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Please help!!!

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Just after I mention my confidence is increasing I get these pictures from a job 2 days ago:
wicking.jpg
wick spot.jpg


So I am a little exposed here. I didn't do a fiber test. I was fairly confident this is a synthetic carpet and I, pretty sure I used some black label and I think it might of had some citrus solv in there. That was probably mistake 1 (assuming was synthetic)? I also didn't use my urine light because the contractor didn't think there was any pets there ever. Maybe mistake 2 because maybe this is urine wicking?

Anyway Im waiting for his reply after I offered to come down tomorrow and rework it. But, other than retreat and extract really well Im not sure what to do!?

Could this be a natural fiber and be the cellulosic browning because I didn't extract and dry it good enough? Is this permanent?

Please help!!
 

OxiFreshGuy

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I highly doubt that is a natural fiber.

It's either pet urine, chemicals from a previous cleaner, or you overwet the carpet in certain spots and now experiencing wickback. Could be a combination of all the above.
 

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I highly doubt that is a natural fiber.

It's either pet urine, chemicals from a previous cleaner, or you overwet the carpet in certain spots and now experiencing wickback. Could be a combination of all the above.
Thank you.

So so you think there is a chance I can treat it again with some TMF pre spray, agitate and extract with much dry passes to clean it for good?

Also, do you think its worth trying the water claw spotting tool on top to make sure its really dry?
 

OxiFreshGuy

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Well not to sound a certain way but honestly I'd bone up on how to identify natural vs synthetic fibers.

What equipment are you using? Was the equipment working properly? I'd start off with a very light mist of pre-spray and 1 wet stroke with a few dry strokes, throw a fan on the spot while you work on the other spots.
 

george8585

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EASY FIX !!!

Use Pro's Choice Stain 1. Follow directions on bottle. Spray/mist on carpet, use towel to blot, scrub lightly, and the stain will be gone, and won't come back. Don't over wet. Stain 1 WORKS !!!


cc-so-ea_4.jpg
 
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OxiFreshGuy

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Why are we recommending an oxidizing chemical without really knowing what the problem is?
 

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Well not to sound a certain way but honestly I'd bone up on how to identify natural vs synthetic fibers.

What equipment are you using? Was the equipment working properly? I'd start off with a very light mist of pre-spray and 1 wet stroke with a few dry strokes, throw a fan on the spot while you work on the other spots.
I imagine you are just trying to help by suggesting I get better at fiber ID. I can't disagree with that. Maybe I need to start the habit of doing Fiber ID(burn / chemical / float test) until I get experience in working with all types.

I use the mytee air/water hog and I I believe everything was working properly and no issues this far.

Kind of sounds like you think I may not have dried it enough before leaving. Maybe the lesson is when removing stains like this to really dry good with dry passes and fans if you have them.

How common is this? I feel bad and obviously my reputation is on the line.
 

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EASY FIX !!!

Use Pro's Choice Stain 1. Follow directions on bottle. Spray/mist on carpet, use towel to blot, scrub lightly, and the stain will be gone, and won't come back. Don't over wet. Stain 1 WORKS !!!


View attachment 85477
You sound like you have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. So you say, spray this, blot with a towel, and scrub. Do you mean scrub with the towel as well or other means of scrubbing?

I definitely need to improve my spot and stain game. I feel vulnerable in this area and don't like being in this situation!
 

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You definitely need to learn fiber ID. That is a synthetic fiber, but which one. They do not all clean the same. They each have different potential issues. Doing a fiber ID, informing customer of the fiber and how you will clean specifically for that fiber is a great marketing tool. Few other cleaners will do that.

There is wicking from urine. Always check with the urine light. It can lead to many extra sales of urine and odor treatments. Now you will probably need to treat the urine for free.

Two potential solutions for the stains. This assumes there is no noticeable urine odor.
1) Wipe with clean white trowel and encapsulation cleaner such as Encapuclean Green DS or Encapuclean O2 or Spot Stop.
2) A mist of an oxidizer, I love StainZone which you can get at Interlink Supply, but Stain 1 is also OK.

You can also do both of the above steps.

If you clean it the same way you did before, you will get similar results. Wicking. There are only 2 ways to prevent wicking. One is to vacuum and clean so thoroughly and completely that there is no soil even down at the base of the carpet or pad. If there is nothing there, nothing can wick back. This is an ideal approach but not always practical. The other method is to use an encapsulation cleaner that stops or discourages wick back.

