In front of your couch, you notice something that makes it look so grubby, but what is it? Is it simply dirt and a good cleaning will get rid of it – or is it damaged and needs to be replaced, at great cost? It really makes the whole room look bad, so something has to be done, but what?
If it just dirt it is because of people, your family, and friends, tracking dirt in from the outside on their shoes, right? You think immediately that everyone does wipe their feet when they come, don’t they? This may be true, but there may be a bit of a problem there, so let’s take a look at that.
When you wipe your shoes on the mat, you are removing a lot of the larger material, however, the smaller pieces of contamination, those that can do a lot of damage, might not get dislodged. These can stay embedded in the soles of the shoes and, while rubbing against the carpet pile, getting into them and begin to grind or cut the fibers. Since this is abrasive to them, it can be destructive.
So, why should this area be darker than the rest of the floor?
It all has to do with the way carpets are manufactured and what happens when it gets dirty, or rather how it looks when it gets abraded by those coarse bits of stuff on your shoes.
Carpet piles are fabricated as fibers that have a cylindrical, relatively smooth surface. It reflects light so that the color can be seen and admired. As it gets abraded by shoe dirt, it reflects a lot less light, thus giving it a duller appearance, with a corresponding darker hue with mottled colors.
This process can be imagined by thinking of a new piece of hard, smooth, shiny PVS plastic sheet. When you rub that surface with a piece of sandpaper, it gets dull, darker and less shiny. This is the same thing that can happen to your carpet and, especially in front of the couch where there is a lot of shoe rubbing, a dark spot can develop fairly easily.
Does all of that makes sense? If you think about it for a while, it does! Now, add all of the other soils from shoes and the sight can become very unhealthy looking. It might actually, if left for a while, become damaged, permanently.
Not only that, imagine your house slippers making more of a mess than you could imagine. If you take a look at them, right now, you might see black or dark soles and they are slightly worn down. Do you wear these outside, routinely? No? Where does all of that dark sole material go as it gets worn down? Into your carpet, probably right where you enjoy sitting, on the couch!
“Inground soiling’ is the constant layering of dirt, dust, and other contaminants in one or two places in a room. These places are the most popular, usually and it happens regardless of who it is loading these soils on. This problem can be partially alleviated by keeping the carpets as clean as possible, starting with a detail vacuuming of all areas, especially in the high traffic areas, followed by a professional carpet cleaning to remove as much contaminants/abrasives as possible.
It might not always be possible to remove all of this during one process, alone, however. An example that can be educational would be looking at a white shirt, just coming out of the dryer. You notice her are darker, shall we say, soiled, rather grubby marks on the top of the collar or at the edge of the cuffs. You think that maybe that is as clean as it is going to get and the washer/detergent/bleach combination just cannot go any further?
The vacuuming/cleaning/shampooing of the carpet, especially at this point might not be ineffective, it might just be specific issues with that particular carpet.
So, dark spots in front of the couch or other chairs can be minimized through keeping your shoes cleaner and/or removing them when inside and changing your slippers for lighter soled ones. These couple of actions can help keep your flooring cleaner and any cleaning done will be more effective.