What’s The Difference Between a Soiled and Stained Carpet?

According to a carpet manufacturer’s warranty quite a lot.

Soiled and stained carpets are two very different terms according to the warranty provided with your new carpet.
Imagine making a claim for discoloration in your carpet and being asked is it soiled or stained. Why? Because your warranty may be null and void

Therefore, you need to know “What is the difference between a Soiled or Stained carpet.

Carpet Soiling Case Study & Not What To Do

The 4 photos in this post were taken recently at rental flat and you can see the cleaner section on the left-hand side of the photo and in front of the lounge suite.
The dirt and grim were the worst case of soiling we had ever come across in 12 years in the business. To make matters worst the tenant had hired a Britex carpet cleaning machine and thought she would get her Husband to clean the carpet. They mixed water and Domestos together and poured it onto the carpet. Domestos is really nothing more than sodium chloride, detergent and fragrance. The room was only about 10m2s. We used 200lts of water mixed with anti-foam to get the final result shown in photo no 4.

The whiter areas are where the Domestos has stripped the colour from the carpet

How to Prevent Staining Spoiling Your Carpet or Rug

Worse Carpet Cleaning MistakeA stain occurs when a substance has come into contact with the carpet, embeds itself in the fibres causing discoloration. Like spilling a cup of hot coffee on a carpet.
The best way to prevent a spill from soaking and becoming a stain is to remove it as quickly as possible. Some simple steps:

  • Scoop up any solid matter from the spill,
  • Blot up as much of the spill with a white towel or even paper towels,
  • Treat the area with a stain remover product or,
  • Use a homemade cleaning solution. (a drop of clear dish soap and a cup of lukewarm water).

Certain types of carpet fibres are more prone to staining than others. Nylon, for example, is a highly absorbent fibre, and so must be protected with a stain treatment.
Whereas polyester being less absorbent, allows more opportunity for a spill to be cleaned up before a stain can set in.
So what is soiling your Carpet?

Soiling is the result of a residue or oily substance on the carpet fibres, which then attract dirt particles.
A residue can be left behind by a spot treatment product or a sticky spill that wasn’t fully removed or rinsed

Also by not wearing socks or slippers, the oils from our skin can transfer to the carpet fibres and start an accumulation of dirt particles.

Certain fibres are more prone to soiling than others. Olefin is especially susceptible to oil-based products, making it fairly easily soiled.

 OK, So How Do You Prevent Soiling From “Spoiling” Your Carpet Or Rug?

Carpet Soiling Case StudyThe best methods to prevent soiling:

  • Ensure that all spills are thoroughly cleaned,
  • All cleaning products used on the carpet are fully rinsed from the fibres
  • Blot up as much of the product as possible, using a white towel or paper towels.
  • Follow by pouring a small amount of lukewarm water on the soiled area (approximately ¼ cup; ensure you don’t saturate the carpet – it is better to repeat this step several times than to saturate the carpet)
  • And again, blot with a white towel or paper towels.

For heavy soiling, draw as much of the cleaner or oil out of the carpet fibres cover the affected area with a thick white towel folded over a couple of times, or a stack of paper towels.
Place a heavy object over the towels, like a pile of books and leave overnight.

  • Wearing socks or slippers on the carpet helps prevent the transfer of oils from your skin as mentioned earlier in causes of soiling.

Prevention of Reappearing Spots in Carpets and Rugs:

Sometimes, after treating a spot on the carpet it can reappear.
For stains, this is known as wicking: the spill has soaked into the backing of the carpet or even the underlay and slowly makes its way back through the fibres to the top of the carpet.

For soiling, it means the residue or oil remains on the carpet and is still trapping dirt particles.

If you notice the spot reappearing, repeat the cleaning / rinsing procedure above. Depending on how bad the stain or soiling is will determine the amount of treatments required before all traces of them are gone. You may need to repeat three or four times.

Staining – Soiling, still not 100% sure how this affects your carpets warranty?

Soiled Carpet Problems
If you need more in-depth information or a point in the right direction call us at Encore Carpets on 1300 558 794 or by email here and our trained staff will answer any questions or concerns you have about soiling or staining in your carpet or rug.


Lorraine & Ross

Encore Carpets

Ph. 1300 558 794

Encore Carpets Gold Coast