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Cheshire Cleaning Co > Blog home  > Carpet Cleaning Problems
Sisal carpet browning flood damage ruined

Carpet Cleaning Problems


Overall, we don’t come across many carpet cleaning problems [primarily] because we are fully trained, insured and accredited. We know what we’re doing, the chemistry behind carpet cleaning, the various carpet constructions, carpet fibres, use the best steam cleaning machine around.

Not only this but we regularly attend Prochem Europe Ltd National Training Academy in Chessington, nr London to learn and adapt our skills to meet industry standards (which are forever emerging) – we love a good London trip, as it gets us out of the office for a few days and meets with some knowledgable people that know everything there is to do with carpet.

Cheshire Cleaning Co are fully trained carpet, upholstery and hard floor contract cleaners that are accredited with TrustMark, Government endorsed quality scheme, NCCA (National Carpet Cleaners Association), WoolSafe Organisation Fibre Care Specialist & WoolSafe Approved Service Providers & BICSc (British Institute of Cleaning Science) basically best in town…


The biggest danger to your carpet is overwetting, which can happen with poorly adjusted hot water extraction equipment, too much shampoo, and other issues. If moisture reaches the carpet backing, several problems can result. There may be a separation of the secondary backing. The moisture may cause fibres in the backing to shrink and tear seams, dissolving the cellulose in the backing and wicking (drawing up) to the surface to produce brown stains. The dye in an overwet carpet may bleed. Mildew may develop if a carpet remains wet for several days, and wood floors beneath a carpet may warp.

Cellulosic Browning

Cellulosic fibres are a major source of cellulosic browning and are present in all jute carpet or rug backings. The drying time following carpet cleaning depends on humidity; the air contains more moisture during rainy periods and summer months, making it more difficult for the moisture in the carpet to evaporate. Cellulosic browning is not always permanent and can sometimes be removed by specialist cleaning, though, takes time and costs more than an actual carpet clean as this is a problem solver.

The image for this blog shows cellulosic browning, though, that’s from a previous leak and not our cleaning, now the carpet is ruined. We attended to try and extract as much water from the carpet as possible, we did this and recommended to the client that an R&R is required (Rip-up and Replace) ASAP!


When a substance seeps through the carpet to the backing material or even the underlay/subfloor, it can become trapped. When you clean the stain with shop-bought products [won’t name or recommend any here], you are only cleaning the top fibres of the carpet and therefore you aren’t getting the spill completely out of the carpet. During the drying process, the carpet may re-absorb the stain as the substance slowly creeps up the fibre strands and returns to the surface – this is completely natural and there’s nothing that we can do except return and spot clean the area to remedy.

Pile reversal

When a carpet is pressed down in different directions, it can cause a pile shift that makes certain parts of the carpet look lighter or darker. This sort of pile distortion can occur on all carpet types over time.

There is no cure for pile reversal and is often just accepted as a natural evolution of a carpet. Professional carpet cleaning cannot cause or remedy pile reversal.

Depressions and indentations

Usually, happen under heavy furniture and can sometimes cause permanent marks on your carpet. One simple remedy is moving your furniture more often, even just from side to side once every few months.

To remove the indentations [if your carpet is wet-cleanable] a couple of sprays of tap water is enough for the carpet to bounce back. Though you may need to give it a little rub. Do not leave ice-cubes in the indentations as this is too much water – you just need a little squirt.

Draught marks and filtration soiling

This commonly appears as a darkening at the edges of the room, as well as near doorways and air vents. This is caused by regular airflow dropping airborne dirt on those areas. Filtration soiling can also sometimes be caused by inadequate sealing at the edges of the carpet.

This can be cleaned, though not 100% effective on all carpet types.


Shrinkage is due to over-wetting a woven carpet. No chemical will remedy shrinkage. Where there is very little shrinkage, it might be possible for a professional carpet fitter to stretch it back into place. Otherwise, you may have to replace the carpet.

