Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Friday, November 21, 2014

Question

What is the best way to get a vacuum belt burn out of the carpet? What is the best way to get a vacuum belt burn out of the carpet????


Answer

The black marks mostly contain burnt rubber and a solvent may dissolve them. If the surface fibers have melted, you many need to lightly trim or abrade the surface.
When using a chemical you may need to repeat the process a couple of times, making sure the agitation level is fairly high and chemical application as light as possible (otherwise the solvent may dissolve the carpet adhesive and leave a bubble).
It most cases, you will need to then spray each spot with a neutral cleaner and blot again to pick up any remaining ingredients (an encapsulation product works best), or rinse thoroughly with a carpet extractor. If the carpet is olefin, you might have permanently burned the carpet as the fibers can melt at 180 degrees. In this case, abrade lightly and very carefully with medium grit emery paper. Finally, clean as explained above.
The best product for removal is a volatile solvent spotter such as tetrachloroethylene, available from a carpet cleaning supply store. Use only when plenty of ventilation is possible and with the building vacant to avoid reactions with chemical- sensitive individuals. Using vinyl gloves, apply to a white towel and daub the burn. Avoid inhalation.
Non-volatile POG (paint, oil, and grease solvents) or citrus gel solvents will also work. If these products are used, rinse the chemical residues thoroughly. If you have numerous burns, you can spray on the solvent, agitate with a tennis shoe, bonnet with a green striped pad, and then extract.
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com