The Case of the Colorless Carpet

Most restoration companies have someone on staff who knows how to repair carpets and every contents company does. Surprisingly, quite a number of carpet repair companies will tell you that when a carpet has a bleach stain its color cannot be returned, the carpet itself must be replaced or patched, but we have seen contents professionals do both with equal success. Actually, contents repair crews are quick to point out that a carpet marred by bleach is not stained so much as it is discolored. The color has been taken out not added to. When contents professionals replace a section of carpet it is common to find them looking in closets or if absolutely necessary, visiting carpet stores that are known for having swatches and remnants. Then, they cut a square or triangular shape around the stain and install the new piece in the same manner one might install carpet around a doorway or floor vent. If they color the bleached spot instead of replacing it, there are a few favorite ways to do so, but they always start by neutralizing the area where the bleach was spilled. There are lots of neutralizing agents available on the market-that part is easy. Sometimes though, untrained beginners simply pour water on the area and blot up the excess-it never works out well. When bleach products dry they leave behind crystals. When you pour water on bleach crystals, you get (you guessed it) liquid bleach-the same thing that caused the bleached carpet in the first place! So the professional saturates the area with plenty of neutralizer and blots out the excess once it has done its work. Next, some contents workers will use a dye pen or marker that releases dye into the bleacher fibers. Not many use that method. Most use a dye kit that has several colors from which the proper mixture of colors are chosen and extracted with an eye dropper then put in a heated container sometimes a pan on a stove at around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. They will normally start off with a mixture that is lighter than the color they are matching, then after testing it on the fabric they add a little more color to darken-all a drop at a time. The “trick” is to net let it get too dark-it is a whole lot easier to darken a little than to try to get the batch back to a lighter hue. Then, using a dropper, they start in the center of the stain and put a few drops, work them in, add a few more drops and work the color out toward the edge of the stain. Anyone can put color into a bleached carpet, with the proper tools-contents professionals do it well.