Colour fading

Some carpet types are more susceptible to their dyes fading when exposed to direct sunlight; dyes can also be sensitive to certain types of pollutants and chemicals, which can also cause the discolouration of the carpet. There are many household substances that can cause this sort of colour fading, even though the dull extent of the fading may not be apparent until the carpet is cleaned.


If the carpet has not pulled away from the wall then the waves indicate stretching. This can happen on a carpet with synthetic backing where the cleaning solution was too hot and or too much pressure from the wand was used. The best thing to do if stretching is suspected is to wait a few days – it may shrink back into place. Otherwise, a professional carpet fitter can re-fit the carpet.

Brushing improperly

The brushing used with many cleaning processes—especially the shampoo and bonnet methods—may sometimes distort carpet yarns so that the pile lies unevenly, creating weird shadows or making it look dirty.

Using high alkaline solutions

Though highly alkaline detergent solutions clean the carpet quickly, this sometimes causes colours to bleed and can induce browning. Many of the newer stain-resistant carpets specify that the warranty may be voided if the carpet is cleaned using a solution that is too alkaline or contains brightening agents.

Fleas, carpet beetles, moths and dust mites

Our carpet cleaning product manufacturer (Prochem Europe Ltd) does not manufacture insecticides. For serious infestations, you must contact a specialised pest control company or your local authority.

Odour: Carpet smells after cleaning

We will always recommend air-flow (until the carpet has fully dried) this can take up to 12 hours and sometimes longer depending upon the humidity. We do not recommend blasting your central heating, without opening windows or doors to create airflow.

Odour: Carpet smells fishy

The carpet may smell fishy after cleaning, if the client has not allowed any air movement, within their home after cleaning. If the smell is not due to this, it could be that the adhesive in the construction or adhesive which is glueing the carpet or tiles to the subfloor has been upset by the cleaning process. This is a difficult situation to remedy but can be put right with an odour neutraliser, ensuring good ventilation and avoiding over-wetting on future cleans.

Other dangers

  • Using the wrong dilution ratio or chemicals that leave a sticky residue. All products must be measured out, in accordance with manufacturers instructions.
  • Using chemicals that contain substances that may cause allergic reactions or may be toxic. We are not aware of any products that cause allergic reactions, if customers are cautious we advise them to stay away from the cleaning area until fully dried.
  • Causing dyes to run by using inappropriate cleaning agents or solvents. We will always use correct cleaning products, testing the carpet pH before, during and after cleaning to ensure it’s left at its usual resting position depending upon the carpet fibre used.
  • Rust or wood stains to get on the wet carpet by replacing furniture without putting down leg covers or other protection. We will always use furniture blocks or feet protectors when cleaning areas where furniture is being replaced – this is to avoid rust or wood stains from furniture damaging the carpet.

For more information or clarity on any of the above subjects, contact us.

Cheshire Cleaning Co is a fully qualified, adequately insured, professional and accredited carpet, hard floor and upholstery cleaning service delivering across the north west from our Widnes base.


  • Prochem Europe Ltd – Professional Carpet Cleaning
  • Prochem Europe Ltd – Professional Upholstery Cleaning
  • Prochem Europe Ltd – Advanced Stain Removal Technician
  • WoolSafe Organisation – Fibre Care Specialist


  • TrustMark Government Endorsed Quality Scheme
  • National Carpet Cleaners Association
  • WoolSafe Approved Service Provider
  • BICSc British Institute of Cleaning Science

Booking with us is made simple! You can either contact us or send a WhatsApp message to get the ball rolling.

We deliver throughout the north west, from our Widnes base.

When you book with us, you book with confidence, we’re backed by industry leaders:

  • TrustMark Government Endorsed Quality Scheme
  • Advanced Members of NCCA (National Carpet Cleaners Association)
  • WoolSafe Approved Service Providers
  • WoolSafe Fibre Care Specialist
  • BICSc (British Institute of Cleaning Science) Corporate Member

If you have any specific questions or would prefer to speak to someone, please call 07539412391