Often the effects of fibre abrasion and distortion can be hidden by soil and will not become apparent until the carpet is cleaned. The term used within the industry to describe this condition is called “Traffic Lane Grey”. Fibres in heavily worn traffic areas become scratched and irregular in comparison to fibres is in unused areas and will reflect light differently. This gives, the area a greyish or totally different look, no matter how hard the technician works on the area and removes soils. It is sometimes impossible to totally restore the soiled look. This effect may not be apparent until the carpet is completely dry due to the fact that moisture can fill many scratches and irregularities while the carpet is still wet. Heavy or unusual wear should always be brought to the customers’ attention and noted on the invoice.



It is important to understand the difference between a spot and a stain. A spot is a soluble substance that can be removed in a normal cleaning operation. A stain however, is a substance that has dyed or altered the carpet and is not entirely removable in normal cleaning. Some general examples are mustard, coloured beverages, furniture stains, rust, some inks and pigments, caramelised sugar stains, coffee, tea, bleaches, paints and water marks etc.


These substances sometimes can be successfully removed to various degrees and may not in others. Influencing factors are type of substances, length of time in contact with fibres, temperature and fibre characteristics. The key point we as professional must understand is NOT to guarantee the removal of all stains.


Reassure the customer that you will provide them the very finest state of the art technology available to safely treat the stain while preserving the integrity of the carpet. Inform the customer that the cleaning technician will make the final determination as to what methods or cleaning agents will be the best and safest after he has the opportunity to test the carpet.



Delamination is the separation of the primary and the secondary backing of a carpet. The latex adhesive is soft and flexible when newly applied and immediately begins to oxidise, becoming hard and brittle with age. The stress and flexing of the backing as the carpet is in normal service may eventually cause the adhesive bond to breakdown and separate. Extensive studies have been made to determine if the moisture from carpet cleaning procedures will cause delamination. Research has found that when new samples of carpet are exposed to moisture, even submerged, the latex bond is not permanently effected, unless the backing are subjected to stress while wet. Many delamination problems are blamed on carpet cleaners.


This is wrong. Normal wear and tear, time and occasionally an improper adhesive formulation is usually the cause. The problem only becomes apparent when the carpet is cleaned. Be observant of seams in high traffic areas especially when rolling articles are present. Rolling carts, medical or industrial equipment, or anything on wheels or rollers can cause premature delamination. Ripples and buckles in traffic areas are often the result of overall delamination and any signs of delamination should be noted on the invoice and brought to the customers’ attention. Localised delamination at seams can be repaired and should be done prior to cleaning. It can be repaired by applying seaming latex or hot melt glue to the effected areas.