Wicking for Dummies

Mikey P

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Wicking

“Wicking” is a term used to describe the upward migration of water-soluble materials on carpet fiber surfaces during drying. Wicking is a cause for recurring spots and stains by definition.

Carpet Cleaning, regardless of the method used, is not always effective at total soil removal. A certain amount of soil can be left behind at the base of yarns and on the carpet backing. Often, wicking is responsible for carrying soil from the base of yarns and backing materials to the yarn tips, where it becomes a visible problem.

Care tip:
If your carpet is experiencing Wicking after cleaning you can try these easy steps to fix the unsightly areas
-Let the carpet dry thoroughly for at least 48 hours
-Vacuum the area with a brush roll equipped upright vacuum, slowly and from three or more directions
-Lightly mist deionized water or 3% hydrogen peroxide on the affected area and gently blot with a microfiber (preferred) or white cotton towel. Look for soil transferring on to the towel.
-If effective, continue to lightly mist and blot, until the carpet’s appearance returns to normal
-Let the area dry and inspect
-If the carpet still does not look normal (keeping in mind that Wicking usually occurs in high traffic areas and wear may still be obvious) consult with your IICRC Certified Technician to set up a return visit or for suggestions on what cleaning solutions would be best for your carpet type.




Edits are welcomed
 

Mikey P

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In the world of HWE, imo wicking is most likely to occur in entry areas and high traffic areas. DIY homeowners and new techs are both prone to over clean/ saturate these problem areas with gawd knows what..
I believe my instructions are skund, especially in humid Florida.....


But I'll probably take the peroxide option out.
 

encapman

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When a carpet requires a 48-hour drying window I would expect that wicking would be significant!

The push in our industry about 15 years ago was to get the carpet to dry quickly. Is that still part of the current IICRC thinking process?

Here's my take on wicking...

To prevent wicking: Cleaning with a low moisture method can help. Using a glided wand can help. Using air movers will definitely help. Opening windows, running ceiling fans, or cranking the HVAC will help. Cleaning with a hydrogen peroxide-based detergent is also helpful when the potential for wicking is evident.

For treating wicking that's already occurred: Doing a quick post-bonnet cleaning with a hydrogen peroxide-based detergent will help correct the brownish appearance caused by wicking. Applying an anti-browning post-treatment can also be effective.
 
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Mikey P

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When a carpet requires a 48-hour drying window I would expect that wicking would be significant!

The push in our industry about 15 years ago was to get the carpet to dry quickly. Is that still part of the current IICRC thinking process?

Here's my take on wicking...

To prevent wicking: Cleaning with a low moisture method can help. Using a glided wand can help. Using air movers will definitely help. Opening windows, running ceiling fans, or cranking the HVAC will help. Cleaning with a hydrogen peroxide-based detergent is also helpful when the potential for wicking is evident.

For treating wicking that's already occurred: Doing a quick post-bonnet cleaning with a hydrogen peroxide-based detergent will help correct the brownish appearance caused by wicking. Applying an anti-browning post-treatment can also be effective.

I think you missed the premis of what this is about and who its for..
 

Mikey P

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Here you go Rick

 

Cleanworks

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The 48 hours is not necessarily for the carpet to dry. It's to allow all of the elements that can cause wicking, to show up. Although the carpet may dry in a few hours, you may have soap residues from diy spotting attemps, urine salt deposits, spilled beverages containing slow evaporating components, oils, etc. Not all wicking is from over wetting. Don't confuse cellulosic browning with wicking. Most wicking is from incomplete soil removal. Not always the carpet cleaners fault. In certain situations, where I have observed large multiple stains, I warn the customer that some may return and may need a second cleaning. At their expense.
 

Mikey P

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I chose to go with 48 hours just so we're positive that it's as dry as can be considering this is not a regional app and we can always think worst case scenarios..

I also put a lot of emphasis on the vacuuming being done by the customer, which again should be done when completely dry


And we all know after 48 hours they've moved on to other trauma in their life and have forgotten all about the browning or yellowing on their entry carpet that the dog has now vomited on
 

Numero Uno

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Hyphen tween de-ionized.
But one thing it should say.
Wicking after cleaning can be greatly diminished with correct moisture removal.
This is a pass the buck issue.
When you simply suck but do not suck enough moisture out.
Sure you can claim humidity,etc.
But the Wicker man can be found in a mirror...
Always emphasized correct extraction techniques,an multi passes.
With clean filters changed often in the case of aTm.
That alone an sloppy vac hose placement on the ground are most scenario's.
A slow motion over hour time video example has never been utilized in a class.
Quality in every phase of your workmanship negates 99 percent all in home problems.
Be a Craftsman,it's not ego.
It's called Passion to be the GOAT...
 

Numero Uno

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Marty,Yes after re-reading that.
I realize it's more than just one thing to add.
Signed the real reason,Marty chose idiot...
 

encapman

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If this information is intended for the carpet owner, I'm wondering how they'd readily obtain deionized water? It's not normally something that most people would have on hand.
 

Mikey P

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If this information is intended for the carpet owner, I'm wondering how they'd readily obtain deionized water? It's not normally something that most people would have on hand.
Every grocery and drug store in America sells it by the gallon Rick.

People use it in their clothes irons and some people choose to drink it.

It's no different than telling people to use 3% hydrogen peroxide which the most common reaction is "well want that bleach my carpet" or they have a 13-year-old opened bottle sitting around under the bathroom sink which will do no good..
 
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