Why Do Stains Reappear After Carpet Cleaning?

You’ve just had one of the professionals from Tacoma carpet cleaning give your carpets a thorough washing and you’re thrilled with how it looks now. That is until some of the stains that were once there are re-emerging again. What gives? You paid all of this money to get the job done right and the old spots are back. It happens and it’s not the fault of the cleaners, it can happen due to soil wicking and re-soiling both of which are common. The major culprit is the carpet itself. When you get it wet, the water evaporates from the surface of the fibers which can also dredge up other moisture that might be locked in from the very bottom or under the carpet. If you have anything underneath there it can be brought up and a stain will start to emerge.

Soil Wicking

As we’ve said, your carpet is often responsible for those stains returning even after a full deep clean. This is because every carpet is comprised of a number of layers stacked on top of one another. The fibers or yarns on the carpet are stitched onto the primary backing, which is that thin fabric visible when you separate the fibers from each other. Beneath that is the secondary backing, made of a hard woven material which is designed to give the carpet durability. This is where a lot of spills get trapped and spread out.

But it’s the latex adhesive in between the two, the material that connects the two backings, that is the major contributor to those stains reappearing. When spills get into this adhesive, they can lie dormant in there and when you clean the carpet, whatever spilled in there becomes wet again and it can rise up to the surface of the carpet and wick to the fibers as the carpet dries.

This is one reason why it’s so very important to clean up any spills immediately after they happen. Doing so can prevent soil wicking from occurring after a professional cleaning.


Despite giving the carpet a full cleaning, there can still be some areas of sticky residue that exist. These can come from any number sources, including carpet spot removers. Sure, you bought that spot remover from the supermarket thinking you were cleaning those tough spills and pet accidents. But they can leave an oily residue that attracts soil and grime, resulting in another spot or stain.

That’s not the only thing that can leave a sticky spot on the carpet, grease, food, moisturizing lotions, adhesive tape, sugars in spilled drinks, even hair spray and the body oils from your pets can create magnets for soil on a carpet. Implementing some simple carpet cleaning tips can help to remove these spots if they re-emerge after a professional cleaning but be careful how you clean them or else you could be exacerbating the situation.

Re-soiling isn’t immediate. It could take weeks or months for a spot to reappear in an area where you thought you had dealt with the problem.

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