips of the tuft.

To reduce wicking, pre-vacuum thoroughly, make extra dry strokes, and use air movers.

The biggest cause of soil wicking is overwetting due to technician error. Soil wicking can be caused by slow drying, overwetting, overuse of pre-spray, and heavy accumulation of soil at the base of yarns.

Wicking is the cause of "reappearing spots and stains." Most of a spill is not on the fibers, but is instead in the backing. Drying time is critical to reduce this problem use plenty of dry strokes and blowers, especially when working with heavily soiled carpet or berber.

Wicking on olefin carpets and rugs is especially severe. To reduce wicking on these, prevacuum thoroughly, make extra drying passes, and use air movers to speed up drying.

   If wicking of residue from spotting or a spill is anticipated, the last step after spot removal should be to leave a weighted dry towel or use Stain Blotter.

Application of fluorochemicals, such as Bane-Guard™, Teflon® or Sta-Clene Carpet Protector, can also reduce the tendency for wicking.

The use of products such as ARA Anti-Wicking Agent and Stain Blotter also reduces wicking problems.

Wicking on loop pile carpet can be greatly reduced by following hot water extraction with dry bonnet cleaning. This is especially helpful on commercial olefin loop carpet with a large number of spills. NOTE: Do not run a DRY bonnet on olefin (polypropylene) carpet or rug - olefin has a very low softening point!

Use Brown Out® to reduce wicking and re-soiling on carpet that has been improperly cleaned and is loaded with detergent residue. Our object in this procedure is to:

  1. Avoid as much as possible wetting the soil built up in the carpet backing.
  2. To use chemistry to agglomerate fine soil particles to prevent their wicking.
  3. To use chemistry to give your cleaning solution high surface tension to minimize its penetration into the carpet.
  4. To use drying agents to minimize drying time.

In this procedure DO NOT pre-spray the carpet or use any extraction emulsifier or detergent.
   Using Brown Out®, extraction clean using plenty of vacuum-only strokes to leave carpet as dry as possible. If you encounter a spot that doesn't rinse out, lightly apply a spotting/pre-spray solution using a trigger sprayer, agitate the spot and re-extract.
   This procedure will result in removing old detergents and soil without allowing the deep down buildup to surface.
   Your results will improved each time the carpet is cleaned using this procedure.

Products to Prevent Wicking and Reappearing Spots and Stains on Carpet:

Additional Information on Preventing Wicking and Reappearing Spots and Resoiling of Carpet: