In the world of carpet cleaning, one of the most common things we tend to see is wear, mostly called abrasion and/or graying. A lot of customers tend to think “oh, that’s dirt,” but in most circumstances it’s quite the opposite.
Take for example the carpet shown here, a white continuous filament nylon that had been cleaned twice before. The customer believed it to be shoe stains or dirt, assuming we didn’t clean it as deeply as it should’ve been. After revisiting the customer and using heavier detergents with machine agitation, and deep-water extraction, it didn’t improve much at all. And for good reason, the carpet fibers have been worn in a way that distorted its natural appearance.
Is My Carpet Still Dirty?
What most homeowners see as dirty carpet is actually wear. Of course, we remove a lot of soil as proven by the dark color of our waste water, but what many Nashville customers don’t realize is that much like our socks and shoes, carpet also wears over time. It’s a safe assumption to make, to believe we should be able to clean carpet and make it look new again, but unfortunately, the fibers get distorted in more ways than one.
An unfortunate example is vacuuming polyester carpet fibers. Polyester is is a smooth-surface fiber, meaning its outer surface is mirror-like when it’s manufactured and installed. The simple task of vacuuming carpet your new polyester carpet pulls the sharp soils up to the surface where the beater-bar of the vacuum cleaner can act as a sanding machine to that mirror-like fiber surface.
After just a few weeks of living on polyester carpet, it starts to appear soiled, but it may not be actual soil, but simply abrading. Another example of wear is if you can imagine pulling a sheet of foil off a brand new roll of foil. That sheet is shiny on both sides. Now imagine crumbling it up into a ball. Now spread that roll of crumpled foil out and get it looking exactly how it appeared when you first tore it from the foil roll. It cannot be done.
Think of that foil ball I asked you to uncrumple so it looks like a mirror again. Even if you got out the rolling pin and flattened as best you could, you will still see some of wrinkles. But notice something more, the foil is not as shiny as it first was when it was perfectly flat. This is because light is reflecting, or refracting in many, many different directions. This means light is crossing itself making the foil appear more gray, drab and worn.
Light refraction occurs when light rays bounce across each other making an item appear soiled. This is a common problem in the carpet cleaning industry, especially if a professional carpet cleaner doesn’t know of or how to explain light refraction on scratched carpet. Going without shoes helps reduce carpet wear, but it’s impossible to stop the wearing of carpet unless it’s put into a museum.
If you have any questions about your carpet wear in the Nashville, TN area, feel free to give us a call at 615-DRY-FAST