Carpet Anatomy: Don’t tattoo your carpet!

This weeks’ post is about carpet anatomy, well at least MOST carpet’s anatomy. This may better understand how to deal with spills, stains, and soiling in the future.

I have always been a big fan of analogies. Therefore, in today’s post we will be comparing the anatomy of carpet, with the anatomy of human skin. Strange? Yes, probably. But certainly effective.

Why skin you ask? Well, skin is interesting because it’s multiple layers lend themselves well for comparison with carpet. See the cross section of human skin below:

Human skin has 3 main layers, much like carpet! The epidermis the outer layer of skin is comprised of dead skin cells, regenerating skin and is basically what you think of when you look down at your arm. The Dermis contains much of the structural necessities of your skin, to include your sweat glands, blood vessels, etc. Finally, the Subcutaneous layer is the fat layer that’s underneath, covering your muscles, fascia or bones. Much like carpet, skin can become dirty, and may be washed. Other types of contaminates, (like the ink tattoos for example) will NOT come out, no matter how hard your scrub. This is because when you receive a tattoo, the artist is purposefully pushing ink down to the lower levels of your dermis, under the layer of skin that can effectively be cleaned. This is surprisingly analogous to carpet!

Take a look at the carpet cross section below:

The three main layers of carpet are the Carpet Fibers, Carpet Pad, and Carpet Subfloor. Much like skin, carpet can be cleaned and washed on it’s top layer and cannot be cleaned effectively (if at all) down to the subfloor layer.

This analogy is especially important when considering certain types of cleaning techniques used to clean carpets. We at CitruSolution are most interested in cleaning the top layer of the carpet that you live on, because cleaning the lower layers is not practical or effective, and may cause more problems than before you had them cleaned!

When your carpets receive a steam cleaning, shampoo, “deep clean”, or other types of cleaning language used by the carpet cleaning industry, many of these cleanings are giving your carpet a “tattoo”. These techniques take all of the greasy, oily, sticky residue that make a carpet dirty, and pushes them down into the carpet, much like a tattoo gun with ink into skin. You can always wipe away the contaminates that seep out of the top layers of your carpet but you cannot effectively remove the gunk that is pushed deep down into the lower layers.

Carpet differs from skin in that it is more porous and breathable. Stains that have been pushed down to the pad and subfloor will return through a process called ‘wicking’. Much like the flame of a candle pulling up wax through the wick, clean carpet fibers pull up contaminates that have been pushed down into the pad and subfloor. Depending on the process used on the carpet, these stains may come out eventually, or they may never come out at all!

The CitruSolution process uses a low amount of moisture, and a cleaning solution that won’t leave a sticky, foamy mess in your carpet. Our goal is to ‘neutralize‘ the contaminates that exist on the top layer of your carpet before they migrate down into your pad or subfloor. This is one of the reasons our process is so radically different from our competition.

I hope this analogy was effective, thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back next week for our newest post.

Until next time, take care, and stay fresh and clean!

J.R. Mitchell, Owner
CitruSolution Carpet Cleaning




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