How to Avoid Carpet Brown Out

Erica Roth

Carpet brown out is a condition in which your rug develops brownish stains, usually in response to an improper cleaning method. According to the Mid-American Research Chemical Corporation, or MARC, carpet cleaners that are highly alkaline substances can cause brown out.

Clean your carpets properly to avoid brown out.

In short, clean your rug with a cleaner that is meant for rugs to avoid brown out.

  1. Read the labels on the carpet cleaners you usually use to determine the pH level of the solution. pH is a scale that runs from 0 to 14 and measures the acidity or alkalinity of the liquid. According to MARC, using a carpet cleaner that measures too high above 7, the middle of the scale, can lead to brown discoloration on your carpets. Most cleaners of this kind state the pH on the consumer labeling.

  2. Blot excess liquid from stains as soon as possible with a soft, white cloth. A white cloth will ensure you will not have dye transferring onto your carpet as you clean the fibers.

  3. Apply a small amount of water to your carpet cleaner to tackle stains. Add more only as needed to penetrate the fibers of the rug. Saturating the carpet too much also can cause brown out streaks and spots.

  4. Prevent brown out--and get rid of funky odors--with baking soda. Baking soda is a natural neutralizer of pH, even though the substance itself tends toward the alkaline side of the scale. If you have used a cleaner that is highly alkaline, sprinkling baking soda on the affected area may neutralize the pH level before brown discoloration occurs.

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