GEt to an IICRC carpet cleaning class at your first opportunity. There will be training on spotters and an hour or so of hands-on spot and stain removal on the most difficult and stubborn spots and stains supervised by the instructor.
 

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You definitely need to learn fiber ID. That is a synthetic fiber, but which one. They do not all clean the same. They each have different potential issues. Doing a fiber ID, informing customer of the fiber and how you will clean specifically for that fiber is a great marketing tool. Few other cleaners will do that.

There is wicking from urine. Always check with the urine light. It can lead to many extra sales of urine and odor treatments. Now you will probably need to treat the urine for free.

Two potential solutions for the stains. This assumes there is no noticeable urine odor.
1) Wipe with clean white trowel and encapsulation cleaner such as Encapuclean Green DS or Encapuclean O2 or Spot Stop.
2) A mist of an oxidizer, I love StainZone which you can get at Interlink Supply, but Stain 1 is also OK.

You can also do both of the above steps.

If you clean it the same way you did before, you will get similar results. Wicking. There are only 2 ways to prevent wicking. One is to vacuum and clean so thoroughly and completely that there is no soil even down at the base of the carpet or pad. If there is nothing there, nothing can wick back. This is an ideal approach but not always practical. The other method is to use an encapsulation cleaner that stops or discourages wick back.

GEt to an IICRC carpet cleaning class at your first opportunity. There will be training on spotters and an hour or so of hands-on spot and stain removal on the most difficult and stubborn spots and stains supervised by the instructor.
Thank you for the reply, Scott.

Sad to say but I did attend an IICRC carpet technician cleaning class before deciding to enter the industry. We discussed spots and stains but no hands on. However, I take full responsibility for this though.

I didn't notice any urine odor when I was there but my sniffer isn't as good as some others.

Sounds like I shouldn't have skipped using the UV light no matter what someones opinion was. Then, I could have used a urine treatment solution that I have and made sure to really dry it out.

I don't believe I have an oxidizer on hand at the moment and if I Im allowed to go back tomorrow maybe I could flush the spots with my water claw spotting tool. If I do this do you think that could prevent future wicking without the use of an oxidizer?

P.S. What tells you that this is urine wicking?

Thank you, again. Very much appreciated, Scott.
 
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Yes, lots of experience, and Stain 1 has never failed me.

Try the easiest method first. I can almost guarantee Stain 1 will work. It's looks like wicking from coffee/tea stain. It looks like a sofa was just behind the stain.

Mist on carpet and scrub lightly with towel. You might need to mist on and scrub lightly a few times. The stain should disappear. Of course, I can't guarantee this will work, but it's a good, easy, first step. That usually works.

I had a big coffee stain on Monday. Told the customer it might come back. It did, and looked just like that stain you have. It came back much smaller and lighter, than the original stain. Stain 1 is a great product and I'm never without it. It has peroxide in it, so be careful using it.

You can use StainZone from Interlink, or Stain 1.
 
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You definitely need to learn fiber ID. That is a synthetic fiber, but which one. They do not all clean the same. They each have different potential issues. Doing a fiber ID, informing customer of the fiber and how you will clean specifically for that fiber is a great marketing tool. Few other cleaners will do that.

There is wicking from urine. Always check with the urine light. It can lead to many extra sales of urine and odor treatments. Now you will probably need to treat the urine for free.

Two potential solutions for the stains. This assumes there is no noticeable urine odor.
1) Wipe with clean white trowel and encapsulation cleaner such as Encapuclean Green DS or Encapuclean O2 or Spot Stop.
2) A mist of an oxidizer, I love StainZone which you can get at Interlink Supply, but Stain 1 is also OK.

You can also do both of the above steps.

If you clean it the same way you did before, you will get similar results. Wicking. There are only 2 ways to prevent wicking. One is to vacuum and clean so thoroughly and completely that there is no soil even down at the base of the carpet or pad. If there is nothing there, nothing can wick back. This is an ideal approach but not always practical. The other method is to use an encapsulation cleaner that stops or discourages wick back.

GEt to an IICRC carpet cleaning class at your first opportunity. There will be training on spotters and an hour or so of hands-on spot and stain removal on the most difficult and stubborn spots and stains supervised by the instructor.
OK, so reading your post again it seems the fix could be as simple as spraying some encapsulating cleaner on a white towel and wiping the stain.

Am I understanding this correctly?

