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Friday, April 18, 2014

Question

A hand truck had oil on the wheels and left about 80' of 4" spots on and off on the carpet. I had some stain remover and attempted to remove the oil by applying the chemical, than scrubbing with a hand held nylon brush, than using a carpet machine to clean up the area. The oils seem to be gone, but there are now dark spots on the carpet where the spots were removed. It looks like the mistake I made was to scrub the area with a brush. Is it ever going to go back to normal? Is there anything I can do to fix it?


Answer

#1
Here is what I suspect has happened. The oil worked its way down into the fibers and you were able to remove what was accessible to you at the top of the pile. What was left has now worked its way back to the top to become visible and attract soil, a process we call wicking.
Your next move is to reclean the spots and continue to do so from time to time until all the oil is gone. This should not be a daunting task since the oil was left in spots and not by a large spill.
As to using the brush for agitation, I doubt you have really harmed the fibers to any degree. If you did, there isnít any remedy other than to cut the frizz off with a sharp razor blade or scissors. Be very careful not to damage the intact fibers. In the future, use dampened cotton or microfiber towels to blot the spots and draw the oils and soils into them.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com

#2
From what you described, there is a trace of oil or tar still remaining. During the summer, parking lot sealer and especially patching materials contain tar. A normal spotting chemical may not be sufficient. The process may require a carpet spotting solvent such as díLimonene to dissolve the tar. If you had 80 spots, you could spray on the solvent and then bonnet with a damp bonnet. Next, extract and then spray each spot lightly with an extraction acidic rinse diluted 1:5 with water and then bonnet with a dry pad. Make sure the bonnet pad does not extend onto any dry areas. Or, you can perform all the above steps with a soft brush and towel.

An acidic rinse is normally required for tar and heavy grease, to remove the staining properties. Before you try the above process, you could spray the darkest spot with the acidic rinse and lightly blot. After drying, if the spot is gone, you found the shortcut. If not, and you have more labor; make sure you prepare an invoice for the originator.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com