When you hear the word “wick”, a candle may come to mind. What is wicking when it comes to a candle and – more importantly – how does this relate to your carpet?
When you light a candle wick, the heat turns the candle wax into liquid. Through a process called capillary action, the surface tension of the melted wax helps the wick to absorb the liquid and pull it upward toward the flame. The flame vaporizes the liquid wax, and that vapor is what continues to burn while the wick itself is no longer consumed by the flame – that is, as long as there’s enough heat to liquify the wax, and enough wax to travel up the wick. The action of pulling the wax up the wick toward the flame is called “wicking”.
What Does This Mean for Carpet?
When you have a deep stain on your carpet, a very similar process could happen. At first sight of a stain, you might act promptly. Perhaps you pour some carpet cleaner on it, vacuum intensely, or even use the tips and pointers listed in our series, The Bane of Stains. You even used clean paper towels or cloths to soak up the liquid. But in a few hours, days or even weeks, the stain reappears. You know you followed the directions correctly, so what gives?
If a stain gets deep enough into the carpet, you probably won’t get all the particulates out in the first cleaning attempt. As your carpet dries, your carpet pile sometimes acts like a candle wick. The residual moisture climbs up your carpet fibers and takes the particulates with it. The moisture evaporates, but the particulates don’t. They dry up and latch onto the edges of your pile. From a 5-foot overhead view of the situation, it looks like the stain has come back, or never went away in the first place.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Very likely, your efforts were not in vain. Think of carpet wicking as a reverse iceberg effect: you got rid of the bulk of the stain, and now merely the tip remains. It might only take another run through with your cleaning attempts to remove the rest of the stain. Of course, it could also mean that there’s even more of the stain deep within the carpet or the particulates of what caused the stain are more resilient than you initially believed.
Get a Second Opinion
If your stain seems to come back, it could be an indication of wicking. However, it could also be a sign that there’s more to the stain that you think. At that point, contact Preferred Carpet Care of Redding either over the phone or using our online form. Let our years of experience and skill work for you to find the best way to remove the stain permanently. The stain likely needs high heat and high pressure to dislodge and remove the particulates thoroughly, and we can provide that. Let Preferred Carpet Care keep carpet wicking away!
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On April 23, 2020