“What causes carpet browning?” It’s a question a lot of homeowners in the Shiloh, Edwardsville, O’Fallon and surrounding areas have asked me.

Of course, they also ask me how to fix carpet browning. But that burning question, why it happens in the first place, comes naturally to our minds when we want to evaluate whether we did something “wrong” with our carpets and how to avoid browning in the future.

What (usually) causes carpet browning?

Those brown spots and patches across a carpet can occur in two classic scenarios:

  1. After spills that weren’t handled properly
  2. Or after a deep carpet cleaning (ironic, right?)

The common thread? Moisture. The phenomenon you’re witnessing is called carpet wicking, which happens when a carpet is stained down to the bottom of the fiber and then re-moistened, either through another spill or a carpet cleaning. When that deepest, still-stained part of the fiber absorbs more liquid, it pushes the stain up to the surface.

The result? A brown or yellowish spot. In other words, the very last thing you wanted to worry about around the holidays.

A SHOULD-ask question: cellulosic browning

For those extra-curious homeowners, there is also another source of carpet browning called cellulose browning. This happens in natural-fiber carpets like wool, cotton and jute—or any type of particularly old carpeting.

In these cases, you’ll see brown and reddish discoloration. If you suspect this might be the case in your home, the only way to remove it is to call a professional.

Back to basics—how do you get rid of basic carpet browning?

OK, let’s say you have a case of standard carpet browning. When you try to get it out with spot treatments, unless you get down to the very root of that stain, the browning will just come back—and you’ll be left frustrated.

To avoid further carpet wicking (i.e., browning) after a spot treatment, ensure all cleaning products are rinsed 100% from the carpet after you’ve apply treatment. The carpet should then be dried as quickly as possible.

Need some tips on the fastest ways to dry a carpet? Get in touch with me today, I would love to continue this conversation!