LIKE MAGIC! Why do carpet spots appear out of nowhere?

Why Spots Reappear after a Traditional Carpet Cleaning

Imagine how frustrating it is to have spots reappear on your carpet so soon after you’ve had the carpet(s) cleaned. Unfortunately, this is very common and you are not alone. There are two possible reasons for a spots to just appear on your carpet, soiling or wicking.

When a carpet cleaner is used on a spot and not correctly rinsed or blotted this is an example of soiling. Residue on the carpet can become sticky, the leftover cleaner on your carpet starts to attract dirt and soil in the exact same spot, which makes it look like the same spot reappearing.

When a spot comes back, it is usually referred to as “wicking” or “wicked back.” Sometimes spots will soak all the way into the padding of the carpet and saturate the carpet itself. It is possible that you only cleaned the surface of the spot, if you have cleaned your carpeting on your own. Even a professional treatment may not be able to remove all of the spot at once, especially if it was caused by red wine.

Brown Spots… What??

One of the most common type of carpet spot we run into whether in your home or even at your business are brown spots. Big or small, they appear and are ugly. Brown spots will usually appear in the middle of the room on wall to wall carpeting. Everyone can see them and there is no way to cover them up.

So why does this happen?

The most common cause for brown spot on carpet is due to moisture and very often water – it does not matter if the water is clean or dirty. This is one of the reasons you never want to subject your carpet to too much moisture because this can lead to brown spots, mold growth and permanent damage to your carpeting.

Moisture can permeate into carpet fibers and seep down into the carpet pad. While there,  it soaks up soil, dirt and bacteria in the pad, then through evaporation it pulls all of the soil to the surface of the carpet. This dirty moisture will then create brown spots in various areas or right in the middle of your carpeting.

High traffic areas can be a pain as well as the residue created in these areas of carpeting. It is almost like little sticky men in your carpet, just waiting for you to walk on it to capture all the dirt and soil and bury it is the depths of the carpet. At the same time, the dust particles in the room are attracted to the dirt and settle in these areas.

Dirt and soil cannot be torn from the carpet by vacuuming alone. The dirt and soil are too deep in the fibers to be reached by spinning brushes and with new soil and dirt constantly coming through the door, it can be difficult to remove these brown spots on your own.


One way to prevent brown carpet spots,  is to limit your carpet’s exposure to moisture and water as much as possible. Three of the most common sources for moisture on carpet are windows, plumbing issues, roofs that may have a leak, severe weather conditions where moisture or water leak or seep into your home and settle on your carpet and cheap carpet cleaning services.

A leak in your roof,  window frame and even your plumbing can cause water to pool in one place every time there is a drip from the leak. This moisture will end up seeping into the carpet and begin the process of creating a brown spot.

Be mindful of checking your roof and windows through the year and especially before winter and before spring, these are the times where there is more rain and or snow as well as precipitation outdoors. Watch out for minor plumbing issues as well, those can sneak up on you. You may want to have a plumber inspect your pipes for any possible leaks or problem areas. If you catch any problem area before it does become a problem, your chances of brown spots due to water leaks or damage will decrease greatly.

Severe weather conditions such as floods and severe thunder and rain storms can be too much for a house to handle. These types of storms can damage roofs, basement foundations, windows and sump pumps. Once one of these is compromised, there is a great possibility of moisture reaching your carpet.

 Carpets can re-spot suddenly or overnight simply because of the moisture in the air. Carpets may also appear to re-spot when something else is spilled on them; for instance, a red wine spot could re-emerge after a spilled cup of water. This also helps explain why wet carpet cleaning methods (steam cleaners) have a much higher prevalence of wicking when compared to low moisture carpet cleaning methods.


If you have tried many ways to clean your carpet or even way to prevent moisture from seeping into your carpet and brown spots still appear, it may be time to do something different. You may have to remove the carpet by pulling it all the way back, including the padding and let it completely dry out – once it is completely dry, you can then re-install the carpeting. You can also hire a professional carpet cleaner because they have the high powered equipment which enables them to remove the deepest spots help your carpet stays cleaner longer.

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