Can Carpet Wicking Be Fixed?

Have you ever experienced persistent stains on your carpet just after you got it professionally cleaned? What is it, a stain or a carpet wicking? And if it is a wicking, then can carpet wicking be fixed?

You might be confused, right? Maybe because you are unfamiliar with this term, and the only thing you know is that your carpet is mysteriously staining even if you didn’t spill anything on it.

But don’t worry, as we will answer all your questions related to this context one by one!

Can Carpet Wicking Be Fixed

What Is Carpet Wicking?

What Is Carpet Wicking

Carpet wicking is a term that describes the rise of water-soluble filth on the surface of a carpet while it’s drying. This spot can also be present at the bottom section of your rug and does not erode even after vacuuming, deep cleaning, or with professional treatment.

So, whenever you notice an obstinate stain coming back again and again even after cleaning, then you can suspect it’s carpet wicking.

Difference Between Carpet Wicking & Stain

Difference Between Carpet Wicking & Stain

I am sure you must be inquisitive to know the difference between stain and carpet wicking. And might be wondering why are we calling this persistent stain by the term “wicking”.

Well, the curiosity is genuine because, prima facie, both seem to depict the same meaning. But there is a slight difference between both.

Staining occurs when somebody spills food or drink on your carpet or when your pet pees on it. But in the case of wicking, you don’t have to spill anything physically; in fact, a spot will appear at one or different spots again and again.

This is due to improperly cleaned carpet, which is leading to recurrent carpet stains.

Situations When Carpet Wicking Occurs

Situations When Carpet Wicking Occurs

The only and most significant reason for carpet wicking is moisture. This moisture can be due to anything such as:

  1. Using too much water and cleaning agents on your carpet.
  2. Not drying the carpet properly after spills.
  3. Unrolling the carpet back without giving it much time to dry properly.
  4. The carpet is taking too much time to dry. This especially occurs in winter.
  5. Using a vacuum cleaner or dryer for spills, due to which the moisture from carpet fibers does not evaporate properly.
  6. Not cleaning the carpet thoroughly.

Can Carpet Wicking Be Fixed?

Can Carpet Wicking Be Fixed

Luckily, you can fix your carpet-wicking problem with a few courses of action. Although, it’s better to take preventive actions rather than remedial ones.

These preventive actions are the same as what we have discussed above; that is,

  1. Vacuum the rug every day to avoid the chances of filth accumulation.
  2. Cleaning the carpet spills instantly so that it does not moisten the place for long,
  3. Drying the carpet for 6 to 10 hours before placing it back after cleaning immaculately,
  4. Avoid using too much moisture in the deep cleaning process.
  5. Work with a carpet cleaner with the lowest wicking and the best cleaning results with less moisture spills.
  6. Hot water is more subjected to wicking. Hence, you can use regular tap water while cleaning.
  7. Get your carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year.

After following these cautions, you will never see a single wicking spot on your carpet again!

How To Clean Carpet Wicking?

As soon as you notice wicking on your carpet, you can opt for 2 most effective cleaning methods. You might be familiar with them, but not sure if they are safe for your carpet or not.

Well, they are safe and give the best cleaning results. Now, coming to those methods, the first one is,

Steam Cleaning

Steam Cleaning

A right steam carpet cleaning can prevent wicking from its root, but only when it is done correctly. Because in several cases, it has been found that deep cleaning has set off carpet wicking due to improper drying process.

Considering this in mind, you can use steam cleaners by yourself or take the help of professional stain removal services for deep cleaning.

The high-temperature strokes of the cleaning solution will kill all the bacteria and other germs from your rug, and its powerful suction technology will rigorously extract all the filth and grime.

Spot Cleaning Solution

Spot Cleaning Solution

This is a small yet most powerful cleaning strategy for carpet wicking, especially when you are struggling with a few small patches and don’t want to go for a complete steam cleaning process.

In such a case, you can get a spot-cleaning solution in your nearby store or prepare a homemade solution by mixing one cup of distilled water and white vinegar into one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.

This solution will lift or split apart filth molecules, making it easy for you to wipe that grime. After wiping, you can vacuum the region to suck up remaining moisture and dirt.

What Kind Of Carpet Fiber Works Best Against Wicking?

What Kind Of Carpet Fiber Works Best Against Wicking

If you are planning to buy a new carpet and want to consider the wicking problem as a significant issue as per your past experiences, then you can go for wool and natural fiber rugs.

With this, you can also ask the retailer to provide a stain-resistant and low-pile carpet as they have less possibility of becoming a carpet-wicking culprit.


Before knowing “Can Carpet Wicking Be Fixed?” you first have to understand what carpet wicking is. Because then only you can perceive the correct method to avoid wicking or find a way to get rid of an existing one. Also, this carpet wicking can cause a lot of problems, like the smell of mildew from the carpet that ultimately leads to respiratory problems.

Although you go for any method of wicking eradication, remember to clean your carpet with a vacuum cleaner first to remove dry dirt. In the case of using a spot-cleaning solution, apply it first on a hidden region to check if it causes discoloration or not.


Is carpet wicking permanent on the carpet?

No, carpet wicking is not permanent, as you can eradicate it with a spot-cleaning solution or place moisture-wicking fabrics pilling underneath the rug.

Will carpet wicking disappear on its own without treatment?

If you do not make efforts for carpet wicking removal and your carpet continues to get external staining, then it is impossible for the wicking to disappear on its own. Instead, you can use a vacuum cleaner every day on your carpet to prevent wicking.

What is the best way to prevent carpet wicking?

To prevent carpet wicking, you can vacuum your carpet every day and dry the carpet thoroughly after every deep cleaning.

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