Soil Filtration Lines are a specific type of problem that the carpet cleaner may run across during any normal working day. They are common across the country, although sometimes called different names. Soil filtration lines are dark, soiled areas commonly occurring along the edges of carpet next to the wall. They are also prevalent under doors, under floor length draperies and adjacent to baseboards.

What causes them

Soil filtration lines are soiled areas caused by the passage of air through or across the carpet. Air carries microscopic particles. As air passes over the carpet, these soil particles settle and become embedded in the pile yarns. In places where the airs is flowing over the carpet more rapidly than normal, the carpet act as a filter, extracting the soil from the air.

Where the soil filtration lines occur along an edge, open the carpet pile and examine the area. You will probably find that the carpet was installed short of the wall, or there is a break or high point in the wall. There will always be an air flow.

The same problem exists with draperies. Windows permit cold air to enter, the air passes down under the draper and into the room. If the drape barely clears the carpet you will have a soil filtration line that corresponds to the related drape line. This applies primarily to drapes that are usually closed.

The lines also appear under doors. Bedroom doors that are closed at night, especially where windows are kept open, are likely to develop the lines.

The problem can sometimes originate during the carpet installation. An over-exuberant knee kicker can breach the back of the carpet and create air holes.

Remedy the problem

The soil is always very fine and has penetrated deeply into the yarns. In order to remove the soil, the proper solvent and some mechanical action is needed. The solvent can be Cleancare Traffic Lane Cleaner or Heavy Duty Soil Lifter. Some soil might require a combination of products. First, vacuum the overall area. Apply cleaning solutions and mechanical action (with a spotting brush or spatula). Thoroughly rinse at completion of cleaning.

Success of removal

The degree of soil removal depends on a number of factors amount and type of soil present, length of time soil has accumulated, amount of air flow, type of fibre, colour of the carpet.

Soil which contains a greater quality of oily particles will be more difficult to remove, as the soil will adhere more tenaciously to the fibre. Naturally, the more soil that is present and the longer it remains on the carpet, the harder it will be to remove. Also it will be more difficult to remove soil filtration lines in areas with more air flow, the build up will be faster and deeper.

White and light soiled carpet do not hide the dark lines at all. Darker colours, prints and multi-coloured carpet can camouflage the problem although it does exist.

Qualifying the problem

Sometimes soil filtration lines cannot be completely removed. Explain to your customer before you attempt cleaning. Explain the causes and reasons for possibly not achieving 100% removal before you begin, and your customer will be satisfied with whatever success you do achieve.

Removing soil filtration lines is an extra service to your customer. You should expect to be paid well for you additional time, labour and materials.