And to go further: If the urine is more severe then flushing it before this step might be necessary?
 
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Mama Fen

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Thank you for the reply, Scott.

Sad to say but I did attend an IICRC carpet technician cleaning class before deciding to enter the industry. We discussed spots and stains but no hands on. However, I take full responsibility for this though.

I didn't notice any urine odor when I was there but my sniffer isn't as good as some others.

Sounds like I shouldn't have skipped using the UV light no matter what someones opinion was. Then, I could have used a urine treatment solution that I have and made sure to really dry it out.

I don't believe I have an oxidizer on hand at the moment and if I Im allowed to go back tomorrow maybe I could flush the spots with my water claw spotting tool. If I do this do you think that could prevent future wicking without the use of an oxidizer?

P.S. What tells you that this is using wicking?

Thank you, again. Very much appreciated, Scott.
Scott is the best ever at answering questions regarding chemistry!

Oxidizers are one spotting agent that I think everyone should carry and - more importantly - understand. Since so many of the soils we run into are organic, oxidizers can be powerful tools.

If a carpet on the whole looks good and stays that way after a cleaning but one spot (or several) that is distinct, noticeable, and specific comes back, that generally means it's not an overall issue like wetting, but rather a deep deposit of soil like urine or spilled beverage that has now decided to "grow up" on you.

As for UV... one of my guys did a walkthrough at a lady's house and found multiple urine spots not just in the carpet, but on the walls on her second story. She hit the roof and accused him of trying to "flim-flam" her with trickery, because she didn't even have any pets. What she did have, however, was a very young son who was afraid of the dark. He couldn't bring himself to go all the way to the bathroom down a dark hallway, so he peed on the walls.

You never know what you'll find at a customer's home, so be prepared.
 
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wandwizard

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That's definitely some type of wicking, but not necessarily urine. I agree w @george8585. The Stain 1 or a similar product should knock it right out and it won't come back. The Stain 1 has several ingredients that will take the spot out and something to keep any residual below from being able to wick back up. That isn't cellulose browning btw. I can pretty much nearly guarantee that. That looks to be a common synthetic. Something that's likely organic down in the pad came up after the cleaning.
 

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That's definitely some type of wicking, but not necessarily urine. I agree w @george8585. The Stain 1 or a similar product should knock it right out and it won't come back. The Stain 1 has several ingredients that will take the spot out and something to keep any residual below from being able to wick back up. That isn't cellulose browning btw. I can pretty much nearly guarantee that. That looks to be a common synthetic. Something that's likely organic down in the pad came up after the cleaning.
So this could be as easy as misting with something like Stain 1. Correct?

And, what do you guys normally do when you clean carpets like this. I think these spots may have been there before but I don't exactly remember. I imagine they are and wicked back.

Do you generally make it a point to mist it with an oxidizer if you aren't doing a whole flush or something?

Thank you for the reply BTW.
 

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So this could be as easy as misting with something like Stain 1. Correct?

And, what do you guys normally do when you clean carpets like this. I think these spots may have been there before but I don't exactly remember. I imagine they are and wicked back.

Do you generally make it a point to mist it with an oxidizer if you aren't doing a whole flush or something?

Thank you for the reply BTW.
It's always good to try and get ahead of a problem and you'll get better at it as you go especially with all the help available these days. Sometimes a liquid will pass through the carpet and soak into the pad and may not even be visible from the surface or the customer may spot it from the surface, but leave most of it in the pad. Then your friendly neighborhood carpet cleaner comes along and rewets the stuff down below. As the carpet dries it travels up the fibers normally over a few hours, but sometimes can happen after even a few days.

Some things can easily be treated from the surface while others might need to be flushed out. Some prefer to go the encap rout while others will use a product like Stain 1. Btw, I normally apply enough of the Stain 1 to saturate the spot. I may blot some of it up and then mist again and you're done. Most of these spots that wick back up are very easy to remove with a spotter like Stain 1, but not everything will respond to it. I had a customer who spilled cooking oil on her carpet that I knew would wick up so I went ahead and flushed it out. Oily substances or things that are almost pure sugar are super bad for wick back and really need to be flushed out. This product also works in a lot of cases. https://www.jondon.com/proxi-spray-walk-away-2.html
 

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It's always good to try and get ahead of a problem and you'll get better at it as you go especially with all the help available these days. Sometimes a liquid will pass through the carpet and soak into the pad and may not even be visible from the surface or the customer may spot it from the surface, but leave most of it in the pad. Then your friendly neighborhood carpet cleaner comes along and rewets the stuff down below. As the carpet dries it travels up the fibers normally over a few hours, but sometimes can happen after even a few days.

