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Wool Carpet Problems

I have had some problems recently when cleaning wool carpets. They had short piles and I was cleaning with the Challenger and Vacaways lpH encapsulating cleaner for wool carpets.

Alternating bands of light and dark, about 6 inches wide started appearing across the carpet. This happened on three rugs. With two of them, I didn't get a chance to see them when dry. With one of them, the bands involved of some fiber browing of the wool, which did NOT go away when dry.

In all cases I used the vacaway cleaner at the recommeded dilution, which was supposed to reduce the risk of problems with wool. On two of them, I did a vinegar pre-rinse using just a diluted vinegar and the challenger to try to prevent browning. These did not have browing, but it did have bands.

Does anybody know what this is??

Re: Wool Carpet Problems

What is the Ph of cleaner your using sounds like it might be on the high side,I use Procyon and never had any issues like yours..If Ph is high that could be your problem,Are you sure it all wool?

Re: Wool Carpet Problems


The pH of the wool cleaner I am using is indicated as 5.5 to 6.5 on the label. I also did a dilute vinegar pre-rinse (with a wet Challenger pad) in case there was something alkaline on the carpet to start with.

I thought maybe I am getting the rugs too wet or that some wool rugs cannot tolerate water?? Or maybe the vinegar did it?

It's as though my treatment highlights different yarn spools in the rug. Yarn spool 1 covers 6 inches, yarn spool 2 covering the next 6 inches reacts differently to water, etc.

I am stumped though.

Re: Wool Carpet Problems

Could it have been a silk rug? Materials made of silk can react badly when wet. When I am cleaning what I believe to be a silk rug, I don't pre-spray the rug itself. I spray the pad instead, up to the point where I can hand-squeeze the excess cleaning solution out of it. Then I clean with the medium glider.

Re: Wool Carpet Problems

When something like this happens, are you buying the carpet?

Re: Wool Carpet Problems

Could be. The standard liability policy for carpet cleaners, unlike a physician's malpractice policy, does not cover the floor covering you are working on. It covers other damage you might cause from your working on the premises.