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Local Color Change

By Michael Hilton

Locally Caused Carpet Color Changes

In all my years in the carpet industry, I never saw a locally caused color problem...to be sarcastic. I have seen bleached spots beside toilets that were not caused by toilet cleaners containing bleach. I have seen yellow, green and red pet urine stains that could not be caused by pets (because pets are not allowed in the house -- that's usually when I walk over and tap the pet food dishes with my toe). And I've never seen benzoyl peroxide (acne medications) stains in homes with teenagers, because the teenagers don't have acne. Further, it is very difficult to explain to a consumer what caused the stain, when they insist it was caused at the mill. Do you call them a liar, in hopes that they will correct future applications or accidents? Or do you remain silent, file the report, and allow them to get that form letter that says the stains were of "local origin" without any explanation to the homeowner as to how to prevent future occurrences?

A general rule of thumb - a lighter colored area involves the removal of dye. A darker area involves the addition of color to the area.

A number of bleaching agents are commonly found in the home.

Benzoyl peroxide commonly found in acne medications is almost impossible to remove from your hands and as it is transferred to the carpet, it may take months to develop. It requires moisture to activate and may take several months to begin removing carpet color. I have seen a complete handprint bleached into the carpet and the homeowner still had trouble accepting the fact that their teen could have done this. In these instances, I usually took a scrap piece of carpet, put benzoyl peroxide on the carpet, wet down the scrap, and placed the scrap in the microwave for 15 seconds. This speeds up the reaction and a beautiful white spot with a peach and red halo will appear around the edges.

Plant foods typically add color to carpet.

Insecticides may either add or subtract color depending upon the chemical, but I have seen entire areas along the baseboard devoid of color. Bleach removes color. A number on non-traditional bleaches can be found in any home.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

Other Helpful Links
Watermarking
Carpet Color Change
Carpet Color Fading
Carpet Dye Defects
Local Color Change
Filtration Soiling
Carpet Yellowing
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