Some things can easily be treated from the surface while others might need to be flushed out. Some prefer to go the encap rout while others will use a product like Stain 1. Btw, I normally apply enough of the Stain 1 to saturate the spot. I may blot some of it up and then mist again and you're done. Most of these spots that wick back up are very easy to remove with a spotter like Stain 1, but not everything will respond to it. I had a customer who spilled cooking oil on her carpet that I knew would wick up so I went ahead and flushed it out. Oily substances or things that are almost pure sugar are super bad for wick back and really need to be flushed out. This product also works in a lot of cases. https://www.jondon.com/proxi-spray-walk-away-2.html
So it’s funny because I’m looking through my before pictures and I’m not seeing anything close to the afters I’m getting. Now i am not always taking the best pictures so that could be part of it as well. I do recall some spots the color of the afters but I honestly don’t recall being that significant.

So I’m thinking there is a chance me cleaning the carpet is making those old stains come back bigger than before.

So I’m wondering what can a cleaner do in these situations? I see one case where you find urine with a light and take steps to flush or treat but you won’t be able to detect And know in advance all the hidden spots that could wick back..or could you??
 

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It's always good to try and get ahead of a problem and you'll get better at it as you go especially with all the help available these days. Sometimes a liquid will pass through the carpet and soak into the pad and may not even be visible from the surface or the customer may spot it from the surface, but leave most of it in the pad. Then your friendly neighborhood carpet cleaner comes along and rewets the stuff down below. As the carpet dries it travels up the fibers normally over a few hours, but sometimes can happen after even a few days.

Some things can easily be treated from the surface while others might need to be flushed out. Some prefer to go the encap rout while others will use a product like Stain 1. Btw, I normally apply enough of the Stain 1 to saturate the spot. I may blot some of it up and then mist again and you're done. Most of these spots that wick back up are very easy to remove with a spotter like Stain 1, but not everything will respond to it. I had a customer who spilled cooking oil on her carpet that I knew would wick up so I went ahead and flushed it out. Oily substances or things that are almost pure sugar are super bad for wick back and really need to be flushed out. This product also works in a lot of cases. https://www.jondon.com/proxi-spray-walk-away-2.html
I shit you not Stain 1 was just delivered by fedex 20 minutes ago. I forgot I ordered it as I’m trying to up my stain game ironically enough!

So now I’m thinking of getting the customer on the phone and getting the ok to go back. The plan being to flush out the spot with unchained if urine or just water if coffee or something else and then spray some stain 1 on it.

Think that plan is solid?

I appreciate all the help everybody. I’m not too used to getting my hand held through things. So again, thanks for the support. :)
 

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Be all means get an oxidizer. Keep fresh oxidizer on hand. If you don't have time to get a professional product before this job, get some 3% hydrogen peroxide in a brown bottle.

I think it looks like urine. Definitely something wicking, but it may not be urine.

Yes, you may be able to just flush and encapsulate.

Stains that wick often do come back larger. When a liquid goes down in the carpet, it spreads out. This especially happens when it hits an obstacle like the primary backing, the secondary backing and the cushion. Stain may be 3 or 4 times larger under the surface than what is seen on top. Then when it wicks it comes back full size.

How to prevent. Usually be sure to remove as much soil as possible with the vacuum. Once the carpet is cleaned, speed dry it. Watch and see if any spots are coming back. On most jobs, the first rooms done should be nearly dry by the time you finish. Go back and check for wicking. Wicking happens during drying. Right down to the last seconds of drying. Anything you do - extra dry strokes, air movers, ceiling fans, HVAC, etc. that speeds up the drying gives less time for wicking to happen. It also makes it more likely you can see it before you leave.

Encapsulation on any suspect areas, such as high traffic, areas that would get spills, etc.
 

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NO that plan might fail, unless your dealing with odor from a pet stain. If no odor, just use Stain 1. PERIOD !!!

No rinsing or flushing !!! Or the stain might come back again. You already did that. You don't want to disturb, get wet, what's in the backing. Stain 1 will work better on a dry carpet. Putting water in the carpet will delete Stain 1. Just use Stain 1 and a towel. NOTHING ELSE